Request from Conference Coordinator
2012 September 20 by Fiona Devereaux
To: All Vancouver Island First Nations
The 5th Annual Conference on Traditional Foods of Vancouver Island First Nations is fast approaching, what an exciting time. As previously stated the theme of this year’s conference is “hayuuk#ap >aayaahaskim”, this is in the Tseshaht (a Nuu chah nulth Nation) dialect and translates to “Feeding the Next Generations”.
Careful thought has been given to what this means for us in this modern world and in our responsibility to ensure that our next generations have what they need to sustain themselves in every way and at all times. This year’s conference is in Port Alberni at the Maht Mahs gym. For more information on the conference please check the website at http://www.indigenousfoodsvi.ca.
Elder’s Advisory Group
Our Elders Advisory Group has been very active and has provided great information on the use of our natural resources and their many benefits to a healthy mind, body and spirit. They have strong feelings around our foods being safe from contaminants, on our responsibility to ensure abundance and access for future generations and to allow us to provide for ourselves in the usual and accustomed manner as First Nations peoples.
They have provided strong direction on how to proceed with the Conference in traditionally appropriate ways. Everyone has been very busy preparing for an enlightening, successful, and fun filled event.
A common topic has been the need for access to safe, healthy food for ourselves and our coming generations. Serious discussion has taken place around modern impacts such as: regulations and current practices that restrict or limit availability of traditional foods and First Nations access to these resources. We’ve also discussed threats to food safety, continuation and abundance of the many species of our traditional foods and medicines on the lands, beaches and in the water.
It’s our intent to provide as much traditional and healthy foods at this time, and to model for the next generation the respect for and the continued practice of harvesting and consuming what the Creator has put here for us, as many of our young people have not seen or tasted some of our traditional foods.
There are memories of trade and barter of foods between different areas and different Nations, as not all foods were found in all areas.
Traditional Food Contributions
We are in serious need of traditional food contributions and ask each First Nation for contributions of any species of fish, game, or any kind of seafood, fruit or berries.
We also ask each First Nations to bring this request for traditional food contribution to all hunters, fishermen, and gatherers in your areas as every contribution is important.
For food contributions please contact Anne at 250.720.8907 or FirstNationsWildcrafters1@shaw.ca
Your help is much needed and will be deeply appreciated.
Vending is available for traditional food and traditional medicines only. Tables are available, at no cost except for a contribution from their table toward the Conference. To secure a table please contact Fiona Devereaux at Fiona.Devereaux@viha.ca or 250.370.8258.
We also have a big need for volunteers. Volunteers will be asked to help at the door, look after Elders, serve food, carry messages or any other task as needed. If you’re available to volunteer or have people in your communities who are available to volunteer please contact Norine at email@example.com or Michelle Colyn at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 250.724.5757.
Thank you for your thoughtful consideration, we look forward to seeing you there.
C. Anne Robinson
Traditional Foods Conference Coordinator
7000 Pacific Rim Hwy
Port Alberni, BC V9Y 8Y3