What is Indigenous food sovereignty? What are the salient features that distinguish it from the wider food sovereignty movement in Canada?”
The land, water, soil, air, plants, and fungi are part of the indigenous food Sovereignty. The food power is related to the origins of the human beings and they have ruled over the food they were growing on their lands. The individuals are contributing from years on this land to produce the food and they have the indigenous food sovereignty. The part that made the indigenous food system cannot work separately as they are all important at a time to grow the food. The indigenous food system helps to create a positive relationship in the society that is called the healthy interdependent relationship involving both the economic powers and the economies of different regions.
The energy transfer is also supported by the indigenous system with the help of the agriculture that is settled with the help of colonization. Different world regions and powers produce a variety of foods according to the taste of the region that are rice, corn, squash, berries, potato herbs, and drugs without acknowledgment and compensations. The land and foods made and create the natives (indigenous).
The language concepts are introduced about the food sovereignty recently in the societies according to the Morrison. With the passage of time, the traditional harvesting strategies were introduced like fishing, harvesting, cultivating, gathering and hunting. The traditional localized foods were recognized by the 27 nations of indigenous people. Every individual has a unique relationship with its food and land within corresponding regions.
There is no specific definition of the indigenous food sovereignty but the recent definitions are based on the relationship of the individual with the land and the cultures that give rise to the food sovereignty. It is seen with the running time the earth erosion that is leading to reduced production of some foods that needs better soil conditions for their production. This happened because of the environmental changes and the ecosystem issues that are because of the industrialists. There is a need to develop an in-depth cross-cultural understanding of the production of the foods that are part of the regions and the individuals need that food for healthy growth. This can be possible by transferring the energy from one region to another. In an indigenous society, the capability to grow healthy foods is connected to maintain the healthy neighboring system that is called an ecosystem.
Four major principles are described of the sovereignty that helps to understand the indigenous communities that need food badly
Sacred or Divine Sovereignty
It is believed that food is a gift from God for the individuals and there must not involve the government or political laws to compel it. Indigenous food sovereignty can be developed by looking into the old relationship of the individuals with plants, animal, and land that develop food for the individuals.
Continuous practice of maintaining a positive relationship with the land and an active action is the basic step to create food sovereignty. Individuals, family and community relationships the fundamental parts to achieve the indigenous food sovereignty.
The capability and the response action to maintain a healthy relationship with the freedom to grow culturally adapted foods is referred to as the self-determination. Self-determination shows the power to take decision freely about the food, production, harvesting, growing eating and hunting.
Legislations and Policy
Community laws are being focused by the indigenous food sovereignty. The laws are related to the food and its proper harvesting for future usage. These are in fact economic activities that are being observed through the legislation policy.
The indigenous food sovereignty (IFS) group was started in 2006 for protecting the rights of indigenous food rights. The working group (WIFSG) was created to understand the needs of food sovereignty. Different protocols are also used by the WINGS to analyze the problems critically and to prepare the strategies for Indigenous food sovereignty for the cultured land and health sustainability. The group is basically working by adding the traditional hunters, harvesters, fishers, and farmers from the rural areas. They can demonstrate the actual needs to grow, harvest and create indigenous food sovereignty in the regions where they are living.
The role of IFS is simple and they need to ensure the food production culturally and traditionally as in Canada. There are a number of the requirements of the local farmers to grow the food including the elements of the production. The production of the products from traditional local areas will surely make the relationships better with the external countries (regions, nations) (Desmarais, 2014). The politics can be involved imposing some critical traditional values in regions and in different communities like if one area was good in the production of rice then it will work on it again by taking help from the government for the needful. Secondly, the authorities must have some limitations towards these traditional food producers.
There are some activists in the communities that are not equally related with the IFS. Most of the features of the IFS are correlated with political sovereignty. It has been seen that the IFS has its major importance as in political demands and does not consider as small but it is referring to some critical values that are indigenous and these should be worked on by the native powers. Just the IFS is not the complete political sovereignty and this is not the accurate measurement to consider it the whole sovereignty. The IFS is basically crucial partner the indigenous sovereignty movement. In Canada, food practices are one of the significant features of indigenous culture. The modern strategies are also referring to the production as acceptable and the combination of the basic beliefs tends to create new production opportunities (Patel, 2009).
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The environmental movement in Canada is opposition and its big example is the petroleum pipeline opposition like the keystones and North Gateway lines. Traditional food values in Canada are general as all over the world and the relationship between the landowners and the traditional crop harvesting is also the same.
There is a new world trend that is leading towards the change in the system called the pure tradition. This actually happens by incorporating the modern techniques of food production. For this new Research Centre is established by the government that will create new techniques of the growth of traditional food plants in a short time. The farmers will also be demonstrated by the officials for producing effective crops.
It is believed that communication between the traditional regions is necessary for knowing the actual needs of production. The local stores that are non-indigenous can also be involved to participate in the purchase of the local foods that are being grown by the farmers. This is the traditional selling approach that will help to grow the farmer’s expectations and they will get the benefit of traditional food. The farmers will be provided with the new instruments that can help them to work effortlessly in short time growth of the local foods and some other facilities like the water and fertilizers will also be provided to make the process of the production smooth.
Desmarais, A. A. (2014). Farmers, foodies, and First Nations: getting to food sovereignty in Canada. Journal of Peasant Studies, 41(6), 1153-1173.
Patel, R. (2009). Food sovereignty. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 36(3), 663-706.