Cherokee Nation first tribe in U.S. to send heirloom seeds to global seed vault in Norway.
(L to R) Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Secretary of Natural Resources Chad Harsha with heirloom seeds being sent to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation is the first tribe in the United States to receive an invitation to deposit its traditional heirloom seeds to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a long-term seed storage facility housed deep inside a mountain on a remote island in Norway.
Other seeds sent to the seed bank include Cherokee Long Greasy Beans, Cherokee Trail of Tears Beans, Cherokee Turkey Gizzard black and brown beans, and Cherokee Candy Roaster Squash.
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault preserves seed and crop diversity in the case of an agricultural hardship or global catastrophe that would leave future generations without food supplies.
“The Cherokee Nation Seed Bank has always hoped to be able to deposit our traditional food crops into Svalbard one day,” said Feather Smith, Cherokee Nation cultural biologist.
The Cherokee Nation also began dispersing its limited supply of heirloom seeds to Cherokee Nation citizens on Feb. 3. »