1. Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Executive Summary

We are a group of community based activists, scholars and story tellers who work on issues of food sovereignty. We come from diverse regions of Turtle Island and share fundamental beliefs towards the land and all she stands for. We represent fishing, hunting, and gathering peoples and bring an understanding of the impact of colonialism on our regions. Indigenous food systems include all of the land, soil, water, and air, as well as culturally important plant, fungi, and animal species that have sustained Indigenous peoples over thousands of years of participating in the natural world.

All parts of Indigenous food systems are inseparable and ideally function in healthy interdependent relationships that transfer energy through indigenous ecosystems and economies. In addition, indigenous food systems also support, both directly and indirectly, the transfer of energy through the present day agriculture based economy, which has been developed and industrialized by settlers through the process of colonization.

Our nations originally developed and perfected many of the world’s great foods, such as beans, corn, squash, potatoes, berries, herbs and medicines for which there is no acknowledgement or compensation. For indigenous peoples, lands and food are at the centre of what it is to be indigenous. In other instances, nomadic cultures required access to vast territories, which in turn ensured access to traditional foods.Tribal values of giving, sharing and trading are at the heart of land care and food sovereignty. Indigenous peoples hold lands, foods, medicines, and animals as sacred and freely gifted. Without them, humanity would cease to be.

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