Leaving no one behind

Leave no one behind

The SDGs are explicit about the obligation to leave no one behind. We cannot meet the SDGs without taking into account the unique needs of groups of people that are made vulnerable by interconnected and intersectional oppressions, both nationally and globally. As the UN states, while the world has made progress in reducing poverty, lowering child mortality rates and improving access to clean water, hundreds of millions of people continue to live in poverty. “As the poorest and most marginalized people slip further behind, inequalities have been pushed to new heights between and within countries.

Here in Canada, it is vital to acknowledge systemic inequalities, which disproportionately affect Indigenous peoples and people of colour and their right to healthy, just, and sustainable food. For example, those who identify as Indigenous or Black are far more likely to face food insecurity in Canada.

While food was often used as a tool of colonization, it has the potential to be a tool for healing and asserting Indigenous food sovereignty. As we work towards the SDGs, we must aim for not only food security, but food sovereignty of Indigenous communities, which is inseparable from access to land and water. In addition to being a principle named in the Food Policy, the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada is another tool that should be used in reaching not only the SDGs, but also the goals as set forth in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

The SDGs can only be met if the rights of Indigenous peoples to respond to their own needs for adequate amounts of healthy, culturally appropriate foods in the forests, fields and waterways, are fully addressed.




Some of this work is funded by the Government of Canada's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Funding Program. The opinions and interpretations on this page are those of Food Secure Canada and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.