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New book reinforces importance of Indigenous food systems

Community-based case studies highlighted in book co-edited by Dr. Shailesh Shukla

Indigenous Food Systems

Dr. Shailesh Shukla celebrates the launch of Indigenous Food Systems on April 8, 2021.

A new book, co-edited by Indigenous Studies faculty member Dr. Shailesh Shukla demonstrates the importance of revitalizing Indigenous food knowledge to improve the health and well-being of Indigenous and Canadian populations.

“A common thread throughout the text is a desire to understand the barriers and challenges to Indigenous food systems as well as Indigenous-led, community-based ways to reclaim cultural identity, well-being, food security and sovereignty,” said Shukla.

He is already using Indigenous Food Systems as a textbook to teach his course, Community Food Security: Indigenous and International perspectives (IS-4026/GIS-7026).

Award-winning publication

This unique collection has been recognized in the Indigenous food category of the 2020 Winter Harvest list of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards

Indigenous Food Systems is filled with concepts, cases, and conversations by Indigenous and non-Indigenous food practitioners and scholars that show how communities are self-organizing and designing their own solutions to food insecurity and well-being for current and future generations.

The book is a critical resource for students studying food security and food sovereignty in Indigenous studies, public health, anthropology, and social sciences as well as a useful reader for policymakers, researchers, and community practitioners seeking to understand the difference that collaborative, community-based initiatives are making in Anishinaabeg, Asatiwisipe, Cree, Métis, Migmag, Tsartlip, and other Indigenous communities across Canada.

Canadian Scholars calls it a “vital exploration into the importance and revitalization of Indigenous food knowledges for the health and well being of Indigenous and Canadian populations.”

It also had a great review in Spiritual Botany:

“In today’s world, as we face multiple wicked problems like climate change and biodiversity loss, and where we humans try to cope with time, space and data compression, scholarly works like this book provide a privileged opportunity to learn about Indigenous Food Systems and other ways of being,” said Verena Kulak in the November 2020 edition.

Virtual Roundtable

The publication is being celebrated with a virtual roundtable discussion between Shukla and co-editor Priscilla Settee, moderated by Charles Levoke, Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Food Systems at Lakehead University.

They will be joined by chapter authors and special guests Dawn Morrison of the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty; Elisa Levi of the Indigenous Peoples Resilience fund; Asfia Gulrukh Kamal, assistant professor at University College of the North; and Hannah-Tait Neufeld, Canadian Research Chair in Indigenous Health Wellness and Food Environments at the University of Waterloo.

Anyone interested in learning more is encouraged to pre-register for the launch and roundtable on Thursday, April 8 at 3:00 pm CST. Canadian Scholars will be giving away two copies of the book and providing a 20 per cent discount code to all attendees at the event.

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