Revitalizing Indigenous Economies Through Agriculture Investments

Zach Ducheneaux Cultivates Change Through Roles with Intertribal Agriculture Council and Akiptan
Zach Ducheneaux

As executive director of the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) and a board member of Akiptan, Zach Ducheneaux is part of the third generation to operate the family ranch on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in north-central South Dakota. That generation is now working with the fourth generation on the same ranch.

Ducheneaux served as a tribal council representative for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe from 2000 to 2004 and became the Tribe’s delegate to the IAC, and secretary of the board, a role he is honored to have filled. However, his connection to the IAC spans nearly 25 years, as his first professional employment was with the organization as a farm advocate from 1994 to 1997; in this role, Ducheneaux assisted producers who found themselves victim to the circumstances of the Keepseagle lawsuit following the fallout of the Farm Crisis.

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Here are some highlights from the LIFT Economy interview with Ducheneaux:

  • The origin story of the IAC and how he came to be involved with it from a family background in ranching on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation.
  • A breakdown of IAC’s many programmatic areas aimed at economic development through agriculture and food enterprise.
  • Some history about the Farm Bill in relation to Indigenous communities, its progress thus far, and a look toward the future.
  • A sneak peek into the future of agriculture finance through the new Akiptan Community Development Financial Institution model to better serves producers and communities.

LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm with a mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.

B the Change gathers and shares the voices from within the movement of people using business as a force for good and the community of Certified B Corporations. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the nonprofit B Lab.


Revitalizing Indigenous Economies Through Agriculture Investments was originally published in B The Change on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: B the Change

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