Solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en and Indigenous Peoples

Food Secure Canada’s office is located on the unceded territory of the Kanien’keha:ka (Mohawk), a place which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange among Indigenous Peoples. The board and staff of Food Secure Canada stand in solidarity with the Wet’suwe’ten land and water protectors, and support their assertion of autonomy as a sovereign nation. As such, we denounce the forceful removal of the Wet’suwet’en people from their traditional, unceded territory. We recognize that the current dispute in Wet’suwet’en territory and solidarity efforts from coast to coast to coast on Turtle Island cannot be separated from broader issues of systemic colonial violence and forced displacement of Indigenous Peoples.

More specifically, in light of our mandate, we recognize the important link between this dispute and questions of Indigenous Food Sovereignty, as elaborated upon in Resetting the Table, the policy platform developed by the People’s Food Policy Project and adopted by Food Secure Canada.  This document identifies the frequent conflict between resource development projects and the biodiversity upon which First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples traditionally depend for food. FSC made a commitment to support the efforts of Indigenous Peoples in maintaining control over their food systems within a broader framework of self-determination as sovereign peoples. This sovereignty was recognized in the Royal Proclamation of 1763, the Treaty of Niagara in 1764, the Treaty of Ghent in 1814, and the Pledge of the Crown in 1815. Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution (1982) recognizes Indigenous rights and the Delgamuukw decision further affirmed Aboriginal title. In addition, we note Canada’s 2010 endorsement of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Supreme Court of Canada’s upholding of the Delgamuukw decision with respect to the Tsilqhqot’in Nation in 2014, and commitments to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action in 2015.

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.