Coyote Brings the Food conference to open IDays

Knowledge Makers partner with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations for a two-day conference

IDays will kick off on March 11 and 12 in the Campus Activity Centre (CAC) with a two-day conference called “Coyote Brings the Food.” Organized by the Knowledge Makers in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UNFAO), the conference aims to empower individuals through research and knowledge creation. TRU World has also collaborated with Knowledge Makers for the conference.

Five global Indigenous knowledge makers are set to attend. As part of the Knowledge Makers, they have also launched a collaborative edition of their work for the Volume 8 Journal called UNFAO Special Edition. It showcases the work done by the conference partner, UNFAO.

Jeneen Herns-Jensen, the associate director of the All My Relations Indigenous Research Centre, is an organizer for the Knowledge Makers and the Coyote Brings the Food conference. She also works on various programs and the Knowledge Makers journals.

“For this journal, we recognize Indigenous researchers from all levels, including people who have no prior university training and no academic knowledge coming into the program,” Herns-Jensen said. “They were taught what Indigenous research is, and then they were taught how to write a research paper so that it could be published once that paper was written.”

“Coyote Brings the Food” will kick off IDays, TRU’s annual multicultural event that aims to empower students, faculty, and visitors to connect and express their cultural experiences and perspectives. After March 12, when the conference is over, IDays will continue with the rest of the events.

“We are collaborating with TRU World because we all fit under the same theme, climate future across borders, and because we both align within the same time frame and theme. We thought this was a fantastic opportunity to showcase multiple different voices,” Herns-Jensen said.

Rod McCormick, an Indigenous health researcher and Director of All My Relations Indigenous Research Centre from the Kanienkehaka (Mohawk) nation, touched on the significance of the conference’s name, saying that with its themes of food sovereignty, the title was perfect for the conference.

“The Coyote Brings Food is based on a Quebec story that Paul Michel explains on our website,” McCormick said. “[It’s] about how a coyote brought the plants that the Secwepemc use for food and medicine to earth and showed the people how to share it and not destroy or ruin it.”

McCormick hopes the event leaves people with the hope of fixing the climate and food crises in Canada and worldwide.

“If we’re going to solve this climate crisis, then we need to look at the guidance of Indigenous Peoples, and in particular, the youth, the young people,” McCormick said.

This conference will focus on interactive components. People can drop by to participate in any capacity, whether just to chat and have lunch or to write on the large posters on the walls, asking specific questions and encouraging visual knowledge sharing from the community.

While the event is free, registration is encouraged to ensure everyone gets to experience the different communities and positions of leadership that will be attending. Registration can be found on the IDays Schedule website.