As wildlife across Canada face unprecedented pressures from climate change and industrial development, Indigenous Peoples, who have relied upon and managed these animals for millennia, are leading the way on ensuring their protection. From Newfoundland and Labrador to the Yukon Territory, groundbreaking Indigenous-led protection initiatives are ensuring Canada’s treasured species like the boreal caribou and globally important landscapes are safeguarded for future generations. In this episode, we speak with Indigenous Leadership Initiative (ILI) founder and director Valérie Courtois, an Innu forester who is a leading advocate for Indigenous-run guardianship and land protection across Canada. Courtois discusses the remarkable efforts of seven First Nations to pull caribou in the Ungava Peninsula back from the brink and her work empowering Indigenous peoples to manage and protect their ancestral lands.
Native peoples in the United States are sustaining and revitalizing their unique relationships to food, land, and more broadly, their own cultures. But how have tribes learned from one another and built broader coalitions? Brown University Professor Elizabeth Hoover has traveled across the U.S. to document these efforts, interviewing indigenous growers, seed-keepers, chefs, and many others committed to indigenous food sovereignty. Besides framing their conversations around terms like “seed rematriation” and “indigenizing”, Elizabeth takes us on a journey to understand how Native communities protect their ways of life from colonization, corporate exploitation, and climate change.
Elizabeth Hoover is the Manning Professor of American Studies at Brown University. She studies environmental justice and health in Native American communities, and is the author of several journal articles; her first book was “The River is in Us; Fighting Toxics in a Mohawk Community.” She is also a published photographer, with work appearing in cookbooks like “The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen”. To learn more about her work, follow @LizHoover on Instagram and @bluefancyshawl on Twitter. Her website is gardenwarriorsgoodseeds.com.
“Indigenous Food Sovereignty in the United States: Cultural Knowledge, Protecting Environments, and Regaining Health” is available today. “From Garden Warriors to Good Seeds: Indigenizing the Local Food Movement” is forthcoming.
Chewing the Fat is a podcast from the Yale Sustainable Food Program. We cover people making change in the complex world of food and agriculture. We’re home to brilliant minds: activists, academics, chefs, entrepreneurs, farmers, journalists, policymakers, and scientists (to name a few!). Taken together, their work represents a reimagining of mainstream food movements, challenging myths and tropes as well as inspiring new ways of collaborating.
The podcast is an aural accompaniment to our on-campus Chewing the Fat speaker series, aiming to broaden our content beyond New Haven. Episodes are released every two weeks, featuring interviews, storytelling and more.
On the farm, in the classroom, and around the world, the Yale Sustainable Food Program (YSFP) grows food-literate leaders. We create opportunities for students to experience food, agriculture, and sustainability as integral parts of their education and everyday lives. For more information, please visit sustainablefood.yale.edu.