Recapping The Indigenous School Food Circle's Webinar
Growing food is an essential practice that connects Indigenous communities with traditional food sources, promotes cultural practices, and provides access to fresh and healthy food. School food programs are an excellent way to engage students in learning about growing food and connecting with their land and culture.
Our Indigenous School Food Circle, an initiative we're proud to co-host with the Coalition for Healthy School Food and Farm to Cafeteria Canada, led "Growing Food on the Land in Indigenous School Communities", a webinar showcasing how school food programs are engaging students in food forests and growing food on the land.
During the webinar, speakers reflected on their experiences in establishing and supporting school food programs, the benefits of their programs for students and their broader communities, and provided tips for others who want to involve their students and school community in growing food.
As a member of the Kamloops Food Policy Council, Lisa Troy describes the challenges around accessing healthy food in food deserts, noting:
There is no direct access to good, healthy, regular food, except what you grow for yourself.”
At Willow Creek Health, Jennifer Cameron and Kristen Schott highlight the importance of creating sustainable food systems in schools:
“The funding we received from Canadian Feed The Children helped set us up for success and continue our food forest... We want to be able to support a community grocery store, because we don’t have one here... We would love to grow enough food for our schools. They don’t currently have a lunch program and we would love to grow enough food to support a program.”
You can watch the full recording below and access some of the materials referenced during the webinar here:
- Slides from the event with links to more information and resources
- Pavilion and other garden structure templates
- Arctic Acres Growing Domes
- Farm to Cafeteria Canada Learning Circle Resources
- Companion planting resources | West Coast Seeds companion planting guide | Do a search for the concept of “Guilds” (permaculture)
- Northern Saskatchewan Vegetable Gardening Manual
- Canadian Feed the Children’s podcast First Comes Food (episode 1: What’s a Food Forest)
The Indigenous School Food Circle aims to inform advocacy for funding for school food programs in Indigenous communities and for Indigenous students. It also supports replication, networking, and sharing of best practices among those who are coordinating and supporting school food programs in Indigenous communities.
Listen to our podcast First Comes Food, where we go on a journey through Indigenous food forests in Saskatchewan, farming communities in African countries and early childhood community programs in Bolivia to meet the people who are growing food security for everyone. Their stories may surprise you.
First Comes Food is now streaming on our website and wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts.