A promotional image for the Living Earth Festival.

Living Earth Festival

Since 2007, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian has held a yearly iteration of the Living Earth Festival, dedicated to educating the general public about Indigenous efforts to protect and sustain the natural environment. This year, the festival will be held virtually, allowing Indigenous people across the Americas to participate without leaving their communities. Like in past years, Living Earth’s programming will follow a theme—in 2021, it’s sustainability and innovation in Indigenous agriculture. NMAI will explore this focus through a partnership with the Native American Agriculture Fund, a group whose “mission is to educate about the agricultural challenges and innovative practices in Native communities,” according to Lisa Austin, NMAI’s public relations specialist. “The most important factor of our partnership with NAAF is to educate the public about the work of Native farmers and ranchers and the importance of their contribution to our food systems,” Austin adds. To educate the public effectively, NMAI and NAAF will host a wide range of online events, from documentary film screenings and discussion panels to a cooking demonstration. These will touch upon cultural and environmental concerns within Indigenous agriculture as well as some of the innovations enabling economic success within native farming communities. For the first time this year, the Living Earth Festival will also include a second part in September—“Voices from the Field: The Business of Native Agriculture;” details will come later for those interested. The first part of the festival is available on demand from April 22 to April 25 at nmai.brand.live. Free.