20/20 Vision: Rooted in Indigenous Ecological Knowledge & Social Justice
Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty
20/20 Vision – Rooted in Indigenous Ecological Knowledge & Social Justice
As we enter 2020, facing a complex web of existential crises defined by climate change, capitalism and colonial rule, an Indigenous lens is ever more critical to understanding the interwoven strategies we need to untangle our children’s futures.
To be able to look into the future with 20/20 vision, we need to learn from our past, and centering Indigenous ecological knowledge, wisdom and values (IEK) will allow us the clearest line of sight for tackling, and adapting to the storms, floods, fires, and droughts headed our way. IEK – humanity’s oldest living memories, would also be our best guide for a much-needed just transition towards a regenerative economy that serves to heal, restore and revitalize our lives, lands and food systems.
All over the world, Indigenous songs and stories of subsistence hunting, fishing, farming and gathering have survived centuries of struggle against forces of colonial violence and dispossession. These stories provide future generations the best pathways for overcoming the “dig, burn, drive, dump” industrial paradigm causing 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 strategic purpose of intergenerational sharing of IEK is defined by the complex beauty of the natural systems that nourish us. “Our work centers the health and wellbeing of all life, including salmon, moose, elk and other 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.
Today, these forests, fields and waterways are under attack from a host of destructive industries such as mines, oil and gas pipelines, as well as the proliferation of toxic chemicals and loss of biodiversity caused by plantation forestry, industrial agriculture, and open-net fish farms.
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 corporations building pipelines that threaten our communities, culture, water, land and food systems. Our front line activists are also concerned about the increasing incidences of violence against women and children living in close proximity to the man camps being set up for constructing these oil and gas pipelines.
“In the spirit of Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela who called for Rainbow People to unite in a post-apartheid South Africa, and the Rainbow Coalitions of the 1960’s that called for revolutionary solidarity across black, brown, Indigenous and poor white communities, we invite all peoples to stand with Indigenous communities on the front lines of stopping the widespread destruction of our forests, fields and waterways. We urge you to join us in powerful alliance to serve the Earth and all creation – guided by principles of Indigenous Food Sovereignty,” 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