MINNEAPOLIS — November 28, 2023North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems (NATIFS) announces Executive Director Sean Sherman will be traveling to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP28), taking place November 30 through December 12.


In attendance will be diplomats from nearly 200 countries working to address the climate crisis. Sean is traveling to COP28 at the invitation of  the Global Alliance for the Future of Food and the Rockefeller Foundation, and will be bringing a message of Indigenous food and knowledge as a pathway to both mitigating and adapting to climate change.


Indigenous peoples have long been sustainable stewards of the land with an understanding that food is medicine for people and planet, and emphasize Native plant species, permaculture and regenerative agriculture as key elements of food security and food sovereignty. Further, Indigenous peoples are among those communities least responsible for creating the climate crisis, yet most affected by its impacts.


Sean will be presenting on the panel Indigenous Expertise in Practice: Moving from Rhetoric to Action, where he will share perspectives and provide guidance on the role traditional Indigenous knowledge and practice can play in navigating the climate crisis, to an audience of international leaders, scientists, academics, philanthropists, and representatives of government attending COP28.


At the conference, Sean will be participating in thematic days around Indigenous Peoples (December 5); Nature, Land Use, and Oceans (December 9); and Food, Agriculture and Water (December 10), as well as connecting with Indigenous leaders including Dr. Michael Kotutwa Johnson (Hopi Tribe of Arizona), Assistant Specialist-Indigenous Resiliency at the School of Natural Resources and the Environment  Indigenous Resilience Center at the University of Arizona, and Lourdes Inga (Quechua heritage from Peru) Executive Director of International Funders for Indigenous Peoples.


“At North American Indigenous Food Systems (NATIFS), we focus on the revitalization of traditional resilient and diverse Indigenous food practices like sustainable foraging and regenerative agriculture — powerful tools for mitigating and adapting to the impact of climate change,” says Sean Sherman. “Together, we can work towards a regenerative, permaculture landscape to withstand adverse effects of climate change while minimizing the distances food travels to reach communities, not only to nourish people and the planet but to offer economic opportunities for tribal communities. We hope this can help our communities reclaim their health, well-being, and cultural connections. We can be the leaders out of this crisis we didn’t create.”