In this panel discussion, as part of the Lenapehoking exhibition at Brooklyn Public Library, participants from Farm Hub and the Lenape Center discuss the return of Lenape seeds to the homeland.
The Seed Rematriation Garden is a collaborative project between the Lenape Center, whose mission is to continue Lenapehoking, the Lenape homeland, through community, culture, and the arts. These indigenous leaders are actively addressing seed justice in their home communities.
The Seed Rematriation Garden was established with Farm Hub in the Hudson Vally in 2019 on Lenape land. The goal of this project is to secure seed harvests of such quantity that they can be repatriated to home communities in the diaspora.
This program is presented in partnership with the Lenape Center.
Joe Baker is an artist, educator, curator and activist who has been working in the field of Native Arts for the past thirty years. He is an enrolled member of the Delaware Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma and co-founder executive director of Lenape Center in Manhattan. Baker is an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of Social Work in New York and was recently Visiting Professor of Museum Studies at Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colorado. He serves as a board member for The Endangered Language Fund, Yale University and on the Advisory Committee for the National Public Art Consortium, New York and cultural advisor for the new CBS Series, “Ghosts.”
Baker has guided in his capacity as executive director for Lenape Center partnerships with the Metropolitan Museum of Art (his work is currently on exhibit there), Brooklyn Museum of Art, American Ballet Theater, Moulin Rouge on Broadway, The Whitney Museum of Art, and others. In partnership with Farm Hub in the Hudson River Valley, Baker and Lenape Center are championing the return of ancestral seeds in the homeland through a seed rematriation project. This seed saving project, now in its second year, has done much to contribute to the cultural foodways of the Lenape diaspora. In partnership with the Brooklyn Public Library, Baker is the curator of the first ever Lenape exhibition of cultural arts in the City of New York, opening January 2021. Baker graduated from the University of Tulsa with a BFA degree in Design and an MFA in painting and drawing, and completed postgraduate study, Harvard University, Graduate School of Education, MDP Program.
K Greene is a seed being. His seed journey began twenty years ago with starting the first seed library in a public library in the country. Four years later, K and his partner Doug Muller turned the library into the Hudson Valley Seed Co. From there K, Rowen White, and the Hudson Valley Farm Hub partnered to begin seed rematriation work with the Mohawk community in Akwesasne and more recently, the Lenape Center. Along with continuing these cultural seed relationships, K is developing a non-binary approach to botany as well as creating a seedshed map of the Hudson Valley region. K continues to provide trainings to new seed libraries, teach seed saving skills, and enjoys meeting new plants every season.
Dyami Soloviev is a mother, farmer, life-long local to the Rondout Valley and cultural regeneration visionary. She brings her passion for land, seed, and lineage stewardship to her work as the Seed Rematriation Garden Coordinator at the Hudson Valley Farm Hub. When she's not at work she can be found in her log-grown shiitake yard, tending her home garden or sailing with her family on the Mahicannatuck or Hudson River. Her work in the Seed Rematriation Garden brings together the threads of healing, lineage, and deep connection to place.
Talks like this continue throughout the Lenapehoking exhibition, which runs from Jan 20 through April 30. Program calendar here.
To view the exhibition website, please go here.
Lenapehoking is made possible in part with support from the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation.