In recognition of Truth and Reconciliation Day in Canada, the Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA) acknowledges that Indigenous communities around the world have, for centuries, cultivated the land with a profound understanding of the natural environment. Their traditional farming techniques not only sustainably produce food but also embody a harmonious relationship with the Earth. We recognize and celebrate the invaluable contributions of Indigenous peoples to agriculture and acknowledge that their methods have much to teach us.
COTA believes in the following principles when it comes to recognizing Indigenous methods in organic agriculture advocacy:
Acknowledging Indigenous Knowledge: We acknowledge that Indigenous communities possess a wealth of knowledge about land stewardship, biodiversity conservation, and sustainable farming practices. This knowledge is deeply rooted in their cultures and has been passed down through generations.
Learning from Indigenous Practices: We are committed to learning from and sharing the Indigenous practices that promote biodiversity, soil health, and resilience in the face of changing climates. By incorporating these practices into the broader organic agriculture movement, we can strengthen the sustainability of our food systems.
Supporting Indigenous Food Sovereignty: We believe in supporting Indigenous communities’ right to determine their own agricultural systems and food production methods. We advocate for policies that respect and protect Indigenous food sovereignty.
Collaborating with Indigenous Communities: Our organization actively seeks opportunities to collaborate with Indigenous communities, respecting their autonomy and cultural traditions. We recognize that partnerships built on mutual respect and shared goals can foster positive change in the organic agriculture movement.
Elevating Indigenous Voices: We are committed to amplifying the voices of Indigenous farmers, leaders, and knowledge keepers. Their insights and experiences should guide our efforts to advocate for organic agriculture and sustainable food systems.
Preserving Cultural Heritage: We understand that Indigenous agriculture is not just about food production; it is also deeply intertwined with cultural heritage and identity. We respect and honour the cultural significance of Indigenous farming practices.
By recognizing and learning from Indigenous methods, we aim to contribute to a more sustainable and inclusive future for organic farming, where the wisdom of all cultures plays a vital role in nurturing the planet and feeding its inhabitants.