By Jovita Belgarde

In late March, when COVID-19 materialized in New Mexico, many community organizers, began to scramble to find ways to support our people who were stressed to find food for their families during the stay at home order. Food security was a huge issue here in our traditional Tiwa territory also known as Albuquerque for the urban Native population and an even bigger issue in tribal communities. We began helping people get their gardens ready to plant. We pulled weeds, tilled the ground, began composting, held indigenous seed exchanges, built garden boxes and began planting. We created training to teach others planting skills so everyone’s gardens would be more successful. For those of us who are boots on the ground in indigenous communities, we know that we can’t wait around for colonizers to save our people who have been historically overlooked. We have to save ourselves. Planting our own food is the answer.