Improving Access to Fresh Vegetables: Home Gardening in a Remote First Nations Community
Vandenberg, Skye Charolette
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Cultural oppression and marginalization through colonization of First Nation peoples has led to a variety of physical and mental health problems. Regaining health and well-being in these First Nations communities will require interventions sensitive to cultural needs and supportive of traditional practices. Anthropogenic induced climate change has the potential to warm the region around the Hudson and James Bay lowland by 3.9-4.5 °C. This warming will affect both the traditional and conventional food system in the communities on the western James Bay coast. Western James Bay First Nations already face high levels of food insecurity. The traditional food system is becoming weakened as people participate less in hunting activities, and will become further degraded as climate change makes hunting practices more risky and expensive. However, climate warming may provide greater cultivation potential in the region improving local production of produce if these activities are pursued. Home gardening and community gardening have the potential to improve access to fresh vegetables, nutritional choices, and community cohesion if pursued in First Nations communities.