Article Title

Promoting or Protecting Traditional Knowledges? Tensions in the Resurgence of Indigenous Food Practices on Vancouver Island


Indigenous knowledges are increasingly promoted within scholarship and policy making as a necessary component of the well-being and self-determination among Indigenous Peoples. This article contributes to this discussion by raising practical and ethical questions surrounding the resurgence of traditional food practices in Western Canada. Based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted with cultural activists and Elders in central Vancouver Island, this article reveals how this resurgence is framed by competing and contradictory pressures to build wider inclusion and awareness while simultaneously protecting knowledge and resources from exploitation. Due to this complication, it is imperative that scholars and policy makers develop and apply a more nuanced understanding of Indigenous knowledges in contemporary contexts that can better respond to the needs of Indigenous communities.


The author would like to acknowledge with gratitude those who participated in this research. Thank you for the invaluable wisdom and memories shared. The author would also like to acknowledge Alex Strating from the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Amsterdam for his mentorship, helpful suggestions, and much-needed encouragement.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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