Inspire and educate seed savers.
The purpose of our mission is to assure a diverse and abundant supply of local seeds for the Rocky Mountain Region through education, networking, and establishing community-based models of seed stewardship. We are committed to offering seed saving assistance to all individuals, groups, or communities who invite us.
A resilient and healthy planet with every region, watershed, and community alive with a diversity of inspired seed savers and vibrant food cultures.
We envision a world where communities are connected through their food cultures. Seed stewards from all cultures should be supported as they honor their foods that come from seeds. Seeds should be preserved for past, present, and future generations and purposes.
The Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance (RMSA) supports and celebrates the individuals, communities, land-based people, organizations, and enterprises that foster, care for, and promote biodiversity and seed diversity. Human beings and all life communities, being part of this greater whole, flourish when diversity is present. We are stronger and more resilient together. Seed diversity is dependent on a strong network of land-based communities, grassroots seed savers, gardeners, farmers, and seed companies who strive to steward land in ways which safeguard biodiversity.
RMSA works in a grassroots capacity to build seed diversity and seed sovereignty. We empower communities to preserve their own seed diversity through an inclusive and equitable process based on authentic, reciprocal relationships. We are committed to supporting and strengthening the largest network possible of dedicated seed stewards in order to make greater diversity a reality.
RMSA is committed to offering access to seed education openly, equitably, and without barriers. We strongly believe seed education is fundamental to the seed movement. As seed savers, we inherit a responsibility to care for seeds and pass on seed education so others know how to save seeds for future generations. We know seed diversity is increased–and seed sovereignty is achieved–when more gardeners and farmers save seeds. Seed education is essential to the health and preservation of cultural identity.
RMSA believes all people should have fair and equitable access to local seeds, healthy food, medicine, clothing, shelter, and supplies necessary for survival. No one should suffer from hunger, food insecurity, malnutrition, or a lack of vital resources. Seeds are gifts from nature and the ancestors, resulting from thousands of years of unrestricted care and attention. Seeds should not be patented. They are a common resource and a fundamental birthright.
LET PEOPLE SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES
RMSA recognizes the importance of understanding our role in the seed movement and being clear about who we do or do not represent. Our role is to amplify unique and diverse perspectives, rather than speak on behalf of others.
We find ourselves in a period of mental and spiritual transformation. Our hearts are open with reverence and curiosity to the unknown and we are committed to growing, learning, and evolving with humility. This is necessary for the cultural and spiritual transformation we need to save seeds and seed stories. When individuals and communities share information, feedback and advice we will listen and consider their approach to guide us moving forward. We acknowledge we have work to do and are inspired to become as a seed becomes: open and ready for a new way of living, growing and being.
RMSA is creating an inclusive space for individuals, organizations, institutions, and communities who share and participate in the work of seed preservation and stewardship. The seed movement is strongest when there is a welcoming seat at the table for everyone. We invite individuals and organizations to contribute to RMSAs’ decision-making process on issues affecting them or their communities. We pledge to listen and give voice to those who have previously been unheard or silenced. Inclusivity, not tokenism, is achieved with diversity at the planning table, in staffing, and among our collaborations. True inclusion may delay achievement of other important goals. We are committed to discussion, hard work, patience, and advance planning required to create true diversity, equity, and inclusion within RMSA.
We honor the origins and stories of seeds and believe they need to be preserved. Stories have spirit, language, history, and lessons. Seed stories heal us and teach us how to care for seeds, one another, and the natural world. We recognize the unique, cultural knowledge safeguarded by the peoples and communities which care for and preserve seed heritage. We vow to respect cultural knowledge and carry ourselves with patience and understanding when we are not ready to hear or share the stories. When cultural knowledge is threatened, we will act in solidarity for seeds and in honor of their origins.
RMSA considers all aspects of our work a privilege and sacred responsibility. A healthy, just, and inclusive organization requires accountability for our speech and actions. We hold ourselves to the highest standard of conduct per our principles and values. We will admit when we are at fault and make changes to address and correct our errors. To our partners and collaborators in the seed movement, we invite you to join us as we embrace diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice, and the rights of nature. Always, we welcome feedback that will elevate our organizational levels of accountability.
Organizational Health and Justice Statement
As a seed saving organization, Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance honors land-based peoples, peoples of color, first nations tribes, and indigenous cultures for their multi-generational knowledge and investments in the practice of seed saving. We recognize their historical role in seed preservation and cultivation of land, water, seeds, and continued land-based ways of living and knowing. We benefit from this legacy and acknowledge their fundamental role in the seeds we steward.
We acknowledge the following historical truths and the contemporary impacts settler colonialism, slavery, capitalism, and white supremacy have had on indigenous communities, land-based people, and peoples of color, including:
- Loss of food and seed traditions through the displacement and forced relocation of tribes and communities from their homelands.
- Diminished abilities and opportunities to thrive, survive, and exist by violently erasing language, culture, and land connection through genocide, land theft, forced assimilation, miseducation, and through the intentional eradication of native knowledge and species of flora and fauna.
- Diminished health and well-being by contaminating the spaces and places where indigenous, land-based, and peoples of color live, work, play, pray, and learn. This has been done through the extraction of natural resources and the transportation and storage of dangerous chemicals that pollute land, water, air, and bodies.
We acknowledge white supremacy, settler colonialism, slavery, and capitalism have shaped the world we live in and that we benefit from white privilege. We acknowledge our ethical duty and responsibility to dismantle these systems and practices. We are committed to integrating principles, values, and policies that are rooted in justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion into every aspect of our organization’s culture, programs, mission, vision, and fundraising efforts.
Native seed keepers, land-based farmers, and other peoples of color have called on Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance to be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. We acknowledge we have failed to be inclusive of indigenous and land-based communities of color in creating and offering opportunities for engagement on the leadership, staff, and membership levels.
Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance wants to be of service and reflective of the diverse community represented in this powerful movement to protect, cultivate, share, and preserve the biodiversity of seeds. We commit to creating pathways in our organization for indigenous, land-based, and peoples of color to participate, make decisions, and lead in ways reflective of the values and principles held within their respective cultures and communities.
Moving forward we will take action that leads to increased solidarity and trust between indigenous, land-based peoples, peoples of color, non-native peoples, and other marginalized communities. This work is important for the survival of all beings.