Food is our language – Reconnecting Youth to Culture through Indigenous Food Sovereignty: An exploration into the role of youth engaging in traditional food and cultural skills impacts cultural identity and self-esteem

Research Start-up Summary and Abstract:

Food and culture are indelibly linked. Cultural food, from growing and harvesting to preparing requires a connection to traditional culture. For inner city youth, it can be challenging to have access not only to cultural food, but to the skills and knowledge around the process of acquiring and processing it. This research will explore how prolonged participation in a variety of land based and urban activities centered around traditional food skills and grounded in principles of Indigenous Food Sovereignty impacts the self-esteem and cultural identity of Indigenous youth living in Winnipeg’s inner city. Specifically, we will be exploring: the relationship that Indigenous youth in Winnipeg’s inner city have with their cultural food; how participation in cultural activities centered around cultural food impacts their identity and how they value themselves as Indigenous youth in the city; and the ways organizations and schools can use principles of Indigenous Food Sovereignty as a basis for cultural identity development and subsequently positive personal development for youth.