Trends in Innovation

Tier One Survey

We asked respondents to describe in their own words what was most innovative about the program they were nominating. Responses highlighted the importance of culturally appropriate programming, with over half of respondents indicating that for them, innovation meant that the program they were nominating had a strong level of community engagement and an incorporation of traditional or culturally relevant principles. A further 21% of respondents to this question also indicated that expanding access to healthy food, especially traditional food, was what made the program they nominated an innovative one.



The top five most frequently used words to describe what made nominated programs innovative were: food, community, traditional, tribal, and indigenous. The word cloud above illustrates how important those five things were to respondents as they defined innovation in Indian Country food sovereignty work.

Respondents' answers to this question repeatedly underscored the importance of food, community, traditional lifeways, tribal involvement, and indigenous principles in innovation with most respondents indicating that community engagement and inclusion of traditional principles was what was driving the innovative nature of their nominee. Access to traditional or healthy food made up nearly a quarter of responses to this question, and 17% of respondents indicated that educational opportunities made their nominee innovative. Some respondents also indicated that tribal governance was instrumental in driving innovation, with 7% of respondents discussing tribal policies that created or supported their nominee's work.