VICTORIA, B.C. – The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries has announced a new council that will help Indigenous agriculture grow in the province.

Indigenous leaders and experts on agriculture and food from across the province will be working with the Province to increase Indigenous participation in the ag sector and work to strengthen Indigenous food systems.

The Indigenous Advisory Council on Agriculture and Food (IACAF) will be the first of its kind in Canada and will work to advance reconciliation, respect for Indigenous rights, and supporting self-determination goals in the ag and food sector. This will be on a three-year strategic plan.

“The B.C. IACAF will bring more diverse voices and perspectives to help shape the province’s agricultural industry for future generations,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries.

“With the advisory council’s guidance, I look forward to working together to create a more resilient food system in Indigenous communities around B.C. and building strong, vibrant Indigenous economies that reflect Indigenous peoples’ rights and distinct cultures, priorities, and values.”

Member of the advisory council will have a shared commitment to advance reconciliation by means of change roosted in the implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action in the context of agriculture and food sector.

The 15-member council held its first meeting last month, June 24th, to discuss the priorities identified in the strategic plan and will meet quarterly.

The mandate of the new advisory council is to enhance the equitable participation of Indigenous peoples in the agriculture and food sector and work to support their food security, food sovereignty, and economic development objectives. Priority areas are as follows:

More information can be found on the Province’s website.