CRFAIR promotes healthy and sustainable food systems. This considers our relationships with each other, and the land and waters of this region. We endeavour to honour the land and its treaties by strengthening our relationship and responsibilities to them. We live and work on unceded Coast Salish Territories*, specifically of the Lekwungen (Songhees and Esquimalt Nations) and W̱SÁNEĆ (Tsartlip/W̱JOȽEȽP, Tseycum/WSIḴEM, Tsawout/SȾÁUTW, and Pauquachin/BOḰEĆEN Nations).
The presence of settlers (non-Indigenous peoples who live on these lands) is not neutral; it has had and continues to have devastating impacts on many aspects of life for Indigenous peoples. Many of our practices, including the seeds we plant, the ways we educate, and our methods of growing food came to these lands through the ongoing process of colonialism. Settler colonialism has suppressed local well-being by harming Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ food systems, whether they be land-based or of the sky and sea. We hold this understanding in our interactions and engagements with this land and its people.
There is important work being done by many nations and allies to ensure the continued thriving of these food systems, communities, and knowledge systems. Those of us who are settlers need to recognize that our knowledge and way of doing things may not be the priority as we work towards food security for everyone in this region.
* The term Coast Salish is used to encompass a number of Indigenous peoples, including Esquimalt, Hul’qumi’num, Klahoose, Lekwungen, MALAXEt, Musqueam, OStlq’emeylem, Pentlatch, Scia’new (Beecher Bay), Sliammon, Shishalh, Skxwú7mesh-ulh Úxwumixw, Stó:lo, Straits, Tsleil-Waututh, T’Sou-ke, W̱SÁNEĆ, and Xwemalhkwu.