Bridging Place and Social Spaces: Building Healthful Relationships Towards Indigenous Food Sovereignty in Southwestern Ontario

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Author(s): Hannah Tait Neufeld, The University of Guelph; Adrianne Lickers Xavier, Royal Roads University; Kelly Gordon, Six Nations Health Services


Traditional foods contribute towards the holistic wellbeing of Indigenous peoples. Only a quarter of First Nation adults consume wild meat and fewer (18.6%) include wild plants and berries in their diets. This transition away from nutrient-rich locally harvested foods is associated with significant health impacts. Research investigating dietary practices has focused on intake, with less attention given to understanding how knowl- edge access and the loss of traditional food knowledge may impact local food security, particularly in southern or urban contexts. First Nation families in southern Canada frequently experience food insecurity, and limited access to traditional foods or being out on the land.Research Aims: In an effort address research gaps, advance local health-related knowledge and community needs identified in southwestern Ontario, this participatory research project aims to: address traditional food access and knowledge barriers by documenting community case studies; integrate inter-generational knowledge pathways and resources aimed at building relationships; and explore innova- tive land-based practices across environments.
Oral Presentation