Food Action Hub

Re-Considering our Food Security Definition

sunrise over snowy drifts in churchill, mb
Sunrise in Churchill, MB

“…moving food security one step further into food sovereignty by being in charge of our own food source” – Leona McIntyre

A big warm hello, hi, how are ya (from Arista [they/she; Food Matters Manitoba’s Community Outreach & Engagement Coordinator]) as we head into the cooler months!

Don’t know if you noticed, but…

We recently updated our website to include our working definition of food security – it can feel like an enormously overwhelming or completely unfamiliar concept for some, and we wanted to share our own ever-evolving understanding, as a way to hopefully make thinking and talking about food security more approachable. Find the original blog post here:

Since then, we’re grateful to have received some invaluable feedback regarding this definition from an engaged community member named Leona McIntyre (she/her) who has consented to sharing her words here! Thank you, Leona!

“…moving food security one step further into food sovereignty by being in charge of our own food source”:

“I understand that food security means many things for many Nations.  I have worked in the Agriculture industry with the Province of Manitoba here in Canada and one of the things that I have been sharing for the past 10 years is “why can’t Indigenous peoples have food sovereignty?”  We did at one time, but with being moved from our land and food sources, things have changed over the last couple of hundred years. 

So moving food security one step further into food sovereignty by being in charge of our own food source.  Learning to get back to the garden and having community’s that have greenhouses and provide food for elders and youth.  Provide employment opportunities around food sovereignty.  From primary services (agriculture), to secondary services (Trades, suppliers, etc.), to tertiary services (workshops for sharing knowledge) that work in a community environment.  Get away from processed foods, learn where your food comes from and then be in charge of the quality, quantity and equity.  Anyway, this is a concept I have been sharing with First Nations and Metis peoples in Canada.  There are many layers to food sovereignty, and it is possible!” – Leona McIntyre (she/her)

Another thanks to Leona for her willingness to share, and to any others who choose to graciously share their knowledge with us. Please know it is very appreciated, and that it helps to inform future revisions to our own definition! You are welcome to comment below, email (, or engage however feels best!

Interested in learning more about food sovereignty?

“Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations.”

– Declaration of Nyéléni, the first global forum on food sovereignty, Mali, 2007

Some fantastic resources:

Let’s talk more soon, folks!


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