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Because indigenous groups are unable to conduct much if any conservation work if their livelihood needs are not met, ACT works with its partners to develop both sustainable traditional agriculture and income generation programs. For ACT's indigenous partners, the "sustainable" part of "sustainable development" typically is second nature, but they often need help in identifying market needs and training in product development.
In cases where the object is not to generate income but merely to provide for their own sustenance, they may need resources to implement self-generated, small-scale farming projects that are based on traditional ecological methods. Where applicable, traditional methods are stressed in ACT's sustainable development programs in order to promote indigenous...
Blockbuster Hollywood director James Cameron said that he is committed to helping indigenous peoples around the world who, like the fictitious Na’vi in his film Avatar, are “caught at the tectonic interface between the expansion of our technical civilization into the few remaining preserves of this planet.”
Several months after the release of Avatar, which quickly became the top grossing film of all time, and two days after the release of the DVD on Earth Day, Cameron was invited to speak at two events on April 24 that were associated with the Ninth Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues taking place in New York City from April 19-30.
The Coastal Guardian Watchmen Network is made up of First Nations on the North and Central Coast of British Columbia who act as the eyes and the ears on our traditional lands and waters to protect valuable cultural and natural resources.
We monitor the impacts of resource activities such as fishing, logging and tourism, on the health of species that are important to our people. We have the authority under our traditional laws to protect important wildlife species such as bears and wolves, food sources such as crabs, salmon, and shellfish, and significant cultural resources such as middens, village sites and traditional harvesting grounds.
As neighbouring Nations we hold a common vision to protect the resources in our territories.
Through the Coastal Guardian...
The Coastal Learning Communities Network is working to revitalize Canada’s coastal communities by empowering coastal residents through shared learning, collective action, and the embracing of indigenous approaches to natural resource management. Its members live on Canada's three coasts and along the shores of major freshwater bodies.
The Network has developed four overlapping spheres of program activities: story telling, focused issue analysis, learning circles, and communications technology. The Network strives to be inclusive; welcoming First Nations and non-Aboriginal participants, university-based and community-based learners. The Network continues to extend its outreach to other First Nations, coastal communities, universities, and policy makers.
People who are...
Feasting for Change is an ongoing project inspired by the wonderful knowledge of traditional food practices among First Nations community members.
The Aboriginal Health Department, VIHA Nutritionists, and First Nation Communities have been working together since May 2007 to enhance food sovereignty among the Aboriginal Communities of South Vancouver Island through traditional, local “feasting.”
The Feasts serve as a platform to support an open discussion of community issues and the sharing of traditional knowledge between Elders and youth. They offer both rural and urban First Nations communities the chance to experience a meal created in a time-honoured way, and assist in bringing communities “back to basics.”
In other words, the Feasts are a way for community...
The Healing through the Art of Storytelling – Stseptekwle Festival is an annual event that consist of a series of interactive and participatory activities that take place from May to October. The festival organizes the time and space for artists, mentors and participants of all age groups and levels of storytelling ability (advanced, intermediate, and beginner) to come together to share cultural teachings and express present day experiences in a positive, supportive and compassionate environment. Following the theme of food, land and culture, intermediate and advanced storytellers have the opportunity to profile and model their artistic skills and abilities through traditional storytelling methodologies. Beginners are given an opportunity to develop their talent through either...
Indigenous Food Cooperatives
The Indigenous food cooperatives initiative was suggested by 3 Indigenous women at the 2009 BC Food Systems Gathering, as a mutual challenge to revitalize bioregional or local Indigenous food systems, security and sovereignty, by supporting, revitalizing or recreating Indigenous hunting, fishing, gathering, farming and trade practices in our local areas. Ideas for revitalizing or recreating these practices have included:
• the formation of informal cooperative groups to support, find, learn from, or train local hunters or fishers, gatherers or farmers, to obtain and process Indigenous or bioregionally appropriate and safe foods (including water), for redistribution among cooperative members
• the rediscovery and reclamation of old
Mentor, grassroots community leader, activist, volunteer, traditional harvester (berries and traditional medicines), organic gardener, role model, Secewepemc culture and language teacher, Doctor of Education.
Little Shuswap’s Community Garden Project (this is a “before” picture.)
Welcome to our soon-to-be Community garden! Thanks to the New Horizons for Seniors Program for providing funding. The garden is located outside the new Wellness Centre and is accessible to the local day care as well.
We will be involving community members in the planting, harvesting and preservation stages of food, with the hope that they will become interested in growing their own gardens. We will also have a traditional plants garden, that will also provide an outdoor gathering place, where local knowledge and skills can be exchanged.
Champion for Community Garden
Stella Gauthier from Saulteau First Nations in Northeastern B.C. was very instrumental in keeping the new community garden planted, watered, weeded and harvested.
She spent hundreds of hours over the past summer ensuring that deer and horses were kept at bay, and that the grounds received all the TLC a new garden needs.
In addition to weekly thinning and producing fresh romaine, lettuce, spinach and Swiss Chart, by the end of the summer Stella oversaw harvesting close to 1500 pounds of potatoes, carrots, squash, rutabega, turnips, broccoli, onions, garlic, beans, peas and corn.
The gardeners decided to donate 10% of their proceeds to a huge Harvest Feast for the entire community, while the rest was preserved for future use.