Native ‘hempsters’ follow global cooperative example

A global enterprise based in Spain may seem an unlikely role model for a fledging American Indian initiative. But inspired by its success, Winona’s Hemp and Heritage Farm in Anishinaabeg territory is sowing the start of an intertribal cooperative consortium.

A Visit to Mondragon

Workers should be in charge. People who have their life on the line should make the decisions. Because those that have their livelihood on the line are more likely to make decisions that would benefit the company as well as themselves because the decisions that are made impact them and beyond.

Lessons from Basque Country

In the 1950s Father José María Arizmendiarrieta, the village priest of Mondragón in the Basque region of Spain, inspired the development of a series of cooperatively owned industries to employ youth in his parish. His vision was that, through ownership by the workers, the wealth created by new industries would be distributed to the workers and to the larger community that nourished and supported them.