Good news in food: Understanding the value and promise of Indigenous food sovereignty in western Canada
Martens, Tabitha Robin
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Food sovereignty has recently emerged as a means of addressing food-related problems that confront many Indigenous and rural communities around the world. It moves beyond access to food, and is grounded in the idea that people should self-determine their food systems and cultural traditions. This is particularly important for Indigenous people who still face threats to their food systems linked to colonialism. I explore Indigenous food sovereignty by examining 24 community-located food initiatives across western Canada. Outcomes were summarized using a circle metaphor describing four key elements of Indigenous food sovereignty: history, connection to the land, relationships and identity. A related Indigenous Food Gathering was also held, focusing on reflection, the importance of cultural identity to Indigenous food sovereignty and informing the thesis through a personal narrative. Moving forward requires a shift in how Indigenous food relationships are understood, incorporating Indigenous worldviews and perspectives as part of a larger resurgence movement.