Recipe for decolonization and resurgence

Story of O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation’s indigenous food sovereignty movement
01 January 2013

In the era of “contemporary colonialism,” food sovereignty for indigenous peoples is a necessary struggle for cultural survival. In a wealthy country like Canada, Indigenous populations are deprived of basic necessities needed to maintain health, living in a state that institutionalizes poverty.

However, despite the state-controlled political economy, indigenous scholars argue that the path to food sovereignty, decolonization and resurgence is possible. Communities and individuals are gaining strength from ancestral language, knowledge sharing, traditional and locally available diet, spiritual enrichment and most importantly community solidarity. This paper considers how OPCN’s Ithinto Mechisown (food from the land) program is promoting sustainable traditional teaching and indigenous sovereignty through containing seeds for decolonization, First Nation resurgence and OPC peoplehood.

Asfia Gulrukh Kamal PhD candidate, Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba Ms. Kamal has a Masters in Cultural Anthropology from University of Manitoba and Masters of Social Science from Women’s Studies, Dhaka University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Her doctoral research focuses on food sovereignty and community economic development with the O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation in northern Manitoba.

Shirley Thompson Associate Professor, Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitob. Dr. Thompson has a doctoral degree in Adult Education and Community Development and a Master of Environmental Engineering, both from the University of Toronto. Dr. Thompson has been elected as the co-president of the Environmental Studies Association in Canada for the last four years and is a board member of Food Secure Canada and the Association of Nonprofit and Social Economy Research.

Food Sovereignty: a critical dialogue, 14 - 15 September, New Haven.