FSC at Powershift and Food Justice Update

by Nydia Dauphin

From March 28 to April 2nd, Nydia was in K'jipuktuk/Halifax to both attend PowerShift Atlantic and meet local organizations in preparation to FSC’s Assembly which will take place in Halifax November 13-16th.


PowerShift Atlantic

The conference

Approximately 500 individuals from various parts of the country attended the first PowerShift Atlantic. PowerShift Atlantic is a gathering organized by youth for youth that focuses on climate justice.
A highlight of this gathering was the omnipresence of indigenous voices from leaders such as Winona Laduke, Crystal Lameman, Jasmine Thomas, Vanessa Grey, Suzanne Patles and Amanda Lickers. These inspirational women shared insights into the daily lives of their communities who, like many indigenous communities across the globe, are bearing the brunt of climate injustices, but who at same time have been unrelenting leaders in holistic environmental activism. More than a fight against pollution, their activism is rooted in indigenous sovereignty and self-determination. The conference managed to re-center this reality at the heart of climate action, and made it clear that no sustainable solutions to our defunct fuel-intensive culture could be attained without indigenous self-determination. To this end, participants were provided with opportunities to deepen their understanding of genuine alliance building and the need to back it up with concrete actions.
Another highlight of this conference was the presence of the current Halifax Regional Municipality Poet Laureate El Jones.  Renowned for her powerful prose, El uses her art as a vector for consciousness-raising and action-inspiring. Alongside Vanessa Grey, El led a panel on environmental racism. More precisely, she unpacked the ways the prison industrial complex is an extension of environmental racism. To articulate this point, El highlighted the fact that we are witnessing a new wave of removal from the land of Black and Indigenous bodies through their over-incarceration across the country.

Structural Racism workshop

While at PowerShift, Nydia gave a workshop on Structural Racism. Through sharing their experiences and engaging in group thinking, the participants critically examined their social justice movements with an anti-racism lense. Part teaching and part experiential, the participants were presented with key anti-racism concepts. The feedback for this workshop was overwhelmingly positive.

Food Justice Outreach

In preparation to FSC’s upcoming Assembly, we met with a wide range of actors working on one or many aspects of food justice.
Amongst the organizations we had a chance to meet and doing amazing work were the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre, Immigration Settlement and Integration Services, the Health Association of African Canadians and ACORN. Many more actors have been identified for further outreach and encouraged to submit a proposal for the Assembly.  This trip further confirmed the importance of addressing food issues in a holistic manner as discriminatory practices embedded in our food systems can be successfully dismantled when identified and addressed clearly. 
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