Advancing praxis in radical food geographies: Insights from an Indigenous-settler food sovereignty research project

Authors: Charles Levkoe*, Lakehead University, Kristen Lowitt*, Queen's University
Topics: Qualitative Research, Cultural Ecology, Cultural Geography
Keywords: food sovereignty, activist film, Indigenous-settler relations, fisheries governance
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Virtual 10
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In this paper, we offer our reflections, as two settler academics, on advancing praxis in radical food geography through a food sovereignty, action-oriented project. The project is rooted in a partnership among ourselves, a documentary filmmaker, and the Chief of Batchewana First Nation (BFN). We embarked on this collaborative research project in 2019 aiming to work closely with BFN members to tell their own stories of historical and current fishing practices and approaches to governance through narrative film. BFN is located on the eastern shores of Lake Superior and despite the devastating and ongoing impacts of European colonization on the community’s ways of life, they continue to fish and assert their inherent Aboriginal and Treaty rights through exercising food sovereignty. This article is based in narrative interviews undertaken with the members of the research team about their experiences in the project and use of the three pillars of food sovereignty research praxis (people, power, change; see Levkoe et al., 2019) to frame our reflections of building a radical food geography praxis. Within this framework, we draw on the ideas of ethical space and activist filmmaking to further theorize our identities and positionalities and reflect on how the use of film, as a methodological approach, informed the project. Ultimately, our article seeks to contribute to a wider dialogue about decolonizing food geographies and is directed foremost to other settler geographers grappling with how to expand and reimagine their research practice to better support Indigenous-settler solidarity.

Reference: Levkoe et al., 2019 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03066150.2018.1512488

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