The Indigenous Solidarity Working Group (ISWG) is a subcommittee of the NFU’s International Program Committee (IPC) that was started in 2015 by NFU members who wanted to extend and deepen the NFU’s understanding of Indigenous food sovereignty and settler colonialism in Canada. We wanted to do this learning so that we can, as an organization, better act in solidarity with Indigenous peoples who are fighting to defend their territories and rights.
The NFU has a long-standing commitment to act in solidarity with Indigenous peoples. We understand that Canada is a settler colonial country and that, as treaty people, or people living on unceded Indigenous territory, we have a social and legal responsibility to uphold the original agreements settlers made with sovereign Indigenous nations.
Furthermore, the NFU recognizes that Indigenous and non-Indigenous farmers share common ground as people who are on the land and who feed our communities. We have a mutual interest in protecting the land and the water for sustainable use for today and the future. There are many ways in which NFU members and Indigenous hunters, gatherers, trappers, fishers and farmers can learn from each other and collaborate to promote food sovereignty.
Examples of NFU expressing public support for Indigenous rights and sovereignty
In 2017, the NFU released a statement supporting and urging Members of Parliament to vote in favour of Bill C-262, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, which calls upon the Canadian government to fully adopt and implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
In 2017 NFU endorsed Idle No More’s Unsettling Canada 150 Call to Action.
In 2016 the NFU expresses solidarity with Indigenous land protectors at Standing Rock and renewed that call in 2017 for #NoDAPL.
Join the ISWG’s bi-monthly discussion group
The ISWG hosts bi-monthly discussions that provide a platform for members to share resources, learn together and engage in a process of decolonizing food, land and relationships.
If you are interested in joining the ISWG or have ideas for how we can effectively stand in solidarity for Indigenous rights and food sovereignty, please contact the ISWG co-chairs Terran Giacomini and Ayla Fenton.
Webinar Series 2019
The National Farmers Union’s 2019 Webinar Series on Indigenous Food Sovereignty and Settler-Colonialism in Canadian Agriculture
The NFU invites all our members and allies to join a series of on-line discussions (“webinars”) on Indigenous food sovereignty and settler-colonialism in Canadian agriculture. The discussions are taking place over the course of the winter and spring of 2019. The first webinar was on 27 February 2019 with Danielle Boissoneau and Adrianne Xavier.
Danielle Boissoneau is Anishnaabe kwe writer, mother and seedkeeper. She actively reclaims space on the land and in her mind for new ways of living. Decolonization through intentional practice of building relationships with the land, with food and with the people is another way that she shares herself with the world. Danielle has shared her written words with Briarpatch Magazine, GUTS Magazine, as well as being a contributing writer to the Two Row Times. She grows her children and her food with love and power.
Adrianne Lickers Xavier knows the power of food! As a predoctoral fellow at Queens University this year she is working to complete her doctoral education with research that centres on food security at her home community of Six Nations in southern Ontario. She has experience in community based grass roots food as well as work in the larger food movement. Adrianne’s research integrates food security, culture, community building and gender and believes that individuals make the difference.
Purpose of the webinar series: The NFU has a firm commitment to building relationships of solidarity with Indigenous peoples in Canada. We hope this webinar will:
- Deepen our understanding of on-going settler colonialism in Canada from the perspective of Indigenous peoples who are the experts of their own histories and experiences;
- Build relationships based on shared interests in food sovereignty and acknowledgement of differences;
- Discuss pathways for solidarity and joint action between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples to challenge settler-colonialism in the food system and contribute to building food sovereignty for all.
Watch the video: