Watch A Tsimshian Farmer From Kitwanga Explain What ‘Food Sovereignty’ Means

Jacob Beaton runs Tea Creek Farm.

When a monster storm slammed into southeastern B.C. last fall, cutting off supply routes into the Skeena, some people reacted to empty grocery shelves by saying we need to grow more food locally.

But a Tsimshian farmer named Jacob Beaton says we should be aspiring to an even more ambitious goal. We should be aiming for “food sovereignty.” 

That’s not just a fancy academic phrase. It has a real on-the-ground significance for local farmers such as Beaton, who runs Tea Creek Farm in Kitwanga with his family.  

“A lot of people think we can’t grow a lot of food here and that’s not true,” he says in a new video explaining what “food sovereignty” could look like in the Skeena. 

Beaton breaks it down like this. The more commonly known term of “food security” refers to how much food a region has locally. “You have more food, you’re more food secure,” Beaton says.

“Food sovereignty” is about something bigger. It refers to the people who grow the food, the nutrition of the food and the knowledge about growing food that’s passed down from generation to generation. It’s about letting local farmers decide their own rules.

And it could also help us fight the global challenge of climate change–right here in the Skeena. 

Watch Beaton’s video to learn more. 

Written by The Skeena

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