Indigenous led project will support food security for the Okanagan Indian Band in Vernon

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VERNON – New Democrat MLA Harwinder Sandhu says that an Indigenous-led project will strengthen food sovereignty and food security for the Okanagan Indian Band in Vernon.

“First Nations communities deserve the right to express themselves culturally through food, and this funding will help the Okanagan Indian Band build on the work they are already doing towards food security and food sovereignty in their community,” said Harwinder Sandhu, MLA for Vernon-Monashee.

The Okanagan Indian Band is receiving $80,000 to provide culturally safe and affordable foods through band-owned land, which was recently designated to grow fruits and vegetables, traditional foods, and livestock and process meat; and to provide a kitchen and pantry, cooking pit and root cellars, as well as space for cultural activities to create job opportunities.

Funding is being distributed through the Indigenous Food Systems and Agriculture Partnership Program (IFSAP). The program supports Indigenous governments, communities and businesses with agriculture, food processing and food-systems planning, as well as training and skills development, technological adoption, scaling up productivity and profitability, and climate change adaptation.

The program was developed with guidance from the B.C. Indigenous Advisory Council on Agriculture and Food. The program is funded by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Government of British Columbia and delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC.

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