A Celebration of The Spirit of Wild Salmon: Calling out to BIPOC Artists, Matriarchs and Fisherfolks!

August 7, 2020

The Wild Salmon Caravan ‘spawned’ at the Wild Salmon Convergence in 2014, a think-tank community gathering that brought together Indigenous fisher-people, community leaders, and researchers. The purpose was to discuss issues, concerns, situations and strategies for Indigenous knowledge in wild salmon conservation that addressed the record low numbers of wild salmon returning to the Adams/Shuswap Lake Watershed to spawn. 

In the spirit of Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela who called for Rainbow Peoples to unite in a post-apartheid South Africa, as well as the Rainbow Coalitions of the 1960’s that called for revolutionary solidarity across black, brown, Indigenous and poor white communities, we invite Peoples of all colours to stand with Indigenous communities to stop the widespread destruction of wild salmon and their habitat in the forests, fields and waterways.

Following the theme of Rainbow Warriors, we call on you to join us in lively and colourful artistic and cultural expressions of our love for wild salmon in the Wild Salmon Caravan 2020 parade and art exhibit being planned at Strathcona Park on September 19, 2020. An online panel presentation on the topic of Indigenous Peoples and Wild Salmon Conservation is also being planned for September 20, 2020. The events are being planned by the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty in partnership with Vines Art Festival. 

Wild salmon are our most important Indigenous food and cultural and ecological keystone species. We hope you will join us and participate in the following ways. All events are being planned following COVID-19 safe protocols and will be livestreamed. Physical space will be limited to observe physical distancing. 

  1. Procession: If you would like to participate in the ceremonial procession (zoom accessible) on September 19th in either regalia or costume please contact Bear at. fieldsofliberty@gmail.com. Observing COVID-19 safe protocols. 
  2. If you feel inspired to create visual, audio, wearable, or performing art please apply to Heather Lamoureux with a brief description of your idea. Everyone is invited to create art, honorariums will be offered to selected BIPOC artists. heather@vinesartfestival.com
    • We can showcase videos that are 1 – 3 minutes long 
    • We can showcase photos and visual art designs either online or in print, banners are also welcome! 

Please send your idea to Heather by August 24th. 

More info about past Salmon Caravans can be found in our online 2019 photo exhibit here: https://vinesartfestival.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/WSC-Brochure-2019.pdf

20/20 Vision: Rooted in Indigenous Ecological Knowledge & Food Justice

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”.

Media Contacts:

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

Planning for Indigenous Social and Ecological Resilience in Times of the COVID-19 and Climate Crisis

Prepared by: Dawn Morrison, Curator, Research and Relationships Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty.

May 5, 2020

The unpredictability of climate crisis (i.e. the lasting cooler temperatures throughout the spring), as well as the COVID -19 public health crisis has challenged the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty (WGIFS) – Indigenous Food and Freedom School (IFFS) and Wild Salmon Caravan (WSC) to demonstrate a chaordic leadership style.

Since the COVID-19 lockdown we have convened monthly webinars titled: 1). Putting our Solidarity Economy into Action During times of Crisis, and 2). Indigenous Resilience

– Fraction Action Plans. The ability to find order in chaos is no stranger to Indigenous peoples who have experienced and overcome high rates of stress and uncertainty throughout the process of colonization where many experience historical and ongoing systemic injustices. Building on the relationships we have constellated prior to the lockdown, we continue to find ways to articulate proposals and plans to address the huge disparity in the social determinants of health and health outcomes associated with; poverty, food insecurity, lack of affordable housing, lack of access to land in our traditional harvesting areas and rural home communities, to the lack of infrastructure in both urban areas for growing, harvesting and procuring food.

Among the most marginalized in socio-economic status, there is a critical need for more adequate access to clean, healthy land and infrastructure to help us respond to our own needs for adequate amounts of clean, healthy and culturally appropriate foods in tougher times ahead. As the mainstream economy collapses due to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 and the climate crisis, we are appreciating and inquiring into the blood memory that enabled our ancestors to survive the last smallpox epidemic and great depression of the 1930’s.

During the COVID-10 lockdown, the WGIFS has been consolidating funding, knowledge, and networks at various scales, community, regional, tribal and inter-tribal in BC and beyond to our settler friends and allies.  Building on our 2020 Vision, we feel it is more important now than ever to continue advocating for the creation of an Indigenous foodscape that would breathe some much needed social and ecological resilience into Strathcona Park, by restoring Indigenous foodlands, and establishing an Indigenous seed heritage garden, as well as an Indigenous feast hall complete with large scale community kitchen for preparing, preserving and storing large amounts of food.

The crises call for deep, lasting, and meaningful changes that have enabled Indigenous peoples to maintain the oldest living memories of what it means to regenerate and heal from multiple layers of stress and trauma associated with the historical and ongoing social and environmental injustices. This calls for a radical revisioning of Indigenous concepts of time, humanity and nature within our collective right mind.

The WGIFS is developing an emancipatory Indigenous Food and Freedom School toolit that we are aiming to launch in September 2020, and have developed fractal action plans to create a critical pathway for our members, and friends and allies working to support us in solidarity and mutual aid. The fractal action plans are intended to give structure and cultural safety to scale out our organizational capacity to serve as intermediaries in Indigenous territories, and lead and influence regeneration and healing of Indigenous land and food systems at multiple scales, from the micro to macro.

The Wild Salmon Caravan celebrations, parades, feasts, and curated exhibit at Strathcona Fieldhouse is being re-configured to the virtual reality during the COVID-19, and we are currently seeking funding for a paid Coordinator’s position to help us convene a Council of Coast Salish Matriarchs to guide us in facilitating the larger vision as intermediaries and guests of the xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm (Musqueam), sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil

Waututh), and sḵwx̱ wú7mesh (Squamish) nations

The strength of Indigenous food sovereignty has always been in our networks of giving, sharing and trading. We are extending, rather than intensifying, our growing, harvesting, and sharing, and trading of seeds, land, food, and consolidating technical, human, and financial support within our networks. We call on the Rainbow Peoples (Black Brown, Red, Yellow and White people to donate to our Solidarity Fund to help us build capacity to respond to our own needs for adequate amounts of healthy culturally appropriate foods in times of need.

Stay tuned for more information coming soon on upcoming announcements on how you can support the Indigenous women, lifegivers, caregivers, artists and traditional knowledge holders that are on the front lines of much needed deep and meaningful change.

For more information on how you can support contact:

Dawn Morrison, dawn.morrison@wgifs.org

Visit our website: www.indigenousfoodsystems.org, and www.wildsalmoncaravan.ca

Wild Salmon Caravan 2020: Rainbow Warriors

SEPTEMBER 19th, 2020

Call to Action – Join the procession and presentations via livestreaming on facebook Wild Salmon Caravan.

As we are following strict COVID 19 protocols we are calling for people to join the procession and presentations ONLINE.  If you have not been personally invited to the event we ask that you join us virtually via livestreaming on facebook Wild Salmon Caravan.

8:30am –  Ceremony False Creek near Science World

10-11am – Procession via Prior to Venables, Georgia, Hawk, to Strathcona Park

11am – Photo and Art Exhibit Tours at Strathcona Park

12-1pm – Presentations by Artists in Residence and Wild Salmon Caravan Leaders Dawn Morrison and Eddie Gardner.  Honouring Wild Salmon and Indigenous Foodlands at Tent City

 1pm –  Closing

SEPTEMBER 20th, 2020

Time: 11 am – 12:30 pm
Via livestream facebook

Register to get a reminder: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/indigenous-peoples-and-wild-salmon-conservation-tickets-119956283473

Join us on Sept 20, 2020 with this amazing line up of Indigenous thought leaders who will come together for this panel discussion!

Each speaker will discuss how Indigenous Peoples are important for conservation of our important finned relatives, as well as how we must reconceptualize a framework for both coastal and inland fisheries policies, planning and governance.

Panelists will represent Indigenous knowledge, wisdom, and values ‘grounded in practice’ within inter-tribal networks where the strength of Indigenous fisheries governance lives.

The discussion will be moderated by Dawn Morrison, Curator of Research and Relationships for the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty.

Share widely and stay tuned for more detailed information coming soon!