Sharing my insights about the land, healing, Reconciliation & Canada 150.
Onion Lake is hosting their annual powwow on July 14th -16th at the Onion Lake Heritage Park. I’m excited to bring our Women Warriors researchers from the University of Calgary, Masters student, Megan and summer student, Elsy to their first powwow. They are coming to familiarize themselves with Lloydminster, and learn more about the Women Warriors program. We will be attending the Grand Entry on Friday night and supporting local artists and friends at the Indigenous Beauty Market.
Here’s an excerpt from Megan’s Master’s proposal that links reconciliation to Indigenous health:
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada’s eighteenth and twentieth calls to action, respectively, state the following:
We call upon the federal, provincial, territorial, and Aboriginal governments to
acknowledge that the current state of Aboriginal health in Canada is a direct result of previous Canadian government policies, including residential schools, and to recognizeand implement the health-care rights of Aboriginal people as identified in international law, constitutional law, and under the Treaties (2015: 2).
In order to address the jurisdictional disputes concerning Aboriginal people who do not reside on reserves, we call upon the federal government to recognize, respect, and address the distinct health needs of the Métis, Inuit, and off-reserve Aboriginal peoples (2015: 3).
The proposed research will examine food security as a major contributor to Indigenous women’s health on the Treaty 6 territory of Lloydminster. It will be conducted in collaboration with Women Warriors, a program which promotes the wellbeing of its participants through free exercise classes and dietary education. While serving both Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants, Women Warriors prioritizes and celebrates Indigeneity in its programming, which aims to be culturally responsive in its approach. This research will contribute to the program’s holistic approach to health by taking a closer look at how their participants achieve or attempt to achieve access to nutritious foods in their daily lives. In light of apparent limitations on the part of formal markets and government initiatives to produce food security for Indigenous women and their families living off reserve, it will inquire as to how informal economic practices and support networks may facilitate increased access to food resources. It will highlight the ways that Indigenous women’s social capital and informal supports facilitate food access and help them to feed themselves and their kin. Furthermore, it will consider the role of self-provisioning and relations of distribution within social support networks, and the perceived benefits and values participants associate with various foods. In doing so, it will attempt to define a gap in formal health care provision, looking not only at how Women Warriors may improve their programming but at how healthcare providers may respond to the nutritional needs of Indigenous women in more culturally responsive ways. The proposed research is necessary due to its potential to reveal how informal economic practices, patterns, and networks of social support reflect the cultural values and desires of Indigenous families as they relate to food and health. It will seek to incorporate and prioritize Indigenous perspectives, emphasizing relationship between individuals, the land, their food, culture, and each other in an attempt to discover what food security means to participants.