IFSS Press Release

IFSS Press Release

Four Arrows Regional Health Authority would like to announce the Inaugural Indigenous Food Sovereignty Summit for March 1, 2 & 3, 2016 in Winnipeg Manitoba at the Canad Inns Destination Centre Club Regent Casino Hotel.

Four Arrows Regional Health Authority has been working with its member First Nation communities for over ten years to create local food movements, inevitably creating movements across the country. These programs often focus on communities having access to local and healthy food, however a greater resurgence of culture is happening across the country as people go back to the land. This resurgence connects people to the language, places to our ceremonies, and food to our traditional teachings. In practice, this is Indigenous food sovereignty: having the ability to determine what food systems look like and reconnecting people to their food sources. It’s a look back at the food practices our communities have used for centuries while looking forward to reclaim our food identities.

LogoLead by Byron Beardy who has travelled all across Turtle Island talking about Indigenous food. As the Food Security Coordinator at Four Arrows Regional Health Authority Inc, Byron has seen first-hand the interest and need for Indigenous communities to reconnect with their food systems. Byron considers himself to be connected to Mother Earth and has found a definite need for this knowledge within himself. Indeed, this is how the vision for the Indigenous Food Sovereignty Summit began. First came the questions: What is food? What does it mean to Indigenous people? And how can we move away from thinking of food as merely sustenance?

To answer these questions requires moving away from a food system that is outside of Indigenous people, and broadening the scope of what an Indigenous food system could be. Too often we hear stories of food insecurity, of people going hungry, in Indigenous communities. Those stories are important, but so are the stories of how we are spending time on the land, growing, gathering, hunting, fishing, and trapping. In many cases, these traditional food practices; the knowledge, the ability and skills around the practices are already present in communities. But it often exists in small pockets, and there aren’t a lot of opportunities to share. It’s time to share stories that can help “reignite the fire within our communities,” as Byron calls it. It begs the question: What is Indigenous Food Sovereignty?

For the Indigenous of Manitoba this looks different from place to place, and nation to nation. It’s time to start sharing these practices and learning the food ways of our people. Each of the five historic First Nations will be represented at the food summit: the Dene, Dakota, Cree, Ojibwe, and Oji-Cree and will share their food stories and insights into their food culture. This is a gathering that is dedicated to being organized by Indigenous people, for Indigenous people, and with Indigenous people. It’s a gathering to spark that resurgence, to share, to laugh and to eat and to listen with our full hearts. We hope you’ll join us for the Indigenous Food Sovereignty Summit, March 1, 2, & 3rd in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

For more information:

Contact Gord Petruic – Communications

204-947-2397 or gpetuic@fourarrowsrha.ca

For registration details: www.localandjust.com

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