Indigenous Peoples’ food systems, nutrition and gender: Conceptual and methodological considerations

Stefanie Lemke, Treena Delormier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Indigenous Peoples, especially women and children, are affected disproportionately by malnutrition and diet-related health problems. Addressing this requires an investigation of the structural conditions that underlie unequal access to resources and loss of traditional lifestyles, and necessitates inclusive approaches that shed light onto these issues and provide strategies to leverage change. Indigenous Peoples’ food systems are inextricably connected to land, which in turn is interwoven with issues of self-determination, livelihoods, health, cultural and spiritual heritage, and gender. Ongoing loss of land and the dominant agri-food model further threaten Indigenous Peoples’ food systems. Continuing gender-based discrimination undermines the self-determination and rights of women, and negatively impacts on their health, nutritional status, and overall wellbeing, as well as on the wellbeing of households and communities. We suggest that feminist political ecology and modern matriarchal studies provide holistic interlinking frameworks for investigating underlying issues of power and inequality. We further argue that a focus on the principles of respect, responsibility, and relationships, and an openness to different worldviews, can facilitate a bridging of Indigenous and Western approaches in research and community action conducted in partnership with Indigenous Peoples. This can contribute to creating new ways of knowing regarding Indigenous Peoples’ food systems, equally valuing both knowledge systems. Indigenous Peoples’ rights, right to food, and food sovereignty are frames that, despite some tensions, have the common goal of self-determination. Through their ability to inform, empower, and mobilize, they provide tools for social movements and communities to challenge existing structural inequalities and leverage social change. Publisher Statement: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Lemke, S & Delormier, T 2018, 'Indigenous Peoples’ food systems, nutrition and gender: Conceptual and methodological considerations' Maternal & Child Nutrition, vol 13, no. S3, e12499, which has been published in final form at https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mcn.12499. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12499
Number of pages12
JournalMaternal & Child Nutrition
Volume13
Issue numberS3
Early online date22 Jan 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Lemke, S & Delormier, T 2018, 'Indigenous Peoples’ food systems, nutrition and gender: Conceptual and methodological considerations' Maternal & Child Nutrition, vol 13, no. S3, e12499, which has been published in final form at https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mcn.12499. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

Keywords

  • Indigenous Peoples
  • food systems
  • food and nutrition security
  • bridging Indigenous and Western approaches,
  • structural conditions
  • gender

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