Food Security Concerns and Challenges of First Nations Communities in the Interior of BC
Brittany Myhal, MLWS 2018
The vulnerability of rural communities is a global issue that has been persisting for decades. As development pressures increase and climate change intensifies, these communities are forced to shift their reliance on local resources to imported goods. Due to the low population density of rural areas relative to urban centres, they hold less political power and their needs are often not prioritized by government. As a result, even communities in a resource abundant province such as British Columbia are experiencing food and water security issues. Rural First Nation communities have been particularly vulnerable as they have a history of being marginalized which has impacted their livelihood and decreased their ability to remain resilient to change.
This is a preliminary report intended to explore the main challenges and concerns regarding food security in rural communities in BC from a First Nations perspective. Two communities in BC’s interior were selected and visited. The first was Lytton First Nations and the second organization was Esh-Kn-Am Cultural Resources Management Services, which represents three different First Nations bands. There was greater focus placed on Esh-Kn-Am as they expressed more concern than the Lytton community in regard to their local food security.