So our three-day “Rooted In Respect” summer camp has came and went! It felt surreal when the first day begun because we’ve all dedicated our time planning this event that when the day arrived it felt a bit weird seeing it sprout from ideas that were our own, a good weird though. Before I tell you about my experience with the rooted in respect camp I want to tell you a bit about food justice and what this summer meant to me. Before I started this job, I hadn’t a clue what the meaning of food justice really was. I knew that growing our own food and knowing where it comes from is important but I feel like there aren’t enough words to describe how it not only affects absolutely everyone on this planet but our land, water and animals too. I can only explain how it plays a role in my life.
Here’s my example:
If I woke up one morning and I realized all of the grocery stores have suddenly disappeared and every company produced food item just hadn’t existed, what in the world would I do? Well, I imagine some might go crazy some might even steal from one another and it would be a pretty stressful time, but depending on what knowledge has been passed down to you or what you’ve chosen to learn you might not be in such panic. What would I do? I would walk straight through my backyard and harvest the food that has grown from my garden, I would then go to my freezer and grab deer or fish meat that we hunted and preserved and in about an hour or so I would have a delicious meal prepared for my family and set on the table.
I understand in a lot of places this can be a reality for poeple, ( Food desert) not having the space or environment to grow a garden or not having a close enough location to access healthy food. Often people also don’t get the knowledge like traditional methods of fishing or hunting like I did and for that I am rich and privileged beyond imagination. As a person living in a world controlled by money I often forget that the most necessary thing to survive is free, for me anyway and for that I am so grateful. Food justice is certainly in my favor.]
Spreading knowledge about food justice can help change our world in such a beautiful way. How can we help our future leaders learn about how they benefit from food justice? Well, holding events such as our rooted in respect summer camp would be an awesome start! Learning the importance of consent and food justice seems like the perfect combination to achieve respectful relationships with one another, to me it creates the whole idea of the word “Rooted In Respect” It was so great to see the youth’s interest and interaction in the activities. It was interesting for me to hear their personal experiences with food justice and how it impacted their lives. Our methods of keeping the conversation about consent and food justice alive were a success! I’m glad to see conversations like this take place in youth events because growing up as a child I don’t recall consent or food justice being an crucial topic of conversation and I only wish it had been.
My favorite part of the camp was walking on my traditional territory known as SṈIDȻEȽ (Todd Inlet). It felt so great to be in my home with everyone. The energy in that space is so wonderful and calming. An interest in nature is more rare than it should be and I believe helping that interest grow can help open the mind and ground the soul and by that I mean being in a beautiful place where the air is pure, an abundance of food present, cold clear water continuously flowing into the bay, and the animals that systematically live together. It really makes my mind question how a space so magnificent came to be. It causes me to question all the possibilities in the universe, which then leads me to feeling like a tiny germ, but it most importantly reminds me that I’m a part of this. Whatever this is, I’m supposed to contribute to this circle to the best of my ability just as every creature does. We are nature. Wherever nature is, I am home. I’m forever grateful that this summer, this camp and the people I worked with enlightened my passion. I’m proud to say I’ve learned more about food justice; consent, colonization and I will further carry this knowledge and passion with me wherever I go next. It’s been an amazing experience.
Shout out to Rebecca, Sage, Kim and Elicia!