In response to Kamloops Mayor Christian’s Task Force on Economic Recovery and Renewal, the Kamloops Food Policy Council has submitted recommendations carefully aimed at leading Kamloops and area towards a sustainable and just local food system that will also become an economic driver for the region. Recommendations include actions that support emergency food providers and short term relief for local food insecure populations, and measures that can help increase community capacity for food production. Our submission also contains recommendations intended to boost the long term economic viability of agriculture in our region. You can read the full submission here:
We are happy to add Dave Zirnhelt of Snap Up Real Estate and Rate-My-Agent.com to our list of supporters. Dave is on a mission to create a long lasting, meaningful impact by giving back to worthy causes in our local community, and the Kamloops Food Policy Council is one of the organizations he reached out to!
Dave came out to the Butler Urban Farm to have a first-hand look at the work we’re doing and hear about some of our other initiatives aimed at building a more resilient local food system. We really appreciate the support of community-minded businesses like Snap Up Real Estate!
The Butler Urban Farm is taking shape! It is slowly but surely being transformed into a beautiful and productive green space by Kevin, our farm manager and a crew of dedicated volunteers. We are so grateful for the donations of plants, time, and energy from so many people.
Besides the rows of annual vegetables that have been planted, we have a small perennial herb bed started, with strawberries, garlic chives, lavender, sage, oregano, lemon balm and more. A forgotten little rhubarb was rescued and nurtured and now is flourishing. A neighbour came over with sunflower seedlings and created a little flower bed near the front. The care and attention is starting to show results!
Last week we were the lucky recipients of a Jorocan composter, courtesy of the Fraser Basin Council Youth Program. It will make a very useful addition to our farm in terms of soil building as well as education – quickly turning plant and food waste into a valuable soil amendment! Thanks to Russ for assembling and delivering!
In full production, this space could be a small, but important contributor to local food security. We are working on adding some native plants and a mini food forest with perennial trees, berries, and herbs. If you are interested in getting involved, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in learning more about gardening, join our free, online gardening classes held every Tuesday evening. The sessions are recorded and can then be accessed from the Butler Urban Farm Learning Collective Facebook page. To participate in the live sessions (more fun), email Jesse at email@example.com
The Covid 19 Pandemic has created a lot of stress and uncertainty for everyone, but has triggered a renewed interest in growing food and cultivating a regenerative food system.
The KFPC is launching a “Resiliency Gardening” Campaign to get behind this movement. It’s all about encouraging people to share and work together to grow more food locally. It’s also meant to be fun and full of healing for body and spirit in these stressful times. Some of the initiatives we’re working on are:
1) Butler Urban Farm – A community farm on Clapperton Road across from the food bank. The KFPC has hired a garden manager and applied for funding through Canada Summer Jobs to hire one or more assistants. We want to grow as much food there as we can and we’re looking for people who are interested either in helping out in exchange for a share of the produce, or taking over a small section to work on their own. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in either of those options.
2) Online Gardening Classes – These classes are sponsored by the Kamloops Naturalist Club’s Next Generation program and will be offered first to Butler Urban Farm volunteers. If space is available they will be open to any KFPC members as well as the general public. to find out more contact Jesse Ritcey at email@example.com .
3) Garden Sharing – The Young Agrarians have launched a free online gardensharing platform. It’s easy to use and already has one Kamloops listing. If you have garden space to share or you’re looking for garden space, check it out here.
4) Revamped GAP – Mariana Guerra is back again this year as our Gleaning Abundance Program Coordinator, and will be exploring ways to revise the GAP model to adhere to evolving social distancing requirements and at the same time, make it more neighbourhood-based and less reliant on coordinator time. To register a tree or garden, or join our gleaning crews, go to our GAP webpage.
The Kamloops community has demonstrated an amazing upswell of caring responses to ensure food security for all our residents during this time of pandemic.
Together with other organizations and community members, KFPC has compiled a list of food supports available during this time of COVID-19 social distancing. These support services have been changing frequently as the situation evolves, so we are doing our best to keep the information up to date. If you are aware of a food support that has changed or that isn’t on the list yet, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So many people in our community are contributing generously to ensure everyone has access to food during this time. If you are in a position to contribute, our food supports resource also includes a section on how to help, compiling organizations’ requests for volunteers, needed items and links where financial donations are being accepted.
Thank-you to all those agencies and individuals who are rising to the challenge to see that everyone in our community has enough to eat.
The Kamloops Food Policy Council has initiated a number of actions to address some of the issues resulting from the current Covid 19 situation, including bringing together emergency food providers to find solutions to the challenges they are all facing trying to get food to local food-insecure populations.
One problem that has been brought to our attention is that hospital workers are going home hungry after a long shift and having trouble accessing ready-cooked meals because of restaurant closures. Pizza Pi, a downtown Kamloops independent business, has already stepped up to the plate to help feed our marginalized and homeless populations during this pandemic with a Pay It Forward campaign. They are extending the goodwill by offering free pizza delivery to anyone who works at RIH. A $25 donation buys a large pizza with 2 toppings and a 2 litre beverage for a Kamloops RIH Front Line Worker which will be delivered to them free by Pizza Pi. It’s a way to show our appreciation for the crucial work these folks are doing to keep the rest of us safe.
If you are able to contribute to this campaign, the KFPC can provide a charitable tax receipt for your donation.
To learn more, or make a contribution, go to our CanadaHelps Meals For Hospital Workers campaign page.
March 4, 2020
Network Meeting Summary
Thank you to Emily Pletsch and Keira McPhee for
collaborating on the network meeting summary!
Our fullest house yet took in a Panel Discussion with Dawn Morrison, Joanne Taylor and Ananda Lee Tan on climate chaos mitigation, particularly relating to water. All three panelists presented on the current climate crisis and the importance of having Indigenous voices as key navigators in dealing with this crisis. The critical role water plays in Indigenous Food Sovereignty was presented, as well as the impact water has on all biodiversity and food availability. Each panelist presented on their work and importance of making substantial shifts and transformations in our current system to deal with the climate crisis.
Dawn Morrison is the founder and curator of the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty since 2006. Food sovereignty requires healthy territory and a diversity of species. Its paradigm moves away from the present production narrative, and resource extraction as the base of our economy, to a solidarity or sharing economy. It is clear that existing systems can’t deal with the complexity.
The working group launched the Indigenous Food and Freedom School in 2019. The school was created to build capacity , build Indigenous leadership, and address underlying issues. Other focus areas of the school include creating emancipatory learning materials, policy primers, alternative economic development, and working with natural water flow systems–not against them. Dawn spoke to the importance of protecting water, a concept expressed through yecwemenetkwe in Secwepemctsin, and the vital role water plays in Indigenous Food Sovereignty.
Water rights are a part of the land and this is complicated by multi-jurisdictional challenges, wherein various levels of government districts don’t overlap with the watersheds. When questions or issues arise, no one will take on the responsibility of addressing it. An example of this is playing out on the Neskonlith reserve where there is no Indigenous access to water for irrigation and access to the Neskonlith Lake dam is on private land. A second example discussed the Imperial Mines disaster at Mount Polley — the corporation has not been held accountable for reparation (and continues to operate with government approval).
Dawn discussed shifting the narrative and creating ethical spaces of engagement, posing the questions: How can Indigenous law interface with the changes that are needed? How can Indigenous Peoples be the voices of this change? Ethical spaces of engagement means recognizing and acting from an awareness that Indigenous peoples on the front lines of the eco-crisis/climate change (e.g., stopping pipelines, industrial agriculture, forestry where glyphosate is sprayed) are also the most vulnerable according to all of the social determinants of health.
Dawn presented a Cross Cultural Interface Framework: Decolonizing Food Systems Research and Relationships, that helps identify land/food strategies that are complementary with Indigenous Food Sovereignty (e.g., hunting, fishing, trading, gardening, small scale farming). The framework reveals strategies that show how Indigenous law and governance interface with the changes that are needed. It also reveals contradictions via wicked questions, which can open up potential for transformation when considered intentionally.
Joanne Taylor is a post doctoral research fellow in agricultural climate change adaptation and policy at UBCO. Joanne presented her research on the impacts of colonialism in the Creston Valley in British Columbia. Joanne spoke to the land’s history of providing abundant food sources for Indigenous communities over millennia. Current development in the area has ongoing detrimental impacts on biodiversity and food procurement. Joanne spoke to the devastating environmental impacts of these developments and the ongoing expansions, which continue to subordinate Indigenous peoples and their decision making. Joanne spoke to the upcoming 2024 Columbia River Treaty discussions and the importance of having Indigenous peoples as leading decision makers because an inherent sacred responsibility for the land exists among Indigenous peoples.
Ananda Lee Tan
Ananda has been supporting global social movements for over 30 years. Ananda is a co-founder of the Climate Justice Alliance and a member of the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty. Ananda spoke to the knowledge of those who walked before us and using this knowledge to understand how to tackle climate issues (through climate justice solutions, just transition, and a solidarity economy). Ananda spoke to the BC climate change risk assessment and presented three critiques:
- the assessment does not center the voices of those communities and cultures who are most impacted and therefore have experience (Ananda shared a story of two men standing on a beach watching a tsunami approach. One is a scientist who runs off in one direction and the other is a fisherman who runs in the other direction — who would you follow?),
- the issues addressed are limited (“carbon reductionism”) and do not recognize innate connections (nature is zero waste), such as the loss of biodiversity, culture, and title, and
- the assessment does not acknowledge the root drivers of this crisis, which are global mega-corporations. We need to remember that there are names and faces responsible for this climate crisis — which is where our efforts need to be focused. Our individual strategies to mitigate waste are not responsible for driving the climate crisis (this only accounts for 8% of waste, whereas corporate waste/extraction/destruction/pollution accounts for the rest).
Ananda spoke to the current “dig, burn, drive, dump” economy and the current system operating on greed rather than community. He also shared a cautionary tale about how movements can be co-opted by the agenda of industry. An example was provided where methane was being held up as an excellent alternative fuel — a campaign that was taken up by Greenpeace. This was an example of accepting money from philanthropists to focus on strategies that are devised by the oil and gas industry. When Ananda took this strategy to La Via Campesina, they were able to call it out right away.
Ananda spoke to a just transition and posed the questions: What is the economy we need to create? Where are the jobs that serve the environment? Where are the real jobs?
Next Meeting: Wednesday, April 1st, 5:30-7:30
Updates from Robyn & Emily (regarding KFPC’s value statements) and Bonnie (regarding a project happening with nursing students)
Chair: Glenn Hilke
It’s that time again! Seedy Saturday is this Saturday, March 14. Come on down to the OLPH Parish Centre between 10am and 2pm to get into the planting mood! There are lots of vendors and some great workshops planned.
The KFPC will be there with our Seed Library collection, and a seed swap table. Bring any seeds you have to trade, or sign up as a library member and take out seeds for free (returns welcome, but not required)
AND – We are once again offering our spring fruit-tree pruning workshop, but with the added component of an introduction to espalier. Greg Houghton will guide participants through the basics of when, why, and how to prune, and then focus on how to train trees to grow into specific shapes and forms.
Participants will then have the chance to practice on some espaliers in progress under his expert guidance!
For more information and tickets, go to Eventbrite.
Our decision to focus a network meeting on climate chaos and its impact on water was prompted by the release of the province’s strategic climate risk assessment:
We want to create the time and space to explore climate action related to water, while also aligning our strategies of climate justice to the broader scope and scale of Secwepemc food sovereignty. We are grateful to have Dawn Morrison, Joanne Taylor, and Ananda Lee Tan joining us for this critical and timely discussion (and action!).
Founder/Curator of the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty
Dawn is of Secwepemc ancestry and is the Founder/Curator of the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty. Since 1983, Dawn has worked and studied horticulture, ethno-botany, adult education, and restoration of natural systems in formal institutions as well as through her own personal healing and learning journey. Following the years she spent teaching Aboriginal Adult Basic Education, Dawn has been dedicating her time and energy to land based healing and learning which led her to her life’s work of realizing herself more fully as a developing spirit aligned leader in the Indigenous food sovereignty movement. Dawn has consistently organized and held the space over the last 13 years for decolonizing food systems discourse in community, regional and international networks and has become internationally recognized as a published author. Dawn’s work on the Decolonizing Research and Relationships is focused on creating a critical pathway of consciousness, that shines a light on the cross-cultural interface where Indigenous Food Sovereignty meets, social justice, climate change and food systems research, action and adaptive policy, planning and governance. Some of the projects Dawn is curating include: Wild Salmon Caravan, Indigenous Food and Freedom School, and Dismantling Structural Racism in the Food System.
Post Doctoral Research Fellow in Agricultural Climate Change
Adaptation and Policy @ UBCO
Dr. Joanne Taylor is an environmental anthropologist and political ecologist. Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Dr. Taylor’s doctoral research investigates food security and food sovereignty in the Creston Valley of British Columbia during the renegotiation of the bilateral Columbia River Treaty. Joanne is currently a SSHRC Post Doctoral Fellow at The University of British Columbia where she is conducting research in agricultural adaptation to climate change in the Cariboo and Okanagan Regions of B.C. She continues to explore the effects of climate change on food systems while also analysing the effects of industrial agriculture on climate change.
Network Meeting Summary
February 5, 2020
Board Report and Staff Report
In January, the board and staff had the privilege of taking part in a second workshop with Dawn Morrison about Indigenous Food Sovereignty and we look forward to integrating this knowledge into our work.
Some board members and staff are planning to participate in the City of Kamloops upcoming public consultation for the Community Climate Action Plan. The date for the public consultation has not been announced yet.
Staff and contractors are currently doing some shifting of organizational duties to place a greater emphasis on grant writing and fundraising. Staff and contractor presence might seem a bit limited for the upcoming month or so as Sandra is away on vacation and Bonnie is busy focusing her time on grant writing.
Other things staff and contractors are up to…
- Michelle will be part of a panel discussion on expanding regional agricultural supports at the Island Agriculture Show in Duncan tomorrow (February 6). This stems from the policy implementation project that launched the Food Hub pilot and more recently started discussing the formation of a Farmers Institute.
- Bonnie will be a panelist at the Economic Unity Conference, hosted by Community Future Development Corporation of Central Interior First Nations, here in Kamloops on February 20-21
- Sandra is recruiting a KFPC team to help Kamloops Reach at the May 17th PitStop meal. Watch for her article in the Connector. Contact Sandra if you would like to be involved.
- The Food Hub pilot wrapped up and the report was completed. The team is awaiting the release of the next stage of funding to continue the development of this project.
- KFPC is a community partner for a 2-Day Food Business Planning Workshop on Feb 10 & 11 at the United Church: This is an excellent opportunity for local food businesses:
- The workshop is ideal for micro, small, and medium-sized food processors looking to improve and/or expand their operations, as well as farmers looking to create value-added products.
- It is a 9 module workshop series that covers: business planning, marketing, product development, financial planning, quality management, packaging, production & costing, logistics, and resources & networking.
- Cost for the 2 day workshop is $100 per participant
- Check out the Blog section of the KFPC website for more information.
Community News & Updates
- Farmers’ Market archives need help sorting: February & March. Contact email@example.com
- Naturalist Club wants to host workshops and educational resources for Kamloops residents regarding personal land management to support species biodiversity and climate change resilience. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Shelaigh provided updates on the Qwemtsin Health and Skeetchestn Food Forest projects, as well as celebrating the recent completion of a Permaculture Design Certificate course.
- Two NorKam students shared about their Fridays for Future events, organizing climate strikes, and the NorKam Environmental and Upcycling Club. Composting has started at NorKam. This is a passionate group of students!
- Carole shared a thought provoking poem.
- Diane, the Mount Paul Community Food Centre’s Food Literacy Coordinator shared about new kids’ programs and a new Food Sense program coming soon, as well as a more formalized garden program that will include kids’ programming.
Next Meeting: Wednesday, March 4, 5:30 – 7:30
**Panel Discussion with Dawn Morrison and Joanne Taylor on climate chaos mitigation, particularly relating to water**
Set up: Rob W, Diane M
Clean up: Ben C, Carole H
Note taker: Emily P
We could not do the important work we do without the support of our generous sponsors:
We acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia