Image for Nov. Positive Change: Dream of Wild Health

Create Positive Change

Each time you shop at the co-op, you have a chance to directly support local community partners by donating your 10-cent reusable bag credits and rounding up your purchases to the nearest dollar. It may only be a few cents or spare change, but your generosity makes a huge impact — to the tune of over $10,000 each month for our Positive Change recipients!

Dream of Wild Health

Restoring Access to Indigenous Food and Medicine 

November’s Positive Change recipient is Dream of Wild Health (DWH), a nonprofit that promotes wellness and cultural awareness in urban Native American communities through the growing and sharing of indigenous foods and medicines. DWH has a strong reputation in the community as a safe and supportive environment for children and their families. They are one of the oldest Native American-led nonprofits in the Twin Cities.

DWH encourages people to form personal connections to the land and the environment where they live. In addition to sustainable agriculture practices and organic farming, they teach youth about respecting the earth and appreciating what it gives us. Their 10-acre farm in Hugo, Minnesota includes a berry orchard and pollinator meadow. Fruits, vegetables, and wild plants grown here are sold through an indigenous food share and at three farmers markets in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Closer to Mississippi Market, DWH oversees a community garden on Saint Paul’s East Side, bringing together people of all ages with a common goal of restoring their connection to nature and healthful food. Their farm and community garden collectively produce over 9,000 pounds of food annually, allowing them to serve over 5,500 people each year.

Preserving a connection to shared history is another one of DWH’s main priorities. Toward that end, they have been collecting indigenous seeds from around the country for nearly 20 years. They began their collection with seeds from Cora Baker, a local Potawatomi elder from Wisconsin. They now have over 200 varieties in their care, some of which are rare and several generations old. Dream of Wild Health views the preservation of seeds as a legacy to be passed on to future generations.

November Positive Change funds will support their Youth Leadership Program that provides children and young adults mentorship on topics including diabetes and obesity prevention, traditional and organic farming, and experiential life learning. This program teaches teenagers, who have shown themselves to be mature and committed to school, leadership skills around issues related to food and health. Working together, they do everything from food demonstrations at local events to selling food at local farmers markets to advocating for food justice policy changes at the State Capitol. Positive Change funds will help keep their Youth Leadership Program staffed with dedicated instructors.