1. July 13 – Following the leadership of the BC Food Systems Network Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty (WGIFS), the proposed Gathering of Indigenous Food Trading and Sharing (GIFTS) is being planned on July 13, 2016. GIFTS will provide the time and space for Indigenous harvesters to trade and share Indigenous foods and knowledge generated in inter-tribal trade relationships. The gathering is a traditional camp style gathering with free camping and all meals provided. We welcome contributions of Indigenous foods to contribute to the feasts.
Building on the conversational learning and ancient traditional trade practices and protocols, the WGIFS will realize more fully how the social and cultural values encoded within traditional trading and giving economies can inform the development of mutual aid networks. The intention is to increase the number of trading relationships in traditional trade networks, and apply an innovative approach to 1). addressing one or more of the social determinants of health, and 2). advocating for conservation of Indigenous bio-cultural heritage in the land and food system research, action and policy proposals.
2. July 14 – We are excited to celebrate our 10th Anniversary Strategic Meeting of the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty at the En’owkin Centre in Penticton, BC, home of our very first Indigenous food sovereignty conference that took place in August of 2006. The WGIFS would like to thank the Syilx Nation and En’owkin Centre for their generous hospitality, as well as our financial sponsor the First Nations Health Authority.
The 10th annual WGIFS Strategic meeting is being planned on the day following GIFTS (July 14), and will provide the time and space to network and introduce the innovative concepts and vision of the project, and increase awareness and sensitivity to the diverse socio-political realities and cultures that are affirmed in Indigenous relationships to food, land, and inter-tribal trading and giving economies.
3. July 15, 16 & 17 – The 10th annual WGIFS meeting and GIFTS will lead into the 18th Annual BC Food Systems Network Gathering being planned for July 15, 16, & 17 at the same venue. Following the theme of Reconciling Cultures:Reconnecting Foodscapes, the BCFSN Gathering will provide the time and space for WGIFS members and Indigenous participants to reconcile Indigenous food systems with sustainable agri-food system issues, concerns, situations and strategies.
The cross cultural conversations will increase community resiliency by flexing our ability to overcome cross cultural learning tension and identify potential that exists within the gaps of knowledge where Indigenous food system meets the rapidly expanding movement of sustainable agriculture.