Dream of Wild Health Making Community Impact | InFaith Community Foundation

Dream of Wild Health Making Community Impact

InFaith Community Foundation granted $10,000 to Dream of Wild Health (DWH), a local organization based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This grant support, made possible through donor gifts to InFaith collaborative funds, helped ensure access to healthy foods through DWHs “Indigenous Food Share Program.

Joy Persall, Executive Co-Director of DWH, shares, “Together with community partners, we are organizing a comprehensive Indigenous Food Network incorporating access to affordable healthy and traditional foods with support for regional Native food producers, creative and accessible channels of distribution, and opportunities for job training and employment.” Dream of Wild Health is one of the longest continually operating Native American organizations in the Minneapolis—St. Paul area. Founded in 1986, DWH owns and operates a 10-acre farm in Hugo, Minnesota, providing educational programs reconnecting the urban Native American community with traditional Native plants and their culinary, medicinal and spiritual use.

The organization has four key objectives:
1. Restore and reinvigorate American Indian sustainable agriculture;
2. Preserve and propagate near-extinct ‘saved seeds,’ indigenous food and medicinal plants;
3. Expand health, culture and leadership education for Native American youth and families;
4. Create a unique educational resource for all people who care about the health of our people and our land.

The organization centers itself in the belief that “Food is Medicine,” and the traditional foods and life-ways of ancestors will restore power, health and wellbeing into the community. DWH has one of the largest collections of heirloom indigenous food and medicinal seeds in the Upper Midwest. DWH provides access to healthy foods through its "Indigenous Food Share Program," assisting nearly 50 families annually.

Each summer season, Dream of Wild Health provides programs offering learning opportunities for 70 Native youth ages 8 to 18.  Youth learn entrepreneurial and advocacy skills working at local Native community farmers markets, earning a stipend that is supported with financial literacy training.

Joy also shares, “Dream of Wild Health is deeply appreciative for the partnership with InFaith Community Foundation. Support of these culturally grounded food access programs, and InFaith staff volunteerism at the farm, are deepening our relationships and expanding the impact of our collective work. We are thankful.”

Learn more at DreamofWildHealth.org.