A unique opportunity to explore indigenous tastes is happening Friday, Oct. 24 and Saturday, Oct. 25 in Ucluelet.
The Toquaht First Nation is hosting the 7th Annual Traditional Foods Conference at the Ucluelet Community Centre. Registration is online for the annual event through the Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities Indigenous Foods Network (VICCIFN).
â€œHosted by a different Nation each year, we are excited to support the Toquaht Nation in this two day exploration of traditional foods,â€ said Marcie DeWitt, community developer for the Coastal Family Resource Coalition.
Register online at http://www.indigenousfoodsvi.ca/register/
Also coming up, the Nov. 7 Food Connections Gathering will gather participants from across Vancouver Island to investigate food security in rural and remote communities.
â€œWe will be having a morning full of workshops followed by an afternoon work party with the Ucluelet Elementary School,â€ DeWitt said.
Registration is online at the Eventbrite site at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/food-connections-gathering-tickets-13415344657
â€œHere on the wet coast we have a pretty amazing food culture. The tourism industry draws an excellent array of culinary delights with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients. We have festivals celebrating food – like the upcoming Oyster Fest – some amazing locally harvested products, the traditional foods of our local First Nation and restaurants with menus featuring these West Coast delights,â€ DeWitt said.
â€œWe also experience some challenges to accessing food, due to our rural and remote communities our food prices can be up to 21% higher. Harvesting local foods requires time and considerable knowledge of ecosystems, lifecycles and harvesting boundaries to be done confidently and respectfully. Added to this only two communities in our region have fully stocked grocery stores, residents of the other 6 travel by car, boat or float to access supplies,â€ she said.
DeWitt said conversations about food access or â€˜food securityâ€™ are important.
â€œWe need to investigate how we can bridge the gap between our successes and challenges. There is no made to order solution. What works in rural and remote communities can be vastly different than in urban centres or even between communities. What is important is that these conversations are happening; awareness, ideas and solutions are being generated,â€ she said.