Agriculture is central to many American Indian communities. The Traditional Foodways Education Program (TFEP) connects elders and farmers with youth to pass on traditional knowledge about growing and gathering healthy foods through hands-on learning. Elders and farmers are the primary instructors of traditional agriculture and food systems lessons, often sharing knowledge with younger generations in their Native languages. TFEP was created to connect young people to their cultures and traditional food practices, and to promote food security and healthy eating/drinking behaviors among American Indian youth.
TFEP reinforces and extends lessons from the Edible School Garden Program into the community space. The TFEP program usually takes place in a community or school garden/farm and a community center or other building that has access to a kitchen, fire, or other ways to prepare food.
The Traditional Foodways Education Program Guide can be used to help you and your CAB plan, create, and implement your own Traditional Foodways Education Program.
Sample TFEP Curricula
During the creation of your own Traditional Foodways Education Program your community members will develop their own curriculum!
The TFEP curricula are specific to each community and are based upon local cultural teachings about nutrition, agriculture, and living in balance. The following sample curricula were developed by Native elders, farmers, and traditional healers, with support from JHCAIH staff at each site. Click on each picture below to see the TFEP curricula developed and implemented by the three communities: