Food Sovereignty
             Vera Francis
HOME PAGEUnique_Maine_Farms.html

Vera Francis is the Community Planner and Economic Development Director at the Passamaquoddy Reservation at Pleasant Point. In her efforts to focus on many of the critical environmental issues that relate to the Passamaquoddy people and in the way that she lives she is a true “keeper of the earth.” 

As an activist, educator, and environmentalist, Vera has worked tirelessly to restore the health of Passamaquoddy Bay.  She explained that the ability to “access food and fish is vital to our spiritual and cultural sustenance.”  She worked for many years to keep LNG out of the area and established the non-profit group N’tutlankeyutmonen N’kihtaqmikon which means “We are taking care of our land.” 

In  2010, Vera was recognized with the People’s Choice Award by the Natural Resources Council of Maine.  She also was the recipient of the 2013 Dixon Schoodic Scholar Award, and the 2010 Maine Women Leaders: Social Activist Award (Maine Democrats); and the 2009 Community Leadership: Environmental Justice Award (Maine Sierra Club).

Honoring and protecting the natural resources

for use by future generations has been intrinsic to the Passamaquoddy people.  Vera has taken an active role in the work of the Schoodic River Keepers. She is also a Wabanaki traditional storyteller.

Vera Francis has played a major role in supporting the idea of a Food Sovereignty program on the Sipayik Reservation.  According to Elizabeth Sprague, the former Program Manager of the Wabanaki Business Innovation Center at Four Directions Development Corporation, Vera had been talking with The People for over a year about growing, preserving, and sharing food in the community. 

Vera helped to organize three workshops that focused on the introduction of garden plots for interested individuals and families residing on the Reservation.  She set about making raised bed building materials widely available in Sipayik.  Twenty-five prefabricated raised beds were purchased and set up in the spring of 2012.  Materials were bought for an additional twenty-five raised beds and they were constructed and set up in the fall of 2012.

Over fifty families have participated in the Food Sovereignty program on the Sipayik Reservation. Vera Francis is envisioning a time when extended gardening will take place.  She has dreams of more food preservation, a community greenhouse,  a root cellar, cold frames, and a place to process food.

Considering her track record with all the other projects that she has successfully introduced, there is

a good likelihood that many of her dreams for the Passamaquoddy Food Sovereignty program will indeed materialize.

Back to Passamaquoddy Food Sovereignty
Home PagePassamaquoddy_Food_Sovereignty.html

In  2010, Vera was recognized with the People’s Choice Award by the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

(courtesy photo of the Natural Resources Council of Maine website).