Ottawa allocates funding grants to bolster Indigenous research projects – The Globe and Mail

by ahnationtalk on January 14, 201949 Views

January 13, 2019

For Melissa Arcand, Indigenous agriculture is a matter of family heritage.

Long before she was a scientist, she grew up on her father’s farm, part of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation in Saskatchewan, in a community where her grandparents also farmed and raised turkeys.

After she became an assistant professor at the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Arcand, who is an expert in soil biogeochemistry, got curious about how Indigenous approaches to agriculture might affect soil quality and function. But her academic interest was stymied by a lack of data of the most basic kind.

“There’s just no information,” Dr. Arcand said.

That meant no one could tell her how many First Nations people were involved in agriculture across the Canadian prairies, let alone what they were growing and how. Nor had anyone systematically tracked how much First Nations land was being worked by non-Indigenous farmers, and under what terms – or how much decision-making power communities held over agricultural practices on their land.

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