Food Steps Forward: Nurturing the Soul

What digestible pieces nourish many growing Indigenous communities’ sustainable food systems? A transformative movement is unfolding, one that redefines the essence of nourishment and sustainability. Simply put, it’s a testament to the profound relationship between Indigenous peoples and their food systems. A celebration of cultural resilience, environmental stewardship, and the powerful bonds that food creates within and across communities.

Food Matters Manitoba supports a diverse team of innovative and future leaders working together to build robust food systems supporting food security and sovereignty within different Indigenous communities. Their expansive programs initiate community connections and mobilize an industry support network. These partnerships are vital in supporting sustainable food solutions. Agriculture, hunting, and fishing stay alive with these deep connections and supports. As a result, jobs and purpose are in motion. This work moves forward, acknowledging the natural land elements.

So, what essential elements are required to ignite action and maintain the synergy in sustainable food systems? For Fox Lake Cree Nation community member Demian Lawrenchuk, “This one act of feeding ourselves is giving us everything back.” In other words, the community supports their well-being and independence. This act is rooted in the communities’ strong connection to the land and commitment to each other. This shift takes flight with strength, resiliency, resourcefulness, and continuity of support. These elements are life ingredients for many Indigenous communities. The working partnerships feed the sustainable food systems. With a solution-seeking approach, the communities’ persistence and sharp land-based abilities create a new cycle, moving forward with the food steps that nurture well-being.

Food is life—a life cycle interconnected. A land-based education nourishes the next generation of experts. Empowerment is seeded when rekindling the spirited self. The communities’ interconnectedness supports their mental, physical, and spiritual health. There is a great life worth living by seeing the connection between life systems and food as a source of medicine that naturally nourishes the body. Nature’s synergy is fuel for the communities’ sovereignty. By feeding the physical, emotional, and spirited self, Indigenous Peoples can breathe life into their relationship with the land and each other. Food is sacred—a ceremony—life.

Learn more about the revitalization of indigenous food systems at the Cultivate Sustainability Conference on February 6, 2024 at the Victoria Inn in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Attend our special workshop where you will delve into success stories that underscore the synergy of community engagement and strategic partnerships in cultivating a robust food system.