February F2SBC Network Updates & Opportunities

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Sonya Rokosh

Feb 6, 2023, 6:42:18 PM2/6/23
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Good afternoon Kamloops-Shuswap Region, 

Can you believe we are moving into our second week of February already? We have passed the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, longer days are headed our way! Please reach out if you have any questions about the following updates and opportunities. 

Farm to School BC Updates:

F2SBC conference registration has officially launched!

Our 2023 conference, Planting the Seed: Harvesting connections, ideas, and community, is happening May 18th & 19th at the UBC Nest in Vancouver. Our conference aims to celebrate the impact of both budding and established school food initiatives and programs, welcome diverse perspectives to share their experiences and knowledge, and generate within our community a revitalized sense of connectedness and empowerment.

We anticipate up to 300 attendees from backgrounds spanning education, health, agriculture, culinary arts, policy, research, Indigenous affairs, and youth sectors. Conference themes include school farms, meal programs, Indigenous food ways, capacity building, celebrating culture with food, community connections, youth leadership and training, and more. Register now to avoid missing out on our early bird prices, ending March 15th!

As a reminder, our call for proposals ends February 15th (next  week)! Successful applicants will have access to our reduced presenter registration rate for the conference. More information on guidelines and submissions can be found by visiting our conference website.

School Garden Mentorship program 

The next (free & virtual) school garden mentorship workshop will be on Feb 14th, on the topic "Designing your School Garden and Crop Planning", featuring guest speaker Megan Zeni (Room to Play Consulting). 

Register for the monthly sessions and discussion groups here.

Northern Indigenous Food Ways: Learning Circle Series

I am excited to share that our next free virtual session of our Northern Indigenous Food Ways: Learning Circle Series for K-12 Educators is happening soon, next Wednesday, Feb 15th 3:15pm-4:30pm. This session will be led by Dr. Daniel Sims (UNBC) speaking to how contact and colonialism have affected Indigenous food ways. 

This series is presented to provide an opportunity for educators within the K-12 education system in gaining or advancing skills and knowledge to apply Indigenous food ways and teachings within their food literacy curriculums and projects. The series is presented to support Northern Educators, but is open to all who would like to learn, connect and witness Indigenous food ways specifically in the Northern context.

If you have not yet done so, you can register for the session through our Eventbrite.

Job Opportunity: Food Literacy Advisory

F2SBC is Hiring a Food Literacy Advisor! Are you a professional that is passionate about creating and sharing resources for educators to teach about food literacy? Farm to School BC seeks a passionate, organized, and creative team member to grow with us.

⏰ Deadline to apply: February 22, 2023

👉Learn more: farmtoschoolbc.ca/hiring

More from our community partners:

School gardens wanted for participation in Seed Trials! 

FarmFolk/CityFolk is still looking for schools that might be interested in participating in their Citizen Seed trials. The Citizen Seed Trial is a citizen science program run by FarmFolk CityFolk that engages gardeners in vegetable trialing to grow BC's seed-saving community. 

See attached document. If you are interested please email lmseedco...@farmfolkcityfolk.ca

BC Coalition for Healthy School Food: Tell your MLA to support School Food in Budget 2023!

The Coalition for Healthy School Food is advocating for sustained funding and adequate resources to build capacity and implement successful, comprehensive school food programs. With the BC Budget Announcement coming up in February, we have one last opportunity to push for dedicated School Food Funding in Budget 2023. 

Ask your MLA to support an adequate and sustained provincial investment in universal, healthy school food programs for BC students by clicking here: https://www.healthyschoolfood.ca/bc-chapter 

In less than one minute, the Coalition sends an automatic email from you to your MLA. For greater impact, you are encouraged to add your own school food story and personalized message in the template letter. 

Let's encourage our provincial government to support healthy school food for BC's youth!

Let’s join the BC Coalition for Healthy School Food in a provincial CRUNCH: 

Start thinking about ways your school and community can take part in THE GREAT BIG CRUNCH anytime in March (join in for a virtual Crunch on March 9th). The Great Big Crunch is a Canada-wide movement and annual moment of anti-silence in which students, teachers, parents and others passionate about food join the food movement and crunch into apples (or other crunchy fruit or vegetable) to make noise for healthy school food! Every year since 2008, Canadians from coast to coast have participated in the Great Big Crunch, an original initiative of FoodShare Toronto.

City of Kamloops: Climate Action Grant

The City of Kamloops has launched their Climate Action Grant Program.  Potential projects must align with priority actions in the Community Climate Action Plan  and have the potential to decrease community greenhouse gases, enhance community resilience to climate change and/or support a healthy urban ecosystem. School groups can apply - must be within city limits. 


More information and the online application can be found here.  

⏰Applications are due by February 28th.

Showcasing Indigenous Food Sovereignty Garden Video Series:

Seed to Harvest, Language and Traditional Practices

These beautiful videos were brought to my attention recently, and I wanted to share them with the network. 
In collaboration with three communities; Skeetchestn Indian Band, Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc and Whispering Pines/Clinton Indian Band, the Q’wemtsín Health Society (QHS) has created a series of videos to promote growing and sharing food in their communities.  Working with students, teachers, Elders, and knowledge keepers, each video teaches skills about foodways to encourage knowledge sharing and healing. These videos promote healthy local food in school and were made for students, teachers, and the whole community.  The videos provide information on different aspects of gardening and teachings of the Secwepemctsín language. With a total of  9 videos, a variety of topics are covered in the series. One video in the series teaches about harvesting a moose. 

In 2019 QHS received a Farm to Cafeteria Canada Learning Circle grant which ignited a spark for developing a local Indigenous Food Sovereignty plan for the communities.  Learn more about their learning circle here.     

The Skeetchestn Community School and Sk’elep School of Excellence are also recipients of Farm to School Canada Grants (2020) and their students are featured in this video series, which is part of the growing momentum to realize the community’s Indigenous Food Sovereignty plan.

Heartbeat of the Earth, A Handbook on Connecting Children to Nature through Indigenous Teachings

Authored by Launa Purcell, a Salmon Arm resident and member of the Xa’xtsa First Nation in the Mount Currie area,“this resource leads readers on a rich learning journey as they deepen their connections to nature and culture. The activities inside instill traditional teachings of respect, honour, resourcefulness, and humility in children. This handbook is intended to inspire parents, caregivers, and educators to provide children with meaningful outdoor experiences interwoven with traditional indigenous knowledge”

This can be ordered online through a few vendors and also is carried at the local Salmon Arm bookstores: Bookingham Palace and The Book Nook. Read more in this article in the Salmon Arm Observer.  

Sonya Rokosh (she/her)
Community Animator, Kamloops Region, SD73 & SD83
E: kamloopsregion@farmtoschoolbc.ca
I write with gratitude from the traditional and unceded territories of the Secwepemc Peoples. Kukstemc!

I am employed part-time and I typically will be at my computer on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Thank you for your patience and respect. 
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