The Lekwungen Food System: Novelty, Restoration & Decolonization
Keywords. Food Systems, Decolonization, Garry Oak Meadows, Camas
Summary. Lekwungen families have maintained the Garry oak meadows of Meegan as an important part of their food system for thousands of years. For the last century and a half, Meegan has been considered part of Beacon Hill Park, owned and managed by the City of Victoria. Settler colonial practices and urbanization have endangered the Garry oak meadows on Vancouver island, BC - Meegan is one of the last remaining patches of this ecosystem. Use and management of the site as a recreational greenspace has created its own tensions and ecological impacts. This case study examines how the history of settler colonialism has created novel ecological dynamics on this site, and considers how different groups are approaching the management of these novel dynamic in different ways as informed by their differing understandings of space’s significance and history.
Acknowledgements. I would like to gratefully acknowledge the informants that I interviewed for this report for their help, and for the tremendous work that they do: Cheryl Bryce (Community Tool Shed), Joanne Cuffe (Community Tool Shed), Helen Oldershaw (Friends of Beacon Hill Park Society), Roy Fletcher (Friends of Beacon Hill Park Society), Thomas Munson (City of Victoria). Many thanks to Jeff Corntassel (Community Tool Shed) for helpful conversations and guidance and to Ted Lea (BC Ministry of the Environment) for providing GIS data and photos. Finally, thanks to Eric Higgs and the ES 482/582 Seminar participants for very fruitful class discussions.