KYUQUOT – New Democrat MLAs Michele Babchuk and Josie Osborne say that an Indigenous-led project will strengthen food sovereignty and food security for people on North Vancouver Island
“Restoring seafood gardens in Kyuquot Sound helps the environment and allows for increased food security and sustainability for the Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k:tles7et’h’ First Nations,” said Michele Babchuk, MLA for North Island. “Supporting projects that have such strong cultural and ecological significance and keep Indigenous youth connected to their communities are key actions towards reconciliation.”
A project led by Nuu-chah-nulth Youth Warrior Family with Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k:tles7et’h’ First Nations, is receiving $80,000 to bring renewed energy to traditional seafood gardens along the west coast of Vancouver Island, in four Nuu-chah-nulth territories where youth Warriors from eight Nations (12 to 25 years old) will be supported by their Elders, community mentors and external experts to restore, manage and celebrate clam gardens.
“The restoration of Indigenous food systems is fundamental to revitalizing physical, cultural and spiritual connections to the land,” said Josie Osborne, MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim. “I’m so glad we can support inspiring projects like this one from the Nuu-chah-nulth Youth Warrior Family, an initiative that will bring elders and knowledge keepers together with youth to rebuild and restore the ancient practice of clam gardens.”
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.