EXAMINING FOOD PRESERVATION PARTICIPATION WITHIN INDIGENOUS AND LOCAL FOOD SYSTEMS ON CANADA'S WEST COAST
Research and policy attention in Canada's food-insecure rural and remote areas has focused on the country’s north, with less known about the challenges that affect remote southern coastal regions. Similarly, programs to improve local food provisioning among adults and youth tend to prioritize food procurement and nutritional education over food preservation, despite the importance of food preservation competencies for maintaining year-round access to seasonal food from Indigenous and local food systems (ILFSs). Research is needed to better understand how diverse residents of coastal communities can benefit from establishing food preservation practices. This dissertation examines food preservation participation in the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Region on Canada's west coast, using a qualitative research design informed by community based participatory research and Indigenous research practices and principles. Participatory workshops were used to deliver food preservation training. Data were gathered using semi-structured interviews, written evaluations of the workshops, and document analysis. The findings are reported across three interconnected papers. The first paper presents a joint conceptualization of ILFSs that acknowledges the existence of shared food practices between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in localized food systems. This contrasts with dominant conceptualizations that consider Indigenous food systems and local food systems separately, regardless of contexts. The second paper uses a social practice framework to show that programs that support food preservation competency building, materials provisioning, and continuous participation allow people to make meaning out of such engagement, which is critical for establishing food preservation practice in a community. The third paper focuses on the role of youth in ILFSs, showing that young people need to be involved in co-designing food preservation programs if such initiatives are to meet their needs and interests. These findings demonstrate that the value of jointly conceptualizing ILFS lies in identifying shared food practices in regions where Indigenous and settler populations co-exist, which research and policy can prioritize to improve food security. They also show the power of a social practice framework to support participant-focused assessment of local food preservation programs. Additionally, the findings show that food preservation programs can help youth build food knowledge to improve their food security and support their communities' food sovereignty
Food preservation, Indigenous and Local Food Systems, West Coast, Canada.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
School of Environment and Sustainability
Environment and Sustainability