Food is Medicine for Life



A joint message from Richard Jock, FNHA Chief Executive Officer; and Dr. Nel Wieman, FNHA Chief Medical Officer

We hope those of you who participated in our annual Food is Medicine campaign this month enjoyed learning and trying new recipes from various traditional First Nations foods across BC.

Growing, harvesting and/or preparation of food has always been essential to First Nations communities and our way of life. Our traditional knowledge and ceremonies are deeply rooted in sharing and eating foods that grow and live on our lands and territories. Being involved in these traditional food practices may be a way to reconnect back to culture and a form of medicine. FNHA's Community Wellness Champion, Freda Campbell shares that harvesting fish can be a way of calling her spirit back to the land. Some of these traditional foods are shared in our Food is Medicine Recipe Book.  We encourage you to try them yourself!

In early March, we also shared how words have deeper meanings than we may realize, including when it comes to food. Our newly published Common Language Report, which seeks to establish a shared understanding of the true/intended meaning of certain words relating to food, and its accompanying Toolkit take a dive deep into the language we use and the values we hold surrounding food.

As community wellness champion Brenda Pike says, “Food really is medicine. It takes care of us. It nourishes my physical being, while practicing our traditional ways of being and knowing takes care of my spiritual being."

We acknowledge First Nations individuals, families, and communities face many barriers and challenges in accessing fresh, affordable and healthy traditional foods, due to the ongoing impacts of climate change, deforestation, and COVID-19. FNHA released a Planning Toolkit for Food Security that supports a wholistic community-approach putting food systems thinking into action and facilitate efforts towards traditional food revitalization. 

We hope these activities and practices inspire you and your families to continue or start your own journey of into the amazing foods and medicines on the lands in British Columbia.

In wellness,

Richard Jock, CEO; and Dr. Nel Wieman, CMO

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