Concurrent Sessions 5 | Feb 20, 2020 > (CS5-HE) Working Towards Resilient Indigenous Food Systems

(CS5-HE) Working Towards Resilient Indigenous Food Systems

posted on 10:01 AM, November 16, 2019

Moderator: Theresa Fresco

Adapting to a Warming Climate: Gardening Opportunities and Strategies in Subarctic Ontario, Canada

Presenters: Dr. Meaghan Wilton and Jassen Metatawabin

The warming climate of subarctic Ontario, Canada has created challenges to practising the Cree traditional way of life, such as the shifting of migratory game bird routes.  However, the warming climate has also presented the Cree with an opportunity − to grow vegetables and fruit under ambient conditions using agroforestry practices.

This two-speaker session will share agroforestry gardening strategies (e.g., willow (Salix sp.) wind-breaks and bush gardens) implemented by Fort Albany First Nation. The use of willow wind-breaks revealed benefits when employed in a community garden setting. The willow trees protected crops from wind, significantly improved phosphorus content of crops, and created a favourable microclimate for crop production. In Fort Albany, planting and harvesting times for crops coincide with times when people are at their camps for hunting activities. Thus, some community members have constructed bush gardens at their camps to have access to fresh vegetables while enjoying traditional activities.

Tłı̨chǫ Dǫtaàts’eedı (Tłı̨chǫ Sharing Food Amongst the People)

Presenters: Paul Cressman

Climate change is being felt acutely in Canada’s north. For the Tłı̨chǫ people in the Northwest Territories, adapting to climate change means addressing food security as well as creating opportunities to build cultural identity: as with the decline in Caribou populations, both are now under threat. Tłı̨chǫ Dǫtaàts’eedı is a simple program on paper with many complex real-life benefits. This presentation will describe how this community-driven climate change adaptation program addresses food security, builds cultural resilience, promotes intergenerational relationships and community support networks, prioritizes traditional knowledge, promotes cultural practices, and creates a culturally appropriate model for community justice.