Opening remarks from the Executive Director David Fletcher kicked off the 3 day Food Symposium.
Mr. Fletcher reflected on his own relationship with food and the changes the NAN communities have seen in a relatively short time period. He expressed concerns that the relationships we once had with our food have been disrupted, resulting in significant changes in the communities. Issues such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, as well as poor mental health and well-being have emerged as a result of changes to our food system.
Participants expressed and interest in seeing some of the farms and gardens, so they recommended a farm and garden tour. If this were done it would need to be in the summer or early fall.
Participants suggested connecting with First Nations down south that have been farming/gardening successfully for a number of years.
More focus on traditional foods and medicines. More time needs to be spent on land use planning, forest food mapping, and food system mapping.
Continued support for community-based food initiatives like gardening, keeping chickens, collective harvests, alternative markets, and food system planning.