Justice & Northern & Indigenous

While much remains to be done, it is clear from the line up and attendance in the Food Justice, Indigenous Food Sovereignty and Northern stream sessions that these issues are gaining momentum and interest from the broader food movement.  At least 13 concurrent sessions took place as part of this stream throughout the assembly, making up about 25% of the concurrent programming (see a full list below). 

Some highlights include:
• The first face-to-face meeting of the Food Justice Network took place on Saturday morning. Leaders from across Canada expressed their strong desire for this network to address colonialism and its many effects on the food system.  This work will continue to be led by FoodShare Toronto and FSC.
• The Indigenous Circle met throughout the assembly and will continues to provide much needed leadership as well constructive criticism to FSC leadership on Indigenous food issues. The top priority is to organize an Indigenous Food Summit in the coming year, creating a space where we may learn from Indigenous food leaders on their terms – stay tuned! 
• Migrant labour received much attention, in concurrent sessions and open spaces.  A working group was struck including farmers and food justice activists in the final planning session.
• The interconnection between Indigenous food systems, food security and resource management emerged in many conversations. Four Innu women from Northern Labrador presented on their efforts to combat the rising rates of food insecurity in their communities due to the closing of the caribou hunt.  Many reflected on rising food insecurity due to on going encroachment on and pollution of wild habitat through settlement and resource extraction.


NOTES OF THE SESSIONS
Notes were taken by volunteers and are not for citation.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Food Justice 1: Multiculturalism, Food Justice and Democracy
Food Justice : Strategizing Session

First Nations Resource Management - Food Sovereignty in Action
Growing Reconciliation through Indigenous Food Sovereignty
Indigenous Food Sovereignty and Food Insecurity: The need for action-oriented research
In the Year of Family Farming : Food Sovereignty is the Framework for Family Farm Resilience
Transitional Economies: Shifting the Paradigm with Forest and Freshwater Foods
Seeking Netukulimk Film Screening and Indigenous circle meeting
Migrant farm labour – Sharing Information and Strategies for a Just System in Canada
NiKigijavut Nunatsiavutinni, Our Food in Nunatsiavut: A Story of Community and Regional Food Planning to Action in Northern Labrador (missing)
Northern Farm Training Institute: A Path to Growing Food Security in the North (missing)


Food Justice 1: Multiculturalism, Food Justice and Democracy 

Co-chairs: Utcha Sawyers and Nydia Dauphin, FoodShare Toronto
Panel - Patrick Nadjiwon,Three Sisters House; Sabina Ali, Thorncliffe Park Women's Committee; Jacqueline Dwyer, Toronto Black Farmers and Growers Collective; A representative from the Mi'kmaw Native Friendship Centre; A representative from Hope Blooms; a representative from the Growing Strong Neighbourhoods project of the Immigrant Settlement and Integration Services; Dawn Morrison, Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty and Kwantlen Polytechnic University; Raquel Koenig, Fours Arrows Regional Health Authority, Manitoba; Vanessa Yu, CaterTO.

Workshop - Hosted by the Food Justice Network – a partnership between FoodShare Toronto and Food Secure Canada.
Food systems are not immune to the power dynamics prejudicial to traditionally marginalized groups. The Food Justice movement strips down issues related to food production and access to reveal the hidden layers of oppression within our food system (eg. higher levels of food insecurity, migrant workers issues). 
This workshop featured speakers sharing innovative work to dismantle racism in our food system and build inclusivity and cross cultural understanding.

Notes of the session

Food Justice : Strategizing Session

Workshop - Hosted by the Food Justice Network – a joint partnership between FoodShare Toronto and Food Secure Canada
Facilitators: Joseph LeBlanc, Food Secure Canada; Utcha Sawyers, FoodShare Toronto.

A session on best practices to address food challenges faced by racialized communities across the country and identify partnership opportunities to further this work in Canada.

Notes of the session


First Nations Resource Management - Food Sovereignty in Action

Presenters: Clifford Paul, Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources; Sana Kavanagh, Mi’kmaw Conservation Group, The Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq

Beginning with a screening of the short documentary 'Our Rightful Place', about the efforts to establish traditional Mi’kmaq management of moose in Unama’ki (Cape Breton), this session discussed how First Nations in Atlantic Canada are building community food and economy security by taking active roles in managing the natural resources that their communities depend on. Speakers provided examples of their work to support First Nations' equal participation in natural resource management and to enhance the use of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge in management processes. Discussion explored ways to increase community participation in natural resource management processes and how this work strengthens regional food systems and food sovereignty.

Notes of the session


Growing Reconciliation through Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Presenters: Larry McDermott, Plenty Canada, James Daschuck, University of Regina, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, author, Adrianne Lickers, Our Sustenance

Indigenous peoples shared the knowledge developed over 1000’s of years of various Indigenous food systems with settlers. The positioning of food as central to social, economic, environmental and spiritual relationships for thousands of years of sustainability was and is the cornerstone to contemporary Indigenous Food Sovereignty. But, the commodification of food, colonialism and a blind obsession with the virtues of modern progress has weakened Mother Earth’s capacity to support life. The presentation was followed by a talking circle to discuss how we can advance food sovereignty together, and in so doing grow our capacity for reconciliation.

Notes of the session


Indigenous Food Sovereignty and Food Insecurity: The need for action-oriented research

Workshop - Presenters: Kelly Skinner, Lakehead University; Joseph LeBlanc, President, True North Community Co-operative; Jackie Fletcher, Missanabie Cree First Nation; Kristin Burnett, Lakehead University

This panel was a facilitated discussion between researchers and community members about conducting research with Indigenous communities.  Over the last three decades, dozens of reports and papers have been written that identify food insecurity as a serious problem with grave health impacts for Indigenous people.  While valuable and interesting, research only confirms what we already know - that food insecurity is an urgent and pervasive public health issue for Indigenous people. Researchers need to start doing research that is community-driven and action-based. This panel included presentations by key food sovereignty activists from northern Canadian Indigenous communities to initiate a broader discussion about grassroots action-based community research.

Notes of the session


In the Year of Family Farming : Food Sovereignty is the Framework for Family Farm Resilience

Panel Presentation(s) - Presenters:  Joan Brady (NFU) et Pierre-Olivier Brassard (Union paysanne)

Amidst the Food and Agriculture Organizations proclaimed International Year of Family Farming, La Via Campesina stresses that small and agroecological family farming is a fundamental element of food sovereignty, an alternative model of food production which is free of both human and natural resource exploitation. La Via Campesina member organizations in Canada, the National Farmers Union and Union paysanne, shared their views on the challenges that face small and medium-scale family farming in Canada, as well as the solutions that are developed here and abroad by the movement for food sovereignty.

Notes of the session


Transitional Economies: Shifting the Paradigm with Forest and Freshwater Foods

Participatory Workshop - Presenters:  Meshan Sutherland, Fort Albany First Nation; Joseph Leblanc, True North Community Cooperative; Alexander Boulet, Federation of Ontario Naturalists

This workshop brought together three actionists in the areas of food sovereignty, land-use planning, community based research, and food activism to facilitate a discussion around the following premise:
In northern regions and forest-based communities, forest and freshwater foods and their ecosystems can act as a lynch-pin for transitional economic strategies seeking to move away from a global food system that fosters dependence and vulnerability, and towards locally based alternatives that promote independence and strengthen resilience.
It was an opportunity for fellow actionists to connect and explore what role natural resource management, public health, conservation and re-skilling might play in transitioning to a new food paradigm.

Notes of the session


Seeking Netukulimk Film Screening and Indigenous circle meeting

Participatory Workshop - Presenters:  Martha Stiegman, York University; Kerry Prosper, Paqtnkek Mi'kmaw Nation

Film screening of Seeking Netukulimk (22min), followed by an interactive discussion with co-directors Martha Stiegman (York University) and Kerry Prosper (Paqtnkek Mikmaq Nation) about Mikmaq food systems and video-based participatory research.
Kerry Prosper is a passionate fisher and Mikmaq elder, who is teaching his grandchildren how to exercise their treaty rights by fishing eels. But those rights come with sacred responsibilities to care for the land and waters of Mikmaki. Seeking Netukulimk is a lyrical exploration of the traditional laws that govern fishing in the Mikmaq world, and some of the political battles that have been fought to defend them.

Notes of the session


Migrant farm labour – Sharing Information and Strategies for a Just System in Canada.

Panel Presentation(s) - Presenters:  Bill Fairbairn, Inter Pares; Chris Ramsaroop, Justice for Migrant Workers; Wanda Thomas, PSAC-TBS

While migrant farm workers value the opportunity to come to Canada and earn more than they can in their home countries there are serious issues related to working conditions and human rights. Inter Pares and J4MW built on the workshop in the last assembly to discuss efforts in Canada to work for changes in policies and legislation affecting migrant workers. Since such laws are a provincial responsibility it is important to share information and strategies from groups working at this level. The aim was to raise awareness with a broader section of the food movement and explore collaboration.

Notes of the session


NiKigijavut Nunatsiavutinni, Our Food in Nunatsiavut: A Story of Community and Regional Food Planning to Action in Northern Labrador

Panel Presentation(s) - Presenters:  Kristie Jameson; Martha Winters-Abel, Juliana Flowers, Regina Dicker; Carlene Palliser, Food Security Network of Newfoundland and Labrador

This session showcased NiKigijavut Nunatsiavutinni: Our Food in Nunatsiavut, a project supporting community and regional food planning to develop culturally-appropriate solutions to improve access to healthy food in Nunatsiavut. Coordinators from Nain, Rigolet, and Hopedale shared stories of completing Community-led Food Assessments and highlighted the resulting food programs in their communities. This session explored our understanding of food security within northern, Inuit communities, discussed promising practices for food programs in the north, and showcased a process of community food planning. This session would be of particular interest to anyone living in or working within northern, remote communities on food issues.

The notes of this session are missing.



Northern Farm Training Institute: A Path to Growing Food Security in the North

Panel Presentation(s) - Presenters:  Kim Rapati, Northern Farm Training Institute

The Northern Farm Training Institute (NFTI) is a new experiential school based in Hay River, Northwest Territories (NWT). The school was mentioned in the newly released report entitled Aboriginal Food Security in Northern Canada as a promising, multidisciplinary approach to building food security in the North. Specifically, NFTI was mentioned as an innovator in infrastructure and local food production. It is an example for providing agriculture training in small and remote communities.

The notes of this session are missing.