August 6, 2019
(Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, Ont.) -- The First Nations Technical Institute is constructing a greenhouse to support its new Indigenous Food System degree.
The greenhouse structure, which was specifically created for FNTI’s purposes by DeCloet Greenhouse Manufacturing Ltd. -- a leading North American greenhouse designer and manufacturer out of Simcoe, Ont. -- is being built at the Airport Road Campus over a three-week period.
The build was specifically conceived to support the new standalone Bachelor of Science in Indigenous Food Systems program. Currently in development for proposed delivery in September 2020, the new degree will arm students with the knowledge and skills needed to improve food sovereignty.
The degree is being designed to incorporate an abundance of experiential learning on the land with teachings that revolve around the traditional Haudenosaunee agricultural cycle. Seed to care and seed saving, sustainable horticulture, foraging wild foods and medicines, animal husbandry, soil health and sustainability, and traditional fishing and hunting principles will be components of the learning experience.
“The greenhouse can be used to address two critical issues that affect Indigenous communities: food security and our relationship to food and diet,” said Luke Jeffries, Indigenous Food Systems program coordinator. “Food variety and choices are often limited in Indigenous communities where a reliance on processed foods is the norm, and where traditional food knowledge has been displaced. This program and the food grown within the greenhouse will expose students’ minds and palates to a wide variety of ideas and tastes and will begin to change their relationship with food and the Earth.”