Civil Eats is happy to introduce our 2022-2023 Indigenous Foodways Fellow, seasoned journalist Renata Birkenbuel, a member of the Montana Little Shell Chippewa tribe. That is the second 12 months of the fellowship, designed to assist a journalist as they deepen their reporting expertise and voice, obtain mentoring in meals methods reporting, and publish a robust portfolio of labor. This 12 months’s fellowship is underwritten by a beneficiant grant from the First Nations Growth Institute. Birkenbuel follows Andi Murphy on this position.
Birkenbuel started her newspaper profession as a each day sports activities author, however ultimately advanced into an schooling and enterprise reporter who additionally lined meals co-ops, meals banks, and meals safety—typically intertwined with different social points, in addition to unions, well being care, the humanities, and pay fairness.
Primarily based in Missoula, she mentors younger writers as a school adjunct writing teacher. She additionally hung out working as an editor at Prairie Populist, an online-only advocacy conservation publication protecting on-the-ground agriculture and sustainability tales in Montana missed by the mainstream press.
Birkenbuel focuses on options, thrives on telling human-interest tales, and making connections for readers.
She has labored as a contract reporter for Newsweek and Missoula Present. From 2013 to 2017, she served as an schooling, enterprise, and options reporter for The Montana Customary in Butte, Montana. Within the 14 years previous that, Birkenbuel was a contributing author for The Seattle Occasions and printed articles in about 40 different Northwest publications.
She seems ahead to immersing herself within the meals methods work of Civil Eats. “I’m anxious to dive head-long into meals sovereignty points and assist put a human face on meals safety and Indigenous traditions,” she says. Her mom and her mom’s siblings didn’t dwell lengthy sufficient to see the Montana Little Shell Chippewa tribe lastly safe federally acknowledged standing in 2019, however Birkenbuel is proud to be an enrolled member. “My mom was caught between two worlds, in order a storyteller, I’m able to share my work and perspective on Indigenous foodways as I collaborate with Civil Eats employees,” she says.