World Food Day
October 16th marks World Food Day, which was founded by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization in 1945 to increase awareness of world hunger and poverty, inspire solutions for change, and create gratitude for the food we eat and the people who produce it.
Many Indigenous communities across Canada face challenges in the way of food security and food sovereignty.
What is the difference?
Food Secure Canada describes:
“Food security is a goal while food sovereignty describes how to get there. They differ in some key ways.”
So how can we as Canadians do our part to contribute to change?
1. Volunteer, donate, and/or share on social media. Check out our recent blog article on International Day of Charity highlighting various Indigenous charities, many of whom have food programs for Indigenous communities. 2. Support Indigenous food businesses. Here are a few directories that list Indigenous businesses to get you started:
a. Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business
b. Government of Canada Indigenous Business Directory
c. Native Women’s Association of Canada Business Directory
Photo: KPU ISFS Tsawwassen First Nation Farm School
3. Continue to learn and educate ourselves. Here are some quick links to get you started:
“Food security exists when all people, at all times, have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.”
“In a nutshell, food sovereignty is the right of peoples, communities and countries to define their own policies regarding their seeds, agriculture, labor, food and land.
These policies must be appropriate to their unique ecological, social, economic and cultural circumstances. Food Sovereignty includes the true right to food and to produce food.”
4. Be grateful for your food, and, as much as possible, buy locally, use food that is indigenous to where you live, and reduce waste.
Also learn Indigenous recipes! You can buy (or borrow from the library) Indigenous cookbooks. Here are some of our favourites:
tawâw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine by Shane M. Chartrand (raised by a Métis father and Mi’kmaw-Irish mother) with Jennifer Cockrall-King.
“Containing over 75 recipes, along with personal stories, culinary influences, and interviews with family members, tawâw is part cookbook, part exploration of ingredients and techniques, and part chef’s personal journal.”
Available online retailers, including Strong Nations and House of Anansi
Where People Feast: An Indigenous People's Cookbook By Dolly Watts and Annie Watts, who ran Vancouver’s Liliget Feast House until it closed in 2006 “Where People Feast, one of the few indigenous cookbooks available, focuses on Canadian west coast Native cuisine, which takes advantage of the area's abundant seafood, game, fruits, and vegetables -- with ingredients both exotic (oolichans, venison, grouse) and common (salmon, crab, berries). The book includes 16 full-colour photographs, and 120 delectable dishes that can be easily replicated by chefs at home; the authors also offer plenty of handy suggestions and substitution ideas.“
Available at online retailers.
A Feast for All Seasons: Traditional Native Peoples’ Cuisine By Andrew George Jr., Robert Gairns
“The 120 recipes include delectable, make-at home dishes such as Salmon and Fiddlehead Stirfry, Stuffed Wild Duck, Barbecued Oysters, Pan-fried Rabbit with Wild Cranberry Glaze, Clam Fritters, and Wild Blueberry Cookies. The book also features recipes with exotic ingredients that provide a fascinating glimpse into the history of Native cuisine: Moose Chili, Boiled Porcupine, Smoked Beaver Meat, and Braised Bear. This unique cookbook pays homage to an enduring food culture--grounded in tradition and the power of nature--that transcends the test of time.” Available at online retailers, including Strong Nations
Niqiliurniq: A Cookbook from Igloolik By Micah Arreak, Annie Désilets, Lucy Kappianaq, Glenda Kripanik, and Kanadaise Uyarasuk. “Food is life. Food is the key to vitality, goodness, happiness, and a strong body and mind.” Compiled by five women living in Igloolik, Nunavut, this collection of recipes brings together healthy traditional country foods―like seal, Arctic char, and caribou―with store-bought produce to create delicious meals that can be an alternative to pre-packaged foods.” Available at online retailers, including Strong Nations
We hope you join us today in taking the time to consider your food and eat with intention and gratitude!