Five articles you should read about Indigenous food sovereigntyJune 21, 2020
This National Indigenous History Month, here are five articles you should read about Indigenous food sovereignty.
What is food sovereignty?
Food sovereignty is the concept that guides us in our work in Canada and around the world. The term was coined in 1996 by La Via Campesina, a global movement of farmers, peasants, landless people, Indigenous people, migrant and agricultural workers, to describe their vision of a better food future.
La Via Campesina defines food sovereignty as “the right of Peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems.”
Food sovereignty looks different in different context – it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Here are five articles you should read about Indigenous food sovereignty and the people working toward it in different ways their communities.
Seeds kept in a seed collection, with deep roots among the Mohawks of Tyendinaga, were rematriated to the community. About 80 per cent of the collection had originated in Indigenous communities. Settler cultures had acquired them, changed their names, some seeds had been commercialized, even patented, so they could be sold for profit.
For Dawn Morrison, who has spent most of her life educating on the devastating environmental and social justice impacts of the industrial land and food system and a capitalist economy, food sovereignty has never been more important.
Battling colonialism can start with the food we eat. Even before the pandemic highlighted broad issues of food insecurity, Indigenous people across Canada were working on ways to restore food sovereignty and traditional practices. And even before the outcry over the murder of George Floyd, they had called out the racism inherent in our current food supply system.
Chief Francis Laceese of Tl’esqox in B.C. is working to bring traditional ways back into focus in his community.
Indigenous foods matter, and maybe now more than ever, said award-winning chef Sean Sherman, the Oglala Lakota founder of The Sioux Chef. Indigenous Food Lab will be a restaurant, education and training centre. The lab will be a learning hub for everything related to Indigenous food systems — from Indigenous agriculture and seed saving to ethnobotany, cooking techniques and food preservation.