Indigenous Food Sovereignty, Renewal, and US Settler Colonialism

Authored by: Kyle Powys Whyte

The Routledge Handbook of Food Ethics

Print publication date:  July  2016
Online publication date:  July  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138809130
eBook ISBN: 9781315745503
Adobe ISBN: 9781317595502


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Indigenous peoples often embrace different concepts of food sovereignty to frame their ongoing efforts to achieve self-determination and justice. Yet concepts of food sovereignty can come across as so many impossible ideals of community food self-sufficiency and cultural autonomy. I will suggest in this essay that for some North American Indigenous peoples, food sovereignty movements are not really based on such ideals, even though they invoke concepts of cultural revitalization and political sovereignty in relation to food. Instead, food sovereignty should be seen – at least in part – as a strategic process of Indigenous resurgence that negotiates structures of settler colonialism that erase what I will call the ecological value of certain foods for Indigenous peoples.

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