Indigenous food sovereignty community wellbeing amidst a pandemic. Activating Cwelcwelt Kuc – ” We are Well” through transformational learning in a network of community covid care – upholding a decolonizing model to Indigenous health food sovereignty.
Growing evidence demonstrates that in the present health care system, traditional wellness and healing practices rooted in ancestral knowledge and land-based pedagogies are enabling factors that promote Indigenous peoples’ sense of wellbeing (Fiedeldey-Van Dijk, 2017; Sasakamoose, et al, 2017). Specifically, traditional women’s teachings and ecological knowledge, water and health revitalization, land-based pedagogies, and food sovereignty are considered to be important contributing factors to health and well-being (Bruyere et al, 2020; Redvers, et al 2020 & Sanderson, et al., 2020). This CIHR funded project will conduct an Indigenous, community-centered, evaluation of the Indigenous Food and Freedom School (IFFS) and its ability to strengthen community-level well-being and resilience in the face of COVID-19. The project will apply the decolonizing food systems transformative framework developed by the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty (WGIFS) to promote culturally safe practices in a community of practice. This project aims to operationalize our vision of ‘A just transition to a regenerative tribal economy informed by Indigenous food sovereignty, paradigms, principles and protocols.’ The IFFS was initiated by the WGIFS in April 2019 to develop programs, policies and interventions for a cohort in Chase, Secwepemc, to expand Indigenous food system networks and economies of solidarity and mutual aid. The project will apply Indigenous land-based pedagogies and a trauma/genocide-informed approach to develop, test and evaluate a series of intra-active activities, and regeneration, health and wellbeing of communities of focus where lack of adequate housing makes social distancing or quarantining an issue.