Our Sacred Seeds
Untreated Non-GMO Seeds
All of our seeds within our seed store or any of our banks are required to be GMO free and left untreated from any sort of insecticidal or anti fungicidal coatings.
Prior to the creation of AoNSK, we signed our safe seed pledge as our tribal seed bank and later reaffirmed our commitment when AoNSK was born. Our Safe Seed Pledge below states:
"Agriculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives depend. We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable source for future generations. For the benefit of all farmers, gardeners and consumers who want an alternative, we pledge that we do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants. The mechanical transfer of genetic material outside of natural reproductive methods and between genera, families or kingdoms poses great biological risks, as well as economic, political and cultural threats. We feel that genetically engineered varieties have been insufficiently tested prior to public release. More research and testing is necessary to further assess the potential risks of genetically engineered seeds. Further, we wish to support agricultural progress that leads to healthier soils, genetically diverse agricultural ecosystems and ultimately healthy people and communities."
Non-Embellishment of Seed Origin Pledge
The embellishment of origin and stories of seeds has long been problematic in the seed saving community, especially with seeds claimed to be of some tribal origin. We at AoNSK fight against this sort of harmful, cultural misappropriation daily and have been victims ourselves by major "heirloom" seed companies and well known "seed collectors" who seek notoriety by exploiting ours and others cultures . Our Non-Embellishment of Seed Origin Pledge below states:
"Seeds are one of the few living beings that have evolved with humans that can cross historical timelines. For many Indigenous, agricultural people, these seeds are held in a sense of familial sacredness. For many, nearly every aspect of their ancestral identity was stolen and rebranded while their own practicing was criminalized leaving behind only a few rare and endangered seeds. When we hold our ancestral seeds in the palm of our hands, it brings us back to a time prior to colonization, a time where we had our language, culture, ceremonies, communities and lands. A time when our air and water and soil was clean. We see our ancestors holding them before us all the way to the time that seed was first bred. Likewise we see into the future and find our children holding these seeds. When we usurp seeds from another people and transplant them amongst a different people claiming a false origin, we contribute to the destruction of not only one people, but multiple people. This takes away focus from one groups actual endangered ancestral seeds while simultaneously risking the introduction of diseases that their seeds may not be immune to. We pledge to be vigilant against the exploiters who seek to destroy our cultural heritage and plan to thoroughly investigate the origin of any seed we have. We pledge to accurately label each seed to the best of our ability and correct any misinformation we may find."
We make every effort possible to source 100% organically grown seeds and are working hard towards achieving that goal. Most major seed companies have yet to manage this while being able to provide a large stock of seed but have likewise made similar commitments. We have however laid our a map to help guide us in achieving this goal. It should be noted that most items are organically grown however as we start to source from more smaller Indigenous home gardeners, we found that receiving certification had more to do with privilege than it does with actual growing process. Certifications are often financially out of reach for small gardeners or impoverished people. In response, we are hoping to work with certifying bodies to help make certification more accessible to our people.