Renfrew Collingwood Food Justice (RCFJ) is seeking a critically thinking, passionate individual to join the Food Justice team this summer. This person will be responsible for supporting the organization, facilitation and promotion of urban agriculture activities and celebratory events with the RCFJ. Existing projects include our Rooftop Garden, Indigenous Food Forest, Cheyenne and Collingwood Community Gardens, Garden Skills workshops, outreach and event support.
Food Justice is rooted in Indigenous Food Sovereignty, as such we strongly encourage Indigenous applicants to apply. If you identify as Indigenous and would like to let us know, please include this in your application. If you are not Indigenous, please demonstrate your working knowledge of Indigenous Food Sovereignty & experience working in relationship with Indigenous communities & individuals.
Join us in responding to the displacement of vital cultural food assets in our community. This engagement session is family friendly, and open to all. On Tuesday, March 9th, and Wednesday March 10th, we are coming together to gather in person feedback in English and Tagalog on the re-development proposal for 5163-5187 Joyce St (Sari-Sari Filipino Convenience Store, Kumare Express, Pampanga’s Cuisine, Plato Filipino, Joyce Jiaozi, and Kay Market).
We will respect the social distancing rules that remain in place to eliminate the spread of COVID-19. All who stop by are asked to wear a mask. We will have hand sanitizer available and physical distancing markers in place. Though we are taking these precautions, there remains a risk to this form of activity, especially to folks who are immunocompromised.
Renfrew-Collingwood Food Justice would like to affirm and extend our support and solidarity to the fishers and community of Sipekne’katik First Nation in Mi’kma’ki (Nova Scotia).
For weeks, settler commercial fishers in Mi’kma’ki (Nova Scotia) have targeted fishers of Sipekne’katik First Nation. Attacks on Mi’kmaq fishers have included violent confrontations at the wharf of the self-regulated fishery in Weymouth, lobster traps being removed in St. Mary’s Bay and lobster pounds being ransacked, as well as violent rock-throwing, threats and vehicle fires. Most recently, a lobster pound in Middle West Pubnico holding the catch of Mi’kmaq fishers was burnt down. These acts of violence are intentional and genocidal.
Intervention from the RCMP and local police has been minimal. This inaction protects crimes perpetrated by settler vigilantes. This is settler-colonial violence.
Mi’kma’ki is unceded territory, and the Mi’kmaq have ancestral and treaty rights to harvest on their waters — an activity that has been practiced since time immemorial. The right of Mi’kmaq peoples to hunt, fish and gather year-round for a moderate livelihood is a constitutionally protected treaty right as per the 1752 Peace and Friendship Treaty. RCFJ stands behind, and echos all calls for the Canadian state to uphold Mi’kmaq treaty rights. It is unacceptable for governments to be complicit as blatant acts of racism and violence are perpetrated against Mi’kmaq peoples. We extend our unequivocal solidarity and support to the fishers and the entire community of Sipekne’katik First Nation in Mi’kma’ki in protecting their sovereignty and self-determination.
[IMAGE: Created by Jordan Bennett, Mi’kmaq artist from Stephenville Crossing, Ktaqamkuk]
In light of increasing concern regarding a second wave of the coronavirus outbreak, RCFJ will be CANCELLING both our in-person Meet & Greet and Food Advisory Committee meeting. We would like to extend our sincere apologies for any disappointment and inconvenience this cancellation has caused.
Our primary concern is always the responsibility we feel towards our community, and this is a difficult decision we have made with the hopes of keeping our community safe. We are continuing to explore options to reschedule this in-person gathering and other similar events at a safer time.
Until then, both events planned for TONIGHT will now be hosted online through Zoom. We will be coming together from 5PM – 6PM for a virtual Meet & Greet, and from 6PM – 7:30PM for our October Food Advisory Committee.
In 2015, it was formally recognized by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that government-funded, church-run residential schools in Canada operated with an explicit purpose; to destroy Indigenous cultures, languages and ways of life.
Old Crow Chief Norma Kassi said at the Northern National Event in Inuvik, “The doors are closed at the residential schools but the foster homes are still existing and our children are still being taken away.”
State-sanctioned genocide of Indigenous peoples continues to be enacted through institutions such as the Canadian child welfare and carceral systems, through willful disregard for Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women & Girls, and through state-sanctioned intimidation of Land Defenders.
As settlers working to counteract violence of the industrial food system, we must also understand how food and food production intersects with these histories of colonialism, with settler agriculture and with the disruption of Coast Salish food systems. We echo and stand behind demands made by Indigenous Land Defenders for #LandBack, and understand our work here is incomplete until these demands are met.
We also acknowledge the need for institutions, individuals, and organizations such as ourselves to move beyond rhetorical gestures of inclusion and commit to decolonial solidarity through sustained, action.
Today is Orange Shirt Day – a day honouring children that were violently torn away from their families and forced into Canada’s residential school system.
As a call to action and show of solidarity, Orange Shirt Society has invited folks to organize or attend an event being organized in your area. Link below for a full list of events organized in so-called British Columbia. We encourage visitation of this link, and broader reflection on ways in which we might support Indigenous resurgence, resistance and decolonial struggle.
Join the Collingwood-Renfrew Food Justice team and our friends from the Still Moon Arts Society for a garden meet and greet/lantern making workshop! Snacks and supplies will be provided!
In light of public health recommendations will be practicing social distancing (6.5 feet) using visible markers. Hand sanitizer will also be available. We will have masks for those who do not have any, but supplies are limited so we encourage folks to bring their own.
Tham gia với nhóm Collingwood-Renfrew Food Justice và những người bạn của chúng tôi từ Still Moon Arts Society để gặp gỡ, chào hỏi, và học cách làm lồng đèn trong vườn! Đồ ăn nhẹ và đồ dùng làm nghệ thuật sẽ được cung cấp!
Theo các khuyến nghị về sức khỏe của chính phủ, tất cả chúng ta sẽ giữ khoảng cách 6,5 feet bằng cách sử dụng các dấu hiệu nhìn thấy được. Dung dịch rửa tay khô cũng sẽ có sẵn. Chúng tôi sẽ có một số khẩu trang cho người không có, nhưng vì chúng tôi có rất ít, chúng tôi khuyến khích bạn mang theo khẩu trang của riêng mình.
IMAGES: Gillian Der (left) and Melody Yin Yun Wise (right).
The wonderful Mik and Kaitlyn have both moved on from their time here at RCFJ, to new roles and exciting endeavours. They will be dearly missed by the Food Justice team, but we wish them great success and happiness as they leave their roles. Now, we are excited to introduce you to our new Food Justice Coordinator and Community Food Liaison: Gillian and Melody!
Food Justice Coordinator: Gillian Der 謝美華 (pronouns she/they)
Gillian Der 謝美華 is a descendant of CPR builders and Head Tax payers on her father’s side and settlers from the British Isles on her mother’s. She has been living as settler and uninvited guest on unceeded Musqueam, Squamish, & Tsliel-Waututh territory since 2015. She brings with her over five years of expirience working and volunteering in food justice in Toronto and Vancouver. Gillian seeks to understand food through an intersectional lens and recognize the complexity of emotions that surround food, belonging, and scarcity in the current capitalist system we live in. As a young person growing up in he age of climate change, Gillian’s understanding of food systems are shaped by interacting directly with local farmers, her own time spent gathering food with her family and recognizing how food systems have become increasingly unpredicatble. In her time away from the office, Gillian enjoys long distance hiking, gardening, birdwatching, and knitting.
Community Food Liaison: Melody Wise 维斯茵韵 (pronouns she/her/hers)
Melody is joining RCNH as our new Community Food Liaison, taking over for Kaitlyn Fung. Melody is a mixed-heritage settler of colour, raised on unceded, occupied and traditional territories of the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples.
Having worked for over two years at the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria and the Health, Environments and Communities Lab, Melody brings a background specifically focused on anti-racist community organizing, and program coordination in the immigrant and refugee settlement sector. She is excited and honoured to put the stories and perspectives she brings from these experiences into dialogue with the ways in which we are creating sustainable, equitable and culturally relevant food systems in the Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood!!
We’re so excited to get connecting, and hope to catch you (from six feet apart) around the community soon!
An important announcement from the team: please read for a special update regarding our team and the organization!
To our wonderful community members,
We hope that you are as well as you can be during these strange times, and that you are finding ways to enjoy your summer! In addition to our usual newsletter updates this month, we are writing to you with an important announcement and special message from Mik and Kaitlyn…
After over 2 wonderful years of working with all of you as part of the Renfrew-Collingwood Food Security Institute at Collingwood Neighbourhood House, we, Mik and Kaitlyn, will be moving on from our roles here at the end of the summer.Mik is moving on to complete their Masters of Social Work full-time practicum and begin a career in clinical social work and counselling, and Kaitlyn will be returning to school to start her Master of Journalism program at UBC.
You may have already seen the job postings for our roles, now available on the CNH website, but we encourage you to share them to your networks if you know anyone who would be interested in applying!
We want to say that we are so proud of everything we’ve been able to accomplish with you, our community—including the delicious fruits and vegetables we’ve grown together, the laughter we’ve shared over meals in the kitchen, and especially all of the amazing community-building and advocacy work we’ve engaged in together, through food.
With that in mind, our other announcement is an adjustment to the name of the organization: moving forward, our hope is that Renfrew-Collingwood Food Justice (RCFJ)can continue the work of using food to support, connect, and bring people together, and to do this especially with the larger goal of working towards justice. With the success of our recent efforts to further integrate advocacy into our food work—including support with organizing the “Think, Ask, Vote” campaign at CNH and attending the General Strike for Climate Action together—we feel this new name makes it clear that we hope this momentum will continue in even more innovative ways, so we hope you’ll join us in welcoming it, too.
We know these changes bring many questions and surprises with them, but they also bring lots of fresh opportunities for growth, and hopefully the beginning of an exciting new chapter for all of you! It has been an absolute honour to learn, grow, and connect alongside each of you in our community, and our time together is something we’ll continue to cherish even as we continue on to the next chapters in our lives.
Much love from,
Mik & Kaitlyn
and Najia, Emma, and the Renfrew-Collingwood Food Justice (RCFJ) Team
(formerly the Renfrew-Collingwood Food Security Institute)
3rd // Advisory Committee Meeting 5288 Joyce Street from 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM Collingwood Neighbourhood House
Interested in building your leadership skills, working with a team, and learning about community food issues? Join us at our meeting for more information on how you can get involved!
9th // Food Skills: Veggie Gardening 101 2929 E. 22nd Avenue from 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM Register at Renfrew Park Community Centre 604 257 8388
Always wanted to learn how to grow your food but don’t know where to start? Have you tried but been met with frustration? This beginners-level gardening workshop will go over all the basics you need to know to start growing your own vegetables: Soil health basics, planting (from seed and transplanting), watering, fertility, harvesting, plant health, troubleshooting, and information about the most common vegetable plant families and what they need to thrive! Cost $5.
10th // Collingwood Seed Swap 5288 Joyce Street from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Collingwood Neighbourhood House
Bring a seed, share a seed, take home even more seeds – all by donation. Explore the incredibly diverse range of plants that you can plant in your garden and get a jumpstart on your gardening season!
Be sure to bring your own seeds, and find us in the main lobby of Collingwood Neighbourhood House!
13th & 25th// Community Kitchen Register with CNH – 604 435 0323
Come cook, eat, and learn together with neighbours in a safe and fun environment. Do you have a recipe that you would like to share? We’d love to learn from you!
1) DATE: March 13th from 2:00 PM – 5:30 PM LOCATION: 3690 Vanness Ave, at the CNH Annex
2) DATE: March 25th from 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM LOCATION: 5288 Joyce Street, at Collingwood Neighbourhood House
18th // Community Dinner 5288 Joyce Street from 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM Collingwood Neighbourhood House
Come join us at our inaugural monthly Community Dinner for a 3-course meal. You can expect the same delicious and nutritious meal similar to our weekly Community Lunches. Tickets will be available for purchase from CNH Front Desk.
Cost is identical to Community Lunch prices:
$7 for adults • $6 for seniors • $5 for students
$3.25 for children (<12)
27th // Seniors Lunch Field Trip Meet at CNH Lobby for pick-up at 11:30 AM Lunch location: TBD Registration required for a spot on the shuttle bus.
A special lunch field trip for seniors! Free round-trip transportation between Collingwood Neighbourhood House and the lunch location will be provided, but limited spots are available.
Spots on the shuttle bus can be reserved by signing up at front desk of Collingwood Neighbourhood House. All participants are responsible for paying for their own lunch.
Lunch location still to be determined—watch out for updates closer to the date!
Community Food Forest Animation Call for Proposals!
Did you know that RCFSI has been stewarding the Norquay Community Food Forest for 10 years? Equipped with seating, shade tents, fruit trees and berries, permaculture and native plantings, a big shed, and brand new garden tools, this hidden gem is a vastly underused community resource in East Vancouver.
We are releasing a Call For Proposals for individuals, groups, and organizations to animate this beautiful space. Anyone from an individual who wants to garden there, to community groups, to an instructor who wants to teach a permaculture design certificate are welcome to apply!