In celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day, we’re sharing with you the highlights of the first annual Healthy Food Feeds Healthy Minds gathering that took place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, last April. This 3-day event was filled with different workshops and speakers who worked to inspire our participants to reconnect with food and traditional food practices. Adult and youth participants from 16 Indigenous communities across Manitoba, Ontario and British Columbia gathered to learn, share and teach each other about traditional food procurement, health in the communities and school nutrition.
From cooking unique Haida Gwaii dishes to learning about traditional wild rice production, and touring Sysco’s Food Distribution Center, our participants were kept busy learning and connecting. They also had the opportunity to create friendships and connections with fellow participants, speakers, and Breakfast Club of Canada staff, including President-Founder Daniel Germain. He spoke on how the generations coming together would allow effective change for Indigenous communities: “it was truly inspirational to watch the different communities work as one to build solutions to an important issue. It was wrapped in tradition and innovation in a way that only comes to fruition when Elders and youth come together.”
We also asked our very own Mandy Desautels – one of the ‘planner extraordinaire’ – what her 3 highlights of the gathering were:
1- Witnessing an incredible group of many generations come together around food, traditional practices, and school breakfast programs was just amazing.
2- Watching 10-year-old Wade from Sagkeeng Anicinabe school learn how to make deer stew with Carol Sanoffsky, Bayline Regional Roundtable Coordinator was fantastic. Their energy was infectious.
3- 15-year-old Trey from Haida Gwaii Farm to School project led a workshop on incorporating traditional teas into school breakfast programs. Trey’s deep knowledge of cultural practices was inspiring to all.