FoodShare’s Commitments to Truth and Reconciliation

Strawberries on vines in a FoodShare garden outside in Toronto

July 1, 2021 - FoodShare’s Commitments to Truth and Reconciliation

In efforts to take meaningful steps towards truth and reconciliation, FoodShare commits to:

1. Two new permanent paid organization-wide shutdown days for all staff to engage in the work of reconciliation.

FoodShare’s Board recently approved a motion to introduce two new and permanent shutdown dates. Moving forward both June 21 (National Indigenous People’s Day) and September 30 (National Day for Truth and Reconciliation) will be paid shutdown dates for all staff. During this time we encourage staff to engage with the work of reconciliation in a way that is relevant and meaningful to them. This includes reviewing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, the Calls to Justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and engaging with events centred on Indigenous sovereignty.

2. Establishing a permanent position within the organization for an Indigenous Community Action Coordinator. 

In recent years FoodShare has received funding from a foundation to hire an Indigenous Community Action Coordination, a role that has been designed in collaboration with our Indigenous Advisory Circle, that supports Indigenous-led groups in doing their own food sovereignty work. As is often the case with charities and nonprofits, this role has been dependent on funding from this foundation, but we have decided that this role is core to our work and have committed to making it a permanent role. We will allocate funds to cover the cost of this position if the funder ever decides not to fund it.

3. Not applying for funding for FoodShare to take the lead in Indigenous programming or services. 

In the past we have applied for government funding for FoodShare staff to run programming on Indigenous food sovereignty and land based teachings. While program participants enjoyed these programs, we recognize that this is not our work. While we have Indigenous leadership on our Board and among our staff team, we are not an Indigenous organization and we will no longer apply for funds that should be allocated to organizations that are Indigenous-led and Indigenous-focused. Instead, we will support Indigenous-led grassroots groups in securing this funding for themselves, when requested. This action will help move real resources to Indigenous communities.

4. Advocating for all levels of government to implement the Calls to Action. 

We recently published an open letter from our Board Chair, Crystal Sinclair, and our Executive Director, Paul Taylor, calling on all levels of government to immediately prioritize the implementation of the Calls to Action identified by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the Calls for Justice identified by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. We will continue our advocacy in this area. To date, only 14 of the 94 Calls to Action have been implemented, and this is profoundly shameful.

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