In February 2022, our CREation Community Grants team sent out a Q&A form to 2021 CREation grantees to capture their experiences creating and carrying out their projects. Today we are featuring responses from the Ketegaunseebee Food Sovereignty Project, a group of two young leaders: Aaron Jones and Angela Belleau from Garden River First Nation, Ontario.
Q : Tell us about your group and project!
A : “The Ketegaunseebee Food Sovereignty Project is led by Aaron Jones and Angela Belleau of Garden River First Nation. The idea was conceptualized by Aaron to address food availability and accessibility by gifting community members with perennial food-producing plants such as fruit-bearing trees and shrubs. Along with gifting plants, this project aims to educate the community about growing food and inspire others to think about the future of food in Garden River.”
Q : As the youth running the project, what impact do you hope it will have?
A : “While the goal of this project is to provide community members with access to the long-term food supply, we hope that we inspire those to learn more about the benefits of growing food, eating locally and taking action. This will not only benefit the well-being of each individual but could potentially have a greater impact on the economic and social development of the community itself.”
Q : What is something you have learned?
A : “There was a lot of interest in the project and unfortunately, we were unable to provide plants to everyone on- and off-reserve. That said, this project could have benefited more from community engagement at the beginning. This would have allowed us to assess community needs and be able to find creative ways to reach all community members.”
Q : What is one piece of advice you would share with other youth who want to run a project?
A : “One thing that has helped us keep on track was to create a project timeline with deliverables. This made it easier for us to know what tasks were associated with each project phase and complete them within a timely manner. Also, it helps give a visual to others during meetings and can be useful in reporting.”
We are so proud of the heart-work our young relatives like Aaron Jones and Angela Belleau are doing across Turtle Island and are so lucky to be able to support them in this work.