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How to rebuild First Nations food systems in B.C. – The Narwhal

Oct. 25, 2023

Communities are working toward food sovereignty one morsel at a time. Meet the experts bringing food to people’s plates and pushing for societal change

This story is part of Nourish, a series about how First Nations are fuelling their people with sustainably harvested, healthy and culturally safe foods amid a changing climate

When Jacob Beaton bought a small farm in 2018 in Kitwanga, B.C., First Nations guests began pouring in.

Beaton, who is from Gitxaała Nation and farms on Gitxsan territory, says locals told him that 60 or 70 years ago, there were hundreds of acres of Gitxsan farms and ranches around where his farm stands today.

“It was really powerful because everybody who came had these memories of previous generations of Indigenous families farming,” Beaton says.

But government policies targeted Indigenous foods.

“There were amendments to the Indian Act, starting in the late 1800s and then going through to the 1950s, to completely destroy Indigenous food production because Indigenous people were powerful with food,” he says.

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