From the ocean floor to the mountain top: Using the renewable energy of Mother Earth to grow food
Traditional food systems are sustainable in nature but have been forcibly altered among Indigenous communities in Canada as a consequence of the colonization of Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous Food Sovereignty (IFS) has recently emerged as a method to counteract the dismantling of traditional food systems as well as the negative health impacts of environmental dispossession on Indigenous communities. Growing, harvesting and preparing traditional foods, have been suggested as a potential resolution to the health, social and environmental issues facing Indigenous communities. Through community-based participatory research, rooted in Indigenous methodologies, this research project explored community perspectives on IFS in T’Sou-ke First Nation. Through community collaboration, this project organized a sharing circle to explore community perspectives on Indigenous Food Sovereignty in T’Sou-ke First Nation. A thematic analysis of the sharing circle held with community members identified the influence of traditional knowledge on environmental concern, sustainable practices and a relationship with the land. Participants discussed memories, traditional foods, current sovereignty projects revealing concerns for their local ecosystem as well as a desire to preserve its natural state for generations to come. Further exploration of community perspectives in future research will generate a greater understanding of the impacts of IFS projects on community environmental concerns and the sharing of traditional knowledge.