Enhancing First Nations Food Security and Sovereignty in BC
The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) has chosen the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council (I·SPARC) to deliver the Food Systems Program (FSP) – the community-based program that was previously delivered through Heart & Stroke.
Food security and food sovereignty are important determinants of health for Indigenous peoples and this transition to an Indigenous-led organization will bring a community and culture-based lens to the program. The FSP has expanded in recent years under the Heart & Stroke's careful stewardship. Growing from 17 to over 70 communities, participating in the FSP demonstrates the importance Nations are placing on their relationship with food systems.
FNHA has been a strong supporter of I·SPARC and the Healthy Living programs and activities it currently delivers throughout the province. With the transfer of the FSP now completed, the priority is a seamless transition for participating communities and the launch of the annual FSP community grant process.
Communities have used the $5,000 grants in a variety of innovative ways including creating community gardens that provide fresh foods and gathering spaces as well as supporting traditional food activities like bear grease workshops and building smokehouses.
The FSP annual regional gatherings will continue to provide space for Nation-to-Nation sharing, mentoring, and the strengthening of trading and bartering relationships.
“FNHA is excited to further our partnership with I·SPARC and confident that I·SPARC will build on the success of the Food Systems Program to date, while focusing on learning and being attuned to the needs of communities," said Sonia Isaac-Mann, FNHA's V.P. Community Health and Wellness, Programs and Services.
“We are pleased to continue building on our valued relationship with the First Nations Health Authority, now to include the Food Systems Program," said Rick Brant, I·SPARC CEO. “This is an exciting new area of programming for I·SPARC, which complements the broad range of innovative community-based initiatives we offer within our Healthy Living programs. During this transitional year, we will have the unique opportunity to learn more about what is important to communities in relation to food security and food sovereignty."
About First Nations Health Authority (FNHA):
The FNHA is the health and wellness partner to over 200 diverse First Nations communities and citizens across BC. In 2013, the FNHA began a new era in BC First Nations health governance and health care delivery by taking responsibility for the programs and services formerly delivered by Health Canada. Since then the FNHA has been working to address service gaps through new partnerships, closer collaboration, health systems innovation, reform and redesign of health programs and services for individuals, families, communities and Nations.
The FNHA is also a champion of culturally safe practices throughout the broader health care system. Taking a leadership role, the FNHA actively works with its health partners to embed cultural safety and humility into health service delivery and improve health outcomes for First Nations people.
About Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council (I·SPARC)
The Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council (I·SPARC) is a provincial organization established for the purpose of improving the health outcomes of Indigenous people by supporting and encouraging physically active individuals, families, and communities. The programs and services delivered by I·SPARC are designed to build capacity and increase access to sport, recreation, and physical activity in First Nations, Aboriginal Friendship Centres, Métis Chartered Communities, schools, and other delivery agencies throughout British Columbia.
For more information of the Food Systems Program, please contact:
Robynne Edgar, Director, Healthy Living firstname.lastname@example.org