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Rest, Care, Identity, Joy and Stamina in Food Justice Work: A Community of Practice Conversation

We’re delighted to share back some of the conversation from our last Gateway Community of Practice session. This CoP convenes folks throughout the traditional Indigenous territories of so-called BC who share a passion and practice around work to do with:

  • Household food insecurity and poverty reduction
  • Indigenous Food Sovereignty, anti-racism and decolonization in the food system
  • Local food policy and governance
  • Community food action, network and movement building

We gather monthly over Zoom and welcome anyone who connects with these passions and areas of practice. More here.

We’ve blogged about the CoP here and there and are excited to more fully commit to this practice.


? Our purpose for our September gathering was to share and reflect on an experience of rest, calm, nourishing, care, and joy together.


We began as always with a land/water/territorial acknowledgement and inviting CoP members to do them. Ta7talíya Nahanee, founder of Decolonizing Practices, offers that these are an “expression of appreciation for the ancestors who have cared for the land that cares for you”.

Carolyn Camman, an evaluation consultant and facilitator, says that “doing land acknowledgements is about getting us ready to have the conversation about giving land back”. 

CoP participants offered personal acknowledgements from where they are:



  • Michelle Tsutsumi on Secwépemc territory brought in more teachings from Ta7talíya Nahanee who interrogates the practice of acknowledgements, how they can play a role in actually erasing Indigenous presence, and whether framing as “territorial recognitions” as opposed to acknowledgements invites us to be in gratitude with ancestors, relationship, and commitment to the lands we’re on.



After a collective grounding, we moved into a fishbowl with our guest Colin Dring, a long-time food justice organizer and academic, with many folks joining the conversation, and others doing the important fishbowl work of witnessing. We appreciate Colin sharing powerful questions and reflections about identity, individualism, stamina, burnout, relationships, responsibility, and care.

Folks came into the conversation with just as powerful questions and experiences of burnout and recovery; isolation in the work; and, working in ways that are kind and restorative.

We’re especially sitting with what Colin opened with around identity and challenging our individual-focused sense of identity inviting us to think about identity as relational and collective. What might this shift and make possible in caring for ourselves and others? How is reorienting to relational identities an antidote to healing the burnout and isolation so many folks courageously named?

Our time was closed with a Sensory Indoor Forest Walk and time to check in in pairs. We love that folks said they left feeling reaching, connected, valuable, chill, focused, nurtured, understood, spacious, expansive, calm, joyful, grateful, and grounded!

Here are some places to keep engaging these conversations and practice we like:



? Beverley Glenn-Copeland, Let Us Dance (the song from our movement break!)


Read & Watch

? An End to Self-Care and adrienne maree brown’s response

? Decolonizing Community Care in Response to COVID-19

? Self-Care A-Z – The Politics of Self-Care: Toward Radical Decolonization

? The Nap Ministry and an interview with founder Tricia Hersey

? How Activists of Colour Prioritize Joy in Organizing 

? Caring for Ourselves as Political Warfare, On Harm and Accountability 

? Decolonizing Therapy: Why an APolitical Mental Health System Doesn’t Work

? From Self-Care to Systems of Care (a course that passed but cool to see what was offered!)

? I Won’t Be Quiet About Healing from Non-Profit Harm