Organic Farming
Stewards of the Land

About Us

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Vilicus Institute promotes and enables successful agrarian livelihoods for people regardless of age, race, sex, or gender. Modern agriculture in this country is primarily accessible to those with generational land or family farms, which means that the industry is dominated by white families with financial backing. A radical shift in this dynamic is essential to the health of our ecosystems and our planet, especially as agricultural enterprises shift to the next generation.

Justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion are critical to creating the conditions necessary for a successful shift in production and in creating economic systems that increase our ability to thrive on a planet with an uncertain future. Vilicus Institute is located in what is today known as North Central Montana, the ancestral home of the Blackfoot, Assiniboine, and Métis peoples.

We can never undo the damage that generations past have done to indigenous communities, to other communities of color, and to women. We also cannot undo the fact that organic agriculture is less than 1% of the 18 million acres of Montana cropland. Our only way forward is to continue to raise marginalized voices, learn from indigenous communities, and emphasize connections between people and the land. None of us are separate from the ocean of Earth that is the Northern Great Plains ecosystem.

Land Acknowledgement

Vilicus Institute understands and acknowledges that the land of the Northern Great Plains was forcibly taken from indigenous peoples through genocide and ethnic cleansing. The land we steward is located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of many Indigenous Nations, including the Blackfoot (Niitsitapi), Assiniboine, and Métis peoples. These nations have stewarded this land through generations, long before settlers arrived. We work to always remember and take heed of our wrong doings, work to honor the heritage and continued contributions of Indigenous peoples and look toward Native Nations for continued guidance on land stewardship and the safekeeping of the Earth. Indigenous peoples are still here, in spite of hardships caused by colonization and westward expansion.