Sharing Intergenerational Food Stories on the Land and Online to Engage Mi‘kmaw Children in Indigenous Food Sovereignty


  • Renee Bujold Dalhousie Univeristy
  • Ann Fox Human Nutrition Department, St. Francis Xavier University
  • Ann Fox Human Nutrition Department, St. Francis Xavier University
  • Debbie Martin Faculty of Health, Dalhousie University
  • Debbie Martin Faculty of Health, Dalhousie University
  • Clifford Paul Unama‘ki Institute of Natural Resources, Eskasoni First Nation
  • Clifford Paul Unama‘ki Institute of Natural Resources, Eskasoni First Nation



Indigenous Food Sovereignty, Intergenerational Storytelling, Land-based Learning, Online Technology, Two-Eyed Seeing, Mi'kmaw Knowledge


Introduction: Within Indigenous cultures, stories about food and health have been shared on the land because the land, air, water, and ice are where food naturally grows and exists. Yet, Indigenous children are increasingly using online technologies to gather knowledge and share stories with their communities. Objectives: Through analyzing a storytelling session led by a Mi‘kmaw Knowledge Keeper, this paper explores how land-based learning can come together with online technology to engage children in Indigenous food sovereignty. Methods: This study is situated within an intergenerational Mi‘kmaw foods project called the Land2Lab Project and is guided by Two-Eyed Seeing and decolonial theory. We used narrative inquiry to explore a Knowledge Keeper‘s storytelling session that was conducted with 14 Mi‘kmaw children. Results: Through this study we learned that we can prioritize Mi‘kmaw knowledge both on the land and online. Yet, spending time on the land intergenerationally learning about Mi‘kmaw foodways is imperative to maintaining Mi‘kmaw food knowledge and engaging children in Indigenous food sovereignty. Conclusion/Discussion: While online technology may seem paradoxical to land-based learning, some elements of intergenerational storytelling can happen online and on the land, and both can be used to support the protection of Mi‘kmaw knowledge systems, foodways, and health for future generations.

Author Biography

Renee Bujold, Dalhousie Univeristy

P.Dt., MA Health Promotion, School of Health and Human Performance


Alfred, T., & Corntassel, J. (2005). Being Indigenous: Resurgences against contemporary colonialism. Government and Opposition, 40(4), 597–614.

Archibald, J.-A. (2008). Indigenous storywork: Educating the heart, mind, body, and spirit. UBC Press.

Auger, M., Howell, T., & Gomes, T. (2016). Moving toward holistic wellness, empowerment and self-determination for Indigenous Peoples in Canada: Can traditional Indigenous health care practices increase ownership over health and health care decisions? Canadian Journal of Public Health, 107(4–5), e393–e398.

Bagelman, J., Deveraux, F., & Hartley, R. (2016). Feasting for change: Reconnecting with food, place & culture. International Journal of Indigenous Health, 11(1), 6–17.

Bartmes, N., & Shukla, S. (2020). Re-envisioning land-based pedagogies as a transformative third space: Perspectives from university academics, students, and Indigenous knowledge holders from Manitoba, Canada. Diaspora, Indigenous and Minority Education, 14(3), 146–161.

Battiste, M. (2000). Reclaiming Indigenous voice and vision. UBC Press.

Battiste, M. (2013). Decolonizing education: Nourishing the learning spirit. Purich Publishing.

Bowra, A., Mashford”Pringle, A., & Poland, B. (2021). Indigenous learning on Turtle Island: A review of the literature on land”based learning. The Canadian Geographer, 65(2), 132–140.

Bujold, R. (2022). Sharing intergenerational food stories to engage children in Indigenous food sovereignty [Master‘s Thesis, Dalhousie University]. DalSpace Library.

Bujold, R., Fox, A., Prosper, K., Pictou, K., & Martin, D. (2021). Etuaptmumk – Two-Eyed Seeing: Bringing together land-based learning and online technology to teach Indigenous youth about food. Canadian Food Studies, 8(4), 49–63.

Carlson, B., & Berglund, J. (Eds.). (2021). Indigenous Peoples rise up: The global ascendency of social media activism. Rutgers University Press.

Carlson, B., & Dreher, T. (2018). Introduction: Indigenous innovation in social media. Media International Australia, 169(1), 16–20.

Castleton, A. (2018). Technology and Inuit identity: Facebook use by Inuit youth. AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples, 14(3), 228–236.

Chen, L., & Nath, R. (2016). Understanding the underlying factors of internet addiction across cultures: A comparison study. Electronic

Commerce Research and Applications, 17, 38–48.

Counihan, C., Van Esterik, P., & Julier, A. (Eds.). (2018). Food and culture: A reader (4th ed.). Routledge.

Cunsolo Willox, A., Harper, S. L., Edge, V. L., “My Word”: Storytelling and Digital Media Lab, & Rigolet Inuit Community Government. (2013). Storytelling in a digital age: Digital storytelling as an emerging narrative method for preserving and promoting Indigenous oral wisdom. Qualitative Research, 13(2), 127–147.

Hicks, J. & White, G. (2000, August). Nunavut: Inuit self-determination through a land claim and public government? F Documents.

Institute for Integrative Science and Health. (2017). News: Mi‘kmaq Elder Albert Marshall discusses Two-Eyed Seeing, co-learning, and truth and reconciliation.

Kenny, T.-A., MacLean, J., Gale, P., Keats, S., Chan, H. M., & Wesche, S. D. (2018). Linking health and the environment through education—A traditional food program in Inuvik, Western Canadian Arctic. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, 13(3), 429–432.

Lane, P., Jr., Bopp, M., Bopp, J., & Norris, J. (2002). Mapping the healing journey: The final report of a First Nation research project on healing in Canadian Aboriginal Communities. Public Safety Canada.

Marshall, M., Marshall, A., & Bartlett, C. (2015). Two-Eyed Seeing in medicine. In M. Greenwood, S. de Leeuw, N. M. Lindsay, & C. Reading (Eds.), Determinants of Indigenous Peoples‘ health in Canada: Beyond the social (pp. 16–24). Canadian Scholars‘ Press.

McCormack, C. (2004). Storying stories: A narrative approach to in-depth interview conversations. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 7(3), 219–236.

McKenzie, B., & Morrissette, V. (2003). Social work practice with Canadians of Aboriginal background: Guidelines for respectful social work. In A. Al-Krenawi & J. R. Graham (Eds.), Multicultural social work in Canada: Working with diverse ethno-racial communities (pp. 251–282). Oxford University Press.

Minkler, M., & Wallerstein, N. (Eds.). (2003). Community based participatory research for health. Jossey-Bass.

Morrison, D. (2011). Indigenous food sovereignty: A model for social learning. In H. Wittman, A. A. Desmarais, & N. Weibe (Eds.), Food sovereignty in Canada: Creating just and sustainable food systems (pp. 97–113). Fernwood Publishing.

O‘Kane, G., & Pamphilon, B. (2016). The importance of stories in understanding people‘s relationship to food: Narrative inquiry methodology has much to offer the public health nutrition researcher and practitioner. Public Health Nutrition, 19(4), 585–592.

Pontes, H. M. (2017). Investigating the differential effects of social networking site addiction and internet gaming disorder on psychological health. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 6(4), 601–610.

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants Part 1. On the Horizon, 9(5), 1–6.

Procentese, F., Gatti, F., & Di Napoli, I. (2019). Families and social media use: The role of parents‘ perceptions about social media impact on family systems in the relationship between family collective efficacy and open communication. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(24), Article 5006.

Radoll, P. (2014). Cyber-safety and Indigenous youth. Indigenous Law Bulletin, 8(12), 11–14.

Rice, E. S., Haynes, E., Royce, P., & Thompson, S. C. (2016). Social media and digital technology use among Indigenous young people in Australia: A literature review. International Journal for Equity in Health, 15, Article 81.

Smith, L. T. (1999). Decolonizing methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. Zed Books.

Streit, D., & Mason, C. W. (2017). Traversing the terrain of Indigenous land-based education: Connecting theory to program implementation. In M. A. Robidoux and C. W. Mason (Eds.), A land not forgotten: Indigenous food security and land-based practices in Northern Ontario (pp. 85–123). University of Manitoba Press.

Styres, S., Haig-Brown, C., & Blimkie, M. (2013). Towards a pedagogy of land: The urban context. Canadian Journal of Education, 36(2), 34–67.

Wallerstein, N. B., & Duran, B. (2006). Using community-based participatory research to address health disparities. Health Promotion Practice, 7(3), 312–323.

Wilson, W. A. (2004). Indigenous knowledge recovery is Indigenous empowerment. American Indian Quarterly, 28(3–4), 359–372.


Additional Files