PRINCE GEORGE – Two northern First Nations communities will have greater access to nutritious food through grants for Indigenous-led food security projects.
The Stellat’en First Nation and Doig River First Nation will each receive $51,000 in provincial funding, part of $800,000 being distributed throughout British Columbia through the Victoria Foundation’s Food Security – Provincial Initiatives Fund.
“Improving food security is an important priority for government,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “We’re investing in projects that strengthen local food systems and help provide fresh, healthy food for community members.”
The funding will support the Stellat’en First Nation to develop its community garden, including the construction of a new greenhouse.
The Doig River First Nation will receive funding to expand its community garden project, which includes workshops, increasing garden capacity for individuals and families, and outreach to gardeners.
“This funding will allow Doig River First Nation to expand our community garden project, which is a community-driven response to food insecurity challenges that are compounded by living remotely and in a changing climate,” said Sara Rowe, forestry manager, Doig River First Nation. “We aim to offer locally grown fruits and vegetables to community members, and facilitate learning opportunities for individuals and families to be able to start their own gardens.”
The new funding builds on the $3 million the Province provided to the Victoria Foundation in March 2019, which helped establish the Food Security – Provincial Initiatives Fund, and supported food security-related projects in B.C.
Since the Province’s poverty-reduction strategy, TogetherBC, was released in 2019, the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction has provided nearly $26 million for planning and implementing poverty reduction and food-security initiatives in communities throughout B.C., including Indigenous communities.
“Land-based programming led by Indigenous communities and organizations is vital to food security and Indigenous food sovereignty,” said Sandra Richardson, CEO, Victoria Foundation. “This funding will expand and deepen the work already underway in communities, while also improving program sustainability.”
The Victoria Foundation’s Food Security – Provincial Initiatives Fund supports the Provinces work on food security by improving food access, food literacy, and local food production and by and by continuing to advance meaningful reconciliation by funding Indigenous-led initiatives.
TogetherBC, B.C.’s poverty-reduction strategy: gov.bc.ca/togetherbc