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Traditional and Indigenous Foodways

Understanding and supporting Indigenous and traditional foodways is fundamental to building more sustainable and equitable food systems around the world. Ensuring that traditional knowledge about the land, food systems, and biodiversity is valued, included in policy, and shared between communities and generations is key to food systems self-determination and realizing the right to food.

The UNESCO Chair on Food, Biodiversity and Sustainability Studies works closely with Indigenous and traditional communities to address the longstanding impacts of colonialism by helping to imagine and build the food systems that communities want. This work hinges on prioritizing Indigenous and traditional ways of knowing and being as well as the recognition that food is at the heart of culture and community resilience.

Through community-led research, the creation of formal and informal educational opportunities, support for Indigenous youth and elders, and increased knowledge sharing across networks, the Chair engages with community leaders and knowledge holders to support sustainable food system initiatives that centre culture, language, and land stewardship. This work builds on the Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems’ existing trust-based relationships with communities engaged in reimagining their food systems.

Contact Us:

Alison Blay-Palmer, Chairholder


Andrew Spring, Executive Director of Research


Jane Clause, Director of Programming, Education, and Communications