Resetting the Table, Food Secure Canada’s (FSC) 9th Assembly, brought 900 participants passionate about healthy, just and sustainable food together on October 13, 2016 at Ryerson University in Toronto. Indigenous food sovereignty was at the forefront of the conversations. The Assembly was launched with a public event, Decolonizing the Table: An Evening on Indigenous Food Sovereignty. This opening plenary was led by individuals playing instrumental roles in the Indigenous food movement. In the closing plenary, remarks were given to the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, after a brief summary of the Indigenous Circle working group’s deliberations over the course of the Assembly.
Indigenous food systems are deeply connected to Indigenous economies, cultures, health, and wellbeing. Fundamental values of respect, responsibility, reciprocity, and redistribution once guided relations in the diverse network of Indigenous food systems across Canada. Coast to coast to coast , Indigenous food actionists are decolonizing body, mind, and spirit by rebuilding food sovereignty in their households, communities, and nations. This opening plenary explored the front-line stories and struggles of Indigenous peoples as distinct nations who are working to build food sovereignty. This event was open to the public, and helped to educate settlers on the importance of food security in the struggle for Indigenous sovereignty.