MEDIA RELEASE January 2, 2019
As we enter 2020, we are facing a complex, tangled web of existential crises defined by climate change, capitalism and colonial rule. The Indigenous lens is ever more critical to understanding the interwoven strategies needed to untangle our children’s futures.
Centering Indigenous ecological knowledge, wisdom and values (IEK) will allow humanity the clearest line of sight on how to thrive and adapt to the storms, floods, fires, and droughts headed our way. Looking to the future with 20/20 vision calls on us to look to the past for guidance from IEK, the oldest living memories of humanity – best suited to guide us in a much needed just transition towards regeneration and healing in the land and food system.
All over the world, the songs and stories of subsistence hunting, fishing, farming and gathering have survived centuries of struggle against forces of colonial violence and dispossession, and they are the most meaningful alternative to the “dig, burn, drive, dump” industries driving climate change and ecological collapse. As Naomi Klein identifies in her book – This Changes Everything, “It is primarily such cultures that have kept this alternate way of seeing the world alive in the face of the bulldozers of colonialism and corporate globalization.”
For the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty (WGIFS), the compelling beauty of the intergenerational transmission of IEK is ultimately defined by the complexity in the natural systems that nourish us. “Our work centers the health and wellbeing of all beings including the salmon, the moose, the elk, and the people, plants and animals we rely on for our food,” said Dawn Morrison, Founder/Curator of the WGIFS. “The best way we can defend our grandchildren’s future is to protect, conserve and restore the health of the forests, fields and waterways where we hunt, fish, farm and gather our food,” she added.
The WGIFS stands in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs and Secwepemc Tiny House Warriors in their resolve to stop the federal and provincial governments and corporate proponents of oil and gas pipelines who pose significant social, cultural, and ecological risk to the health and integrity of Indigenous land and food systems. In addition to standing against the proliferation of toxic chemicals and loss of biodiversity caused by plantation forestry, industrial agriculture, and open net cage fish farms, front line activists are standing up in opposition to the risks associated with increased numbers of incidence of violence against women and children who live in close proximity to the man camps being set up for construction of oil and gas pipelines.
“In a similar spirit as Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandella who organized for a post-apartheid South Africa; and the African American Black – led Rainbow Coalitions of the 1960’s, we call on all people to stand in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples on the front lines of stopping widespread destruction to our forests, fields and waterways. We urge you to join the diverse and powerful alliances forming to serve the Earth and all of creation – aligned with the principles of Indigenous Food Sovereignty and social justice” stated Morrison”.
Dawn Morrison, Founder/Curator
Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty: 778.879.5106
Ananda Lee Tan, Communications Support
Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty 778-875-0696