Asfia Gulrukh Kamal
My current research interest focuses on the interconnection between colonization, food, sovereignty and community economic development from a socioeconomic standpoint particularly in First Nation Reserve areas in northern Manitoba. I am working with O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation (South Indian Lake). I am in the fieldwork stage of my food system and the local perspective of sustainability. I am aiming to accomplish three objectives during my fieldwork:
- To create educational resources for northern communities, such as instructional videos related to health and traditional food production, and to do this using different participatory methods
- To help coordinate a country food program for Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation
- To support the community create economic benefits through the food program activities while facilitating culturally-appropriate community-led development
My research is basically driven by a bottom up approach where the community champions, elders, health coordinators, youth leaders and local political organizations are taking the lead. This study idea stemmed from my experience as a part of Dr. Shirley Thompson’s research team in 2009. We did a household food security survey in 14 northern Manitoba communities. The findings were that food insecurity in northern Manitoba is eight times higher than in the rest of Canada. This sparked my interest to continue working in the critical field of food justice.