The food sovereignty movement initiated in 1996 by a transnational organization of peasants, La Via Campesina, representing 148 organizations from 69 countries, became central to self-determination and decolonial mobilization embodied by Indigenous peoples throughout the world. Utilizing the framework of decolonization and sustainable self-determination, this article analyzes the concept of food sovereignty to articulate an understanding of its potential for action in revitalizing Indigenous food practices and ecological knowledge in the United States and Canada. The food sovereignty movement challenged the hegemony of the globalized, neoliberal, industrial, capital-intensive, corporate-led model of agriculture that created destructive economic policies that marginalized small-scale farmers, removed them from their land, and forced them into the global market economy as wage laborers. Framed within a larger rights discourse, the food sovereignty movement called for the right of all peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food and the right to define their own food and agricultural systems. “Indigenizing” food sovereignty moves beyond a rights based discourse by emphasizing the cultural responsibilities and relationships Indigenous peoples have with their environment and the efforts being made by Indigenous communities to restore these relationships through the revitalization of Indigenous foods and ecological knowledge systems as they assert control over their own foods and practices.
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