Greetings and Gratitude
The first video on this website is the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address which offers “Greetings and Gratitude” at the start of any event or day by thanking all of the beings, both other-than-human and human, that sustain our lives.
This Acknowledgement section closes with “Greetings and Gratitude” as well, thanking again the plants and animals, sun and wind, the insects and birds, all living within the stories represented here.
In this acknowledgements section, we want to thank in particular the many people who have collaborated with the Legacies Project over five years to bring these stories to life.
The Legacies Project involved 13 people, young food activists and elders, rural and urban, settler and Indigenous, Mexican and Canadian, whose experience and wisdom is the heart of this book: Valiana Aguilar, Maria Blas, Leticia Deawuo, Ryan DeCaire, Fernando Garcia, Fulvio Giaonetto, Rick Hill, Dan Kretschmar, Dianne Kretschmar, Ángel Kú, Chandra Maracle, Anna Murtaugh, and Adam Royal. See their bios on our Collaborators page.
As their stories were embedded in communities, their families, friends, and co-workers also appear in the videos and photo essays: Solin Alejo, Christian Besnier, Nicole Bilodeau, Bryan Gioanetto Blas, Jorge Gioanetto Blas, Serena Janicua Hoscua Gioanetto Blas, Abena Boahemaa, Isidro Alejo Cacari, Miguel Quetzecua Torres Correo, Gustavo Esteva, Lindsey Magdalena Quetzecua Gioanetto, the late Elizabeth Harris, Santiago Cacari Leon, Marc-André Longpré, Aly Othmer, Keira Maracle, Olivia Maracle-Hill, Franny Maracle-Hill, Vyolette Maracle-Hill, Marina Queirolo, Erin Rhodes, Doña Yolanda Rivera, Don Toño Rivera, Amelia Murtaugh-Royal, Katherine Murtaugh-Royal, Theo Murtaugh-Royal, Julie Schell, Hilda Villaseñor, Diego Garcia Villaseñor, Kevin White, Peter Wiley.
In the early years, we also learned a lot from Haudenosaunee food activists Kitty and Adrienne Lickers, who coordinated the Our Sustenance Program at Six Nations, and the elder, the late Iowne Anderson, inspiring organic gardener.
To broaden the perspectives of our small group, we invited activists and experts in the themes that emerged to offer commentaries. These are the voices who ‘continue the conversation’ and their bios can be found with their commentaries: Gilberto Aboites, Amber Adams, Molly Anderson, Harriet Friedmann, Fulvio Gioanetto, Lorraine Johnson, Tim LeDuc, Anan Lololi, Fred Metallic, Monique Mojica, Selam Teclu, Samantha Trumbull, and Penny Van Esterik.
From the start of the project in 2015, we called upon people who could give us guidance as we tried to co-create a genuine exchange. Secwepemc food leader Dawn Morrison accompanied us through the first year, and taught our team a lot about decolonizing research and relationships. Her deep understanding of the impact of colonization in so-called Canada and her commitment to Indigenous food sovereignty influenced our thinking profoundly. Documentary filmmaker Min Sook Lee offered critical advice about the collaborative production process and proposed the form of short videos that we adopted. Tuscarora historian and artist Rick Hill advised us about the approach, content, and form throughout the last three years of the project, and generously offered his own knowledge and art as part of the educational package.
Greetings and Gratitude to these storytellers, commentators, advisors, partners and children – who continue to teach us in so many ways.
Our research was primarily participatory and arts-based, resulting in the photo essays and videos. Archival and web-based research was coordinated by Deborah Barndt, reflected in the resources named in the facilitator’s guides and bibliography. Production team members – Lauren Baker, Alex Gelis and John Murtaugh – did further research while Mexican friends Antonieta Barrón and Serena Gioanetto fed us information about migration and labour.
Our SSHRC funding allowed us to hire student research assistants. Alexandra Gelis was supported by a PhD research assistantship for her work as co-director of the project. In 2015, Amandeep Kaur Panaq supported the initial stages of the project, while Sheema Sheenoy joined in 2016-2017, taking on various roles from assisting sound on video shoots to preparing indices and transcriptions of interviews. RAY research assistant Codrina Ibanescu coordinated testing of the material with university classes in 2018-2019, while Tzazná Miranda Leal was an invaluable assistant in 2017-2019, setting up accounting procedures, translating Spanish subtitles, organizing the logistics for our July 2019 gathering, and shaping the migration mapping with original food icons.
Greetings and Gratitude to these young team members for their energy, skill, creativity and commitment!
We have been fortunate to have a 20-year relationship with Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, who originally published Deborah’s book, Tangled Routes: Women, Work and Globalization on the Tomato Trail as well as Lauren’s book Corn Meets Maize: Food Movements and Markets in Mexico. Our original editor, Susan McEachern, now Vice-President and Senior Acquisitions Editor, has championed this new project from the beginning. Her interest in the food theme (as a gardener and beekeeper) and in multimedia book hybrids has paved the way for this experimental educational package to come to life.
Greetings and Gratitude to Susan, and the design and production teams at R&L.
The book outline was conceived by co-editors Deborah Barndt and Lauren Baker. Deborah, along with Lauren, wrote many chapters and edited photo essays, with ongoing feedback from co-director Alex Gelis. Creative writing consultant Laurel Waterman offered invaluable advice on the narrative forms, templates and select essays. John Murtaugh read the manuscript and offered editorial suggestions. Deborah’s writing group (Mary Corkery, Barbara Rahder, and Barb Thomas) read earlier drafts of video scripts, photo essays, and facilitator guides, offering useful suggestions at critical points in the project’s development.
When we were ready to submit the book to the publisher, we were blessed with a volunteer, Rosie Shephard, who spent three months transforming our drafts into the required manuscript form. Her skill, efficiency and attention to detail were a godsend for the project.
Greetings and Gratitude to all who helped shape the raw material into a book form..!
Cameras have been our main accomplices, as images – both still and moving – are central to the Legacies Project. The production of 10 videos and 11 photo essays has tapped the skill and creativity of dozens of people. Co-directors Alexandra Gelis and Deborah Barndt coordinated the shooting, compiling, and editing of most videos. Alexandra was the principal videographer, with additional footage from Deborah Barndt, Jorge Lozano, John Murtaugh, and Juan Pablo Pinto.
We are grateful to filmmaker Ilana Linden, who planted the seed for this project as a film, even though it went in a different direction than she had hoped.
For specific productions, we called upon the filmmaking and editing skills of Aram Collier, Alyssa (Megan) General, Gary Joseph, Esery Mondesir, Andrew Osei, and Shane Powless. Many others assisted the production process: sound assistants included Joshua Barndt, Raquel Bolaños, Amélie Lambert Bouchard, John Murtaugh, and Seema Shenoy. In the early years, the first video was produced by Sylvie Van Brabant and edited by Louise Dugal, assisted by Francis Bernier and Vincent Laroche-Gagnon. Over the five years, editing studios were generously offered by Jorge Lozano Studios, Toronto; Rapide Blanc, Montreal; and Red Door Productions, Six Nations. Archival footage was provided by CTV News Toronto archives, Shutterstock, and Anne Lewis Productions. Deborah Barndt was producer of the majority of the videos, while Lauren Baker co-produced with Leticia Deawuo, the Black Creek Community Farm video.
Two community-based productions drew on the original music of their communities: Zak’isha Brown on the Black Creek Community Farm video and Malia Bomberry, Kyleeya Johnson,and Kiera Maracle from Six Nations on The Thanksgiving Address video. Original scores were produced by Lalo Lorza-Baker, Jackeline Rago, Nano Valverde, and Juan Dino Toledo. We drew on the recorded music of others: Claude Arsenault, Eve Goldberg, Genticorum, and Orquesta Tatá Vasco, and So Long Seven.
Narration for two of the videos was written and read by Deborah Barndt. Leticia Deawuo narrated the Black Creek Community Farm Video. Rick Hill provided the narration for the three videos that comprise the Haudenosaunee Primer. The translations of subtitles was taken on as a class project by the York University Glendon College School of Translation. In 2017-18, Professor Martin Boyd supervised these students: Beatriz Funes, Catherine Gryfe-Seeley, Maria Gutierrez Ramirez, Maria Heron, Nicoleta Nagy; while in 2018-2019, Professor María Constanza Guzmán supervised the work of Analía Molina, Beatrice Nkundwa, Farhana Ahmed, Jacqueline O’Neill Huerta, James Phan, Mariana Zir, Ferreira Santos, Virginia Maldonado Barrios, and Wendy Barillas. Other subtitles were translated by Deborah Barndt, Alexandra Gelis and Tzazná Miranda Leal. The task of integrating the subtitles into the videos was accomplished by Alexandra Gelis.
Overall production was coordinated at different points by Deborah Barndt, Lauren Baker, and Alexandra Gelis.
Greetings and Gratitude to the dozens of people who generously offered their vision, skills and hard work to the final video productions..!
The photos essays were largely drawn from transcriptions of video footage, so we thank the storytellers for sharing their stories, the videographers for capturing them and the transcribers for creating indices that became the skeletons for photo essays. Alex was the primary videographer while Deborah was the primary transcriber, and photographer, often supplemented by the cameras of Alexandra Gelis and John Murtaugh. In fact, many still photos are screenshots from videos shot by Alex. Other images for specific purposes were offered by Miguel Quetzecua Torres Correo, Bryan Gioanetto, Rick Hill, Cristina Lombano, and the Maracle-Hill Archive.
Contributions from visual artists enriched the images in The Thanksgiving Address video and essay (Rick Hill), the Mush Hole photo essay (Justine Wong), Language and Food (Cindy Martin). The artwork of Joseph Brant, Suzanne Brant, John Fadden, Rick Hill, Stan Hill and Ernie Smith were integral to the videos in the Haudenosaunee Primer. The food icons in Chapter 6 were created by Tzazná Miranda Leal. Alexandra Gelis designed the logo for both the website and the intro to all videos.
Deborah, along with Lauren, crafted and edited the photo essays. They also created the Facilitator’s guides which are critical to the collective use of the material. In 2021, students in Lauren’s University of Toronto, New College Equity Studies course “Theory and Praxis in Food Security” developed new facilitator’s guides for the Dynamic Tensions section. Thanks to Alaina Hamid, Vibhuti Kacholia, Ruth Rodrigues, and Maria Takacs.
Greetings and Gratitude to the storytellers, and the photographers, artists, writers and editors who crafted the oral stories with images into photo essays!
Co-Director Alexandra Gelis created the first website as a live research space, which was programmed by Jésus Flores. She uploaded productions as they were complete and allowing us to share the material with interested people and groups. When we chose to produce a multimedia package rather than one feature-length documentary, we dreamed of an interactive website that would engage viewers critically with the issues raised by the videos and photo essays. Helios Design Labs understood the deeper purpose of our project and its unique pedagogy. The knowledge, skill, and creativity of Heather Grieve, Mike Mali, and Alex Wittholz are evident in the beautiful website that resulted. Their collaborative way of working made the process a co-creation between two committed teams.
Greetings and Gratitude to Helios Design Labs for producing a dynamic interactive website that carries our project into the broader world..!
Our three gatherings were vital to building our relationships, and were made possible by many people, who offered space, transport, child care and food.
June 2016 – Sparrow Lake
John Murtaugh offered the family cottage and transport, local food activist Alison Young catered two of our meals, and local market a customer offered a special treat of Einkorn bread to the group.
November 2016 – Native Canadian Centre, Toronto
For a day-long meeting, the NCC kitchen provided traditional Indigenous food, Seema Shenoy organized logistics while Megan General and Karolina Kisiel took care of our children. The following day, Jon Johnson of the Centre’s First Story Toronto took us on an Indigenous food tour along the Humber River.
July 2019 – Six Nations of the Grand River Territory
The final two-day gathering was co-created by many hands. Our hosts, Chandra Maracle and Rick Hill, generously curated a two-day immersion in their community. Their daughters Olivia, Franny, and Vyolette Maracle-Hill provided childcare. Legacies RA Tzazná Miranda Leal arranged all logistics, travel, accommodations, and materials.
Lisa Johnson welcomed us warmly to the Bears Inn.
Spanish-English Interpretation was provided by Raquel Bolaños and Julieta Maria. Chandra and Rick invited us into the Everlasting Tree School, Kerdo Deer gave us a storied tour of the Kayanese Greenhouse, Callie Hill introduced us to the Our Sustenance Greenhouse, Terri-Lynn Bryant shared the innovative Earthship and Cristall Bomberry offered a presentation on community health issues. Gary Joseph hosted our session at Red Door Productions where we reviewed our videos.
Good food, prepared by Nince Wahsontiio Hill and Chandra Maracle, was central to our experience. Bonnie Sky involved all of us in a cornbread workshop. Our final dinner at the Maracle-Hill home featured venison and a dance performance by Keira Maracle Henderson, Olivia Maracle-Hill, Franny Maracle-Hill, and Malia Bomberry.
During the week that our Mexican collaborators were in Canada, they were able to visit ChocoSol Traders, Nish Dish Restaurant, Black Creek Community Farm (thanks to Leticia Deawuo and Melu Vargas) and FoodShare (thanks to Charlyn Ellis and Bibiana Virguez).
Greeting and gratitude to all of these who nurtured us in so many ways as we gathered to share our stories, deepen our connections, and shape our project.
From the start, we have been seeking feedback from many potential users, both in educational institutions and community organizations. In 2018-2019, we began testing the videos and photo essays as well as facilitator guides with university classes. Andreas Moraes used select videos with her Food Systems class at Ryerson University and Sylvia Vasquez screened several videos with her York University course, Food Land and Culture. Codrina Ibanescu coordinated feedback from students in the Faculty of Environmental Studies. Over the years, select videos were screened at academic conferences of the Canadian Food Studies Association; Agricultural, Food, and Human Values, and Food Secure Canada Assembly.
In 2019, Lauren Baker designed her University of Toronto, New College Equity Studies course “Theory and Praxis in Food Security” around the whole package engaging students in presenting, engaging and adding to the material. Two public events brought in collaborators Chandra Maracle and Leticia Deawuo to broaden the conversation to address biodiversity, food sovereignty, anti-racism, and reconciliation. Special thanks to students Krystal Bernardo, Kyra Bingham, Joanna Blenke, Fatema Diwan, Simona Frias, Megan Grella,Yalda Mousavi, Nikki Pagaling, Isabella Ruzicka, Ariane Wichert for offering their critical perspectives on the material.
In 2018 Alexandra Gelis offered a workshop on the multimedia package for a teacher training program of EcoSource entitled “Food Systems and Gardening for the Curriculum.” Deborah Barndt tested two videos and two photo essays with 70 teachers attending a Change Your World conference at York in 2019. She also facilitated a three-part film series on food justice and food sovereignty for the Parkdale Free School in Toronto.
As we began to promote the site with users in late 2020, we had the generous and skillful support of a social media team – Tim Murtaugh, Wafaa El-Osta, and Seema Shenoy – who managed our Facebook and Instagram page. And Raquel Bolaños who produced a beautiful poster for our global online launch.
In late 2020 and early 2021, two students of York University’s Public Anthropology practicum, Colleen Boggs and Diego Lopez, joined the team. They helped organize webinars, added resources to the guides, edited videos of users, and created regular posts for the Legacies Instagram and Facebook pages.
Greetings and Gratitude to all the teachers, students, and community activists who offered us valuable feedback on the videos!
We could not have brought the collaborators together, visited them in action, filmed and photographed their activities or transformed their stories into a book and multimedia website without financial support. Deborah Barndt secured three grants from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, two Connections Grants and one
Exchange Knowledge Mobilization Grant. Her home Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University offered support in the form of small research grants, travel grants, and a Dean’s contribution for the 2019 gathering. Lauren Baker secured funding from New College at the University of Toronto for production of a video on Black Creek Community Farm, and for two public events on local food justice and global food sovereignty initiatives. From 2020 on, funding for the final production came from the Legacies Project Fund and personal donors.
Greetings and Gratitude to the funders who made our gatherings and productions possible!