Hemsptead Project Heart played a larger role at the NoCo Hemp Expo on April 7th, 2018. As a sponsor of the NoCo Hemp Expo, Hempstead Project Heart organized a panel of different native voices in the hemp movement and had a large booth to educate attendees on the hemp fiber industry. Notable names Winona LaDuke and our very own Marcus Grignon shared the stage with Muriel Youngbear, Dineh Benally, Doug Goodfeather, and Dionne Homquist. The theme of the panel revolved around Indigenous perspectives on the future of the hemp industry. Winona shared her vision of where the fiber market is headed and how tribes can play a part in rebuilding the manufacturing sector through the utilization of the hemp plant. Marcus spoke about John's vision for Indian Country and how politically grassroots movements can level the playing field when it comes to passing legislation in Congress.
Every panelist stressed the importance of culture and language in tribal efforts to build the hemp industry. Many attendees walked away with an understanding of how tribal sovereignty plays a large role in the hemp movement, notably Alex White Plume's struggle to grow hemp in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. As well as how individuals can adovcate for tribal sovereignty rights in the new 2018 Farm Bill.
Hempstead Project Heart's booth highlighted the rich history of the hemp fiber industry in the United States during the first half of the 20th century. From custom made equipment for harvesting and processing hemp fiber to the picture of the United States Department of Agriculture's hemp research plot where the Pentagon now stands. Many attendees appreciated the opportunity to enter the hemp fiber industry in the coming years.