The Gleaner is a bi-weekly round-up of blog posts, new stories, featured resources and important happenings from the BC Food Security Gateway.
The Gateway supports knowledge exchange and collaboration to address food security in BC, including hosting an amazing community of practice, whose work we are delighted to highlight.
Our Community of Practice isn’t shy about naming and working through the tensions in our food systems and movement work. In fact, this can be one of the most critical functions of any CoP. It was almost a year ago that our CoP came up with 3 Wicked Questions in BC food work. The wickedest of them all; How can we simultaneously support Indigenous food sovereignty efforts while working on unceded territories within colonial structures?
Also in this post, Gateway’s Community of Practice member Aaren Topley, who manages Public Health Association of BC Can You Dig It (CYDI) program, walked us through some of what he’s witnessing in the community garden space. As others will be able to relate, community gardens can be locations of tension, along with all the beautiful connections that happen as neighbours grow food side by side.
Victoria Urban Food Table reports that nearly 2 acres of food is being grown on private land in Victoria. The report shares some of the barriers people are facing in accessing land as well as offering ideas on how VUFT can work with the City to support further food production, land-access and fresh produce access.
The solidarity actions unfolding around the country in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en and Indigenous Peoples, as well as the accompanying backlash, have revealed to many Canadians how little they know about Indigenous governance. Our community of practice has been on this learning journey for a few years, in recognition of the ‘inseparable connection between land rights and food sovereignty’ (See Food Secure Canada’s statement below.) We are grateful to Jolene Andrews, Wet’suwet’en and Dawn Morrison, Secwepemc, who collaborated with us on this conversation and post.
It is imperative to acknowledge the history and ongoing legacy of colonialism, and recognize Indigenous rights as key guiding principles to decolonization and Reconciliation, including policies and programs impacting Indigenous food systems. Inherent in this is the inseparable connection between land rights and food sovereignty. To support the repair and reconnection of relationships between Indigenous peoples and traditional food systems, which continue to be damaged in ongoing colonial activities, means fulfilling the rights of Indigenous peoples to steward the land and waters from where their food comes.
Our top 10 news stories highlight solidarity with the Wet’suwe’ten, wild salmon, local food in hospitals, income justice in food work and research on the links between food insecurity and academic standing …and more devastatingly…premature death.
Gateway’s Resources offers food security resources, such as toolkits, policy papers, reports and action plans specific to BC, as well as a small number of non-BC resources that have direct relevance to BC food security.
This comprehensive slideshow highlights trends in food policy councils (FPCs) across North America (United States, Canada, and Native American/First Nations communities). FPC’s can use the slides to help situate their work in the broader context of food systems change across North America.
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