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Food & Drink

Cherokee Nation Dispersing Heirloom Seeds To Tribal Citizens

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Anadisgoi / Cherokee Nation
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White Eagle Corn is included in this year's available heirloom seeds from the Cherokee Nation.

Starting Monday, the Cherokee Nation will begin giving away a limited supply of their heirloom seeds to tribal citizens.

More than 20 varieties of heirloom seeds will be available to citizens this year, including Cherokee White Eagle Corn, Trail of Tears Beans, Georgia Candy Roaster Squash, a variety of gourds, Indian corn beads and native plants such as the Rattlesnake Master, Wild Senna and Possum Grape.

The seed bank program has been keeping the tradition of harvesting seeds alive since 2006, and seeds from it are even held in the global seed bank near the north pole.

"We were so closely tied to the land around us and our environment that this really kind of helps to bring us back to that, tie us back to that and it helps in preserving our culture, our language and our history," said Feather Smith, who is part of the tribal nation's seed bank program.

Due to COVID-19, citizens must request seeds by phone or by filling out a form online or by calling 918-453-5336. You can email seedbank@cherokee.org for more information.

Last year, the Cherokee Nation's seed bank program gave out 5,140 packages of seeds to tribal citizens.

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