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Anishinabe chef is advocating for Indigenous food sovereignty with urban farm

by Siddhi Ashar, Oct 27
2 minutes read

Charles Catchpole, an Anishinabe chef turned farmer has begun growing Indigenous foods using traditional harvesting methods. A shift from modern farming techniques, he employs methods passed down generation to generation where plants rely on each other’s nutrients to thrive creating their own ecosystems.

person holding two yellow round fruits

As an urban farmer, he aims to educate the community around him and sell his crops through neighborhood markets empowering the local economy.

So what?

Eating local has grown as a trend in recent years but the diet has been always been around. Long before colonization, people relied on their local harvest and adapted their diets to fit the conditions of their regions.

Food has always been more than sustenance. It impacts the overall well-being of an individual and their cultural identity. Such farms help historically marginalized communities reclaim their sovereignty within food systems. It bridges their connection with their ancestors and helps heal generational traumas through these practices.

Usually passed down as oral histories, traditional knowledge of the land should be documented and shared widely to inspire more ecologically helpful and circular farming. Building food security will rely on redesigning farming to fit environmental constraints.

The pandemic highlighted just how vulnerable our supply chains are and our food systems are no exceptions. Can traditional farming knowledge be adapted across landscapes and be localized to fit variables such as water, soil conditions? Will future generations alter their diets to fit their regional food systems? Will local backyard gardens help build food security in the coming years? How will climate change impact access to land and resources?

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by Siddhi Ashar Spotted 24 signals

With a background in international studies and filmmaking, Siddhi works with the Futures Centre team to creatively push our current imaginaries and create more positive visions of futures rooted in equity. Her works centers around challenging common narratives and working agilely to bring forth more representative ones. Through her role at the Futures Centre, she focuses on the answering the question, how can better climate communication and visioning help stakeholders work together and act intently, empathetically and urgently?

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