Thursday, May 27, 2010

3rd Annual Traditional Foods Conference and the Digital Harvesters 2010

Hello all

It has sure been a busy last few months. Feasting for Change has been on the move and working hard on the foods conference and much more. Here is a bit about the last few months.

In Victoria, BC on April 16 and 17, 2010, members from over 30 Coastal First Nations communities attended the 3rd Annual Conference on the Traditional Foods of Vancouver Island First Nations.

The conference follows two very successful conferences held in Nanaimo. The theme this year was “Celebrating Indigenous Foods in a Changing World: Coastal Conversations among Youth, Elders and Community Members.”

The purpose of the gathering was to bring people together to celebrate the traditional foods and people of Vancouver Island First Nations and to discuss the four pillars of nutrition, healing, safety and community.

Day 1 was be hosted at the First Peoples House at the University of Victoria and over 150 people attended the day that featured speakers, panellists, open discussions and amazing short film-screenings. (See link below for the Digital Harvest videos) The day went into the evening and included a Feast and evening of entertainment. Earl, Lewis, Jen and I presenting our work, digital story and the knowledge basket. It was great.

Day 2 was held out in the Tsawout First Nation at their new community building. Over 300 people came for a day of networking and hands-on activities, demonstrations and displays. There were over 20 booths of people working hard on Indigenous Food Issues. Feasting for Change and VICCIFN were both there at met so many great people. There were some great outdoor activities like removing the hike from a deer, eating sea urchins, traditional pit cook, cooking food in a bentwood box, smoking clams and baking scow bread on the fire.

The food on day 2 was delicious and a huge community event. We feasted on clams chowder, smoked fish soup, crabs, salmon, urchins, prawns, lingcod, delicious berries and baked bread. A huge thank to Snaw-naw-as's Vanessa and Jake Bob for their clams and soup! Rose Jimmy and her crew did an amazing job on the food. Also Arron Sam caught lots of the delicious food. Hych-ka Siem to all the many food helpers, Abe, Kate, Tommy, Joceyln and so many more!

Photos from the 2010 Traditional Foods of Vancouver Island First Nations can now seen at:

The 2 days before the conference the Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities Indigenous Food Network (VICCIFN) worked on the Digital Harvest Project.
Please see this great story for some insight into this project

Over the 2 days the Elders and youth created 23 stories.
See the amazing stories at this link. All the stories are on the right hand side of the screen.

Then Feasting for Change was asked to come to Tofino for the International Congress of Ethnobiology 2010. It was an amazing event to meet people all over the world working hard on food issues and enviornment protection. On the Tuesday night was a community networking event and we were able to share our story and Knowledge basket with people all over the world. It was powerful.

Some of the youth in the Digital Harvest Project presented at the conference. The Nuu-chah-nulth youth Damon, Nikki, Mitch and Keenan presented their stories and the work they do on their youth council to over 80 people. The youth were give 2 standing ovians. They rocked.
Now it is time for a season of harvesting, teaching, learning and FEASTING! Hope to see you all!
Feasting for Change