Blue Mountain Associates
Blue Mountain Associates (BMA) has a background in community health services, support, and program implementation on American Indian reservations. BMA was developing specialized, local sustainable food systems programs for the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes of the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming when they joined the Food Dignity research project. Through education, collaboration, and action research, their programs seek to fulfill organizational goals that include: expansion of sustainable community food system work to increase food security; increased substantial involvement of and leadership from community members facing food insecurity in food systems work; learning from the community’s own past history and ongoing work, including research methods and other partners in this project, to improve a sustainable food system on the reservation; and expanding their organizational capacity and the communities' civic infrastructure for building food security and agency. Specific programs used to reach these goals throughout the Food Dignity research project included: mentoring, guidance, and support for community-developed projects that increased community food access and security as well as local economic development; the implementation of weekly farmers markets held in various locations across the reservation, at which beginning farmers and gardeners had the opportunity to be involved as sellers; and the development, installation, support, and action research study of backyard gardens and gardeners.