Proposal for Community Review: Ka̱su, Traditional Foods Harvesting Program
Ka̱su is a multi-year project, with the ultimate goal of creating a sustainable network of traditional foods harvesting that could feed participants and the community over the course of the year.
The first year will involve planning, site visits and construction, and training. We will create a program that is sustainable, meaningful, and built on a solid foundation. To do this right, we need to consult with elders and others with traditional knowledge. To ensure we are harvesting resources respectfully and with consent, we will consult with hereditary leaders and matriarchs. To set our future participants up for success, we will create workbooks and training opportunities for them. Ka̱su will prepare, properly equip and train youth prior to taking them out on the land. We will build a xalatsi (smokehouse) upriver from one of our communities for salmon fishing, set up a winter camping site in the Broughton Archipelago for clam digging, map out routes to good berry patches, and start a root garden.
In the second year, we will run the pilot program. Ka̱su will bring together a cohort of Musgamakw Dzawada̱’enux̱w youth and young adults each season to learn about traditional harvesting and land use to generate food. They will learn what was traditionally harvested during that time, how it was harvested and why it was harvested. The cohort will get hands-on experience harvesting and will spend multiple days at a time out on the land honing their knowledge and harvesting skills. The cohort will remain the same throughout the year. They will learn from elders, knowledge holders and hands-on experience.
Example of what our year of harvesting will look like:
- July: chinook/coho salmon
- September: root gardens, salal berries
- January: clams, ducks, geese, deer
- April: oolichan, halibut
After each harvest, the group will take their bounty to the villages then prepare and distribute the foods to the community.
In the times that they are not together as a group, they will be encouraged to think about how they consume food in their lives, and how they could include cultural harvesting into their everyday lives. We will gather over video chat once a month to discuss these topics.