Understanding Our Food Systems is a participatory, community-engaged and action focused project led by fourteen First Nation communities in Northwestern Ontario.

We’re a passionate team of researchers, facilitators and community development professionals that work to build a deeper understanding of Indigenous food security and sovereignty. We support the communities and people we work with to determine their own food systems through community-led initiatives and projects.

This project is a collaboration between...

...with close support from our partnering organization:

Thunder Bay District Health Unit

At the Thunder Bay District Health Unit, we are committed to serving the public health needs of local diverse communities, including Indigenous communities and people.  As part of our strategic plan, our commitments are to:

  1. Become a culturally safe organization

  2. Build and enhance relationships with Indigenous people and organizations

Our focus is on truth and reconciliation through addressing social determinants of health that disproportionately and negatively impact Indigenous people.  Our goal is to build trusting and respectful connections and relationships that will lead to collaborative opportunities that improve overall health and reduce inequities.  One path to reaching this goal is collaborating on the Understanding Our Food Systems project, which is an opportunity to re-establish Indigenous ways of life through empowerment and supporting the development of self-determined food systems and sovereignty.

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Food for Thought

The food we eat is more than just fuel. It’s a part of our identities, cultures and it connects us to the natural world.

When thinking about food, it is imperative that we also consider the social, political, economic, and spiritual contexts of land within our communities.

A graphic with two wheels, one within the other. The larger outside wheel has arrows going around the edge, with three phases spread around the edge: Indigenous-Led/Serving Organizations, Ally and Partnering Organization, Individual and Family. These rotate as you scroll. Inside that, but still in the outer section, are five items: Traditional Practices and Access to Traditional Foods, Food Shopping, Food Justice and Access to Food, Health Access and Nutrition, Planning, Policy and Advocacy, and lastly "Research, Knowledge Transfer, Public Education". The inner circle is much smaller, and has one phrase: "food is Sacred" which surrounds the focus of the graphic: "Indigenous Community".

We work with 14 local First Nation communities within the Robinson Superior and Treaty 9 Areas.

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