The Xa’xtsa, Skatin, Samahquam and N’Quatqua First Nations will soon have access to safer and more nutritious food sources through a new grant for local food security projects.
“This funding will help us immensely with our health plan goals towards traditional wellness for our communities,” said Rosemary Wallace, health director, Southern Stl’alt’imx Charitable Society. “We believe that by providing greater access to food production, harvesting and preserving, we are able to support community members in understanding and preparing the seasonal cycles of food to increase reliance on locally sourced traditional foods.”
Southern Stl’atl’imx Charitable Society (SSCS) will receive $216,859 in provincial funding through Victoria Foundation’s new Food Security – Provincial Initiatives Fund. It will support food security for the Xa’xtsa, Skatin, Samahquam and N’Quatqua First Nations. The project will revitalize and develop the N’Quatqua Hatchery and support economic development and employment opportunities, and it will expand the Xa'xtsa, Skatin and Samahquam Nations' community gardens. The initiatives will contribute to the self-sufficiency, resilience and access to traditional foods of the Southern Stl’atl’imx.
“When people have access to safe, secure and culturally appropriate food sources, it creates a more inclusive community that can better support the well-being of the people who live there,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “We will continue to reduce poverty in our province by supporting organizations that understand local issues.”
The Province provided $3 million to the Victoria Foundation in March 2019. Of that, $1.9 million went to the Mustard Seed Food Bank to help buy its food security distribution centre for southern Vancouver Island. The remaining $1.1 million helped establish the new Food Security – Provincial Initiatives Fund. The SSCS project is one of the first five projects receiving a total of $665,695. Additional grant recipients will be announced in 2020.
“Food insecurity doesn’t look the same in every community. The Food Security – Provincial Initiatives Fund is an opportunity for us to partner with local organizations that understand what their communities need,” said Sandra Richardson, CEO, Victoria Foundation. “These communities already have the knowledge. The grants from this fund will give them the means to help create and strengthen local food systems and economies.”
TogetherBC, the Province’s first poverty reduction strategy, was released earlier in 2019 as a cross-government plan to reduce poverty. The Victoria Foundation grant supports the Province’s work by helping organizations develop local food security programs to increase inclusion, make food more affordable, support better opportunities and continue to focus on reconciliation in communities in B.C.
Addressing poverty is a shared commitment between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
- Food Security – Provincial Initiatives Fund recipients:
- Carrier Sekani Family Services - $114,257
- Nuxalk Nation - $114,433
- Sources Community Resources Society - $191,976
- Southern Stl’atl’imx Charitable Society - $216,859
- First Nations Emergency Services Society - $28,170
- More than 500,000 British Columbians experience some level of household food insecurity.
TogetherBC, B.C.’s first poverty reduction strategy: https://gov.bc.ca/togetherbc
The Victoria Foundation’s food security initiatives: https://victoriafoundation.bc.ca/food-rescue-project/
Southern Stl’atl’imx Charitable Society: https://sshs.ca/