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March 29-31

Hemp industry indigenous leaders to convene at NoCo Hemp Expo

Indigenous leaders in the hemp industry are planning their exhibits and talks to bring generations of knowledge to the 9th annual NoCo Hemp Expo. The event will take place on March 29-31, 2023, at the historic Broadmoor Resort & Convention Center in Colorado Springs.

“The contributions of Indigenous people to sustainable agriculture and stewarding the Earth are immeasurable,” said Morris Beegle, Producer of NoCo. “This year, NoCo Hemp Expo is proud to include a larger presence of Indigenous programming and exhibits.” 

Indigenous leaders working group meeting
To start the show, leaders will gather on Wednesday, March 29, 2-4 p.m. MT in Her Many Voices Meeting Room for an Indigenous Leaders Working Group Meeting facilitated by Winona LaDuke, Executive Director of Honor the Earth and the Anishinaabe Agriculture Institute and founder of Winona’s Hemp, and Mary Jane Oatman, Executive Director of the Indigenous Cannabis Industry Association and Founder and Publisher of THC Magazine. They hope to provide a space for Indigenous industry participants to meet, mingle and contribute to the growing hemp industry among Indigenous tribes.

Indigenous panel discussions
Indigenous leaders will also participate in educational programming throughout the event. On Thursday, March 30, at 2 p.m., LaDuke and Oatman will be joined by Theo Wahquahboshkuk of Prairie Band Ag, Rob Pero of Canndigenous, and Ira Vandever to discuss the role of Indigenous knowledge in growing the hemp industry, using every part of the plant, and innovative workforce approaches. There will also be a presentation on March 31 moderated by LaDuke called “Growing Hemp: Now and Then” as part of the Agriculture Symposium on the Main Stage. Joining LaDuke will be Alex White Plume, Chris Boucher, Ryan Loflin, and Bill Billings to discuss traditional and modern-day hemp farming methods and what the growing U.S. industry can take from Indigenous farming methods to contribute to the success of hemp growing today. 

Indigenous pavilion
On Thursday and Friday of NoCo9, the show will host a dedicated exhibit pavilion with the theme of community work that will feature leading Indigenous producers and organizations, including:

  • Winona’s Hemp/Anishinaabe Agriculture Institute 
  • Indigenous Cannabis Industry Association 
  • Canndigenous CBD
  • Prairie Band Agriculture/Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation
  • Turquoise Indigo Fibers
  • Additional participants to be announced 

The pavilion will include the opportunity to speak with Indigenous leaders, a weaving demonstration to show the traditional application and use of hemp fiber, as well as literature and stickers available for attendees.  

“The Indigenous approach is cooperative. We focus on farmers and local economies,” said Winona LaDuke of the Honor the Earth/Anishinaabe Agriculture Institute. “We will be talking about how hemp has a minimal carbon footprint, uses minimal water, and is a sustainable resource. Let’s do this the right way for this sacred plant.” 

For more information:
NoCo Hemp Expo 

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