Endorsements

The following is a list of official endorsements of the Earth to Tables Legacies website:

For too long, a Eurocentric, white supremacist lens has been used to describe and define food systems. The Earth to Tables Legacies project is working to push back against that framing, which erases the voices, knowledge, and accumulated wisdom of many.  This project reframes food in it’s rightful context, acknowledging the importance of Indigenous Food Ways, the power of grassroots community organizing and peasant farmer movements, and their ties to agro-ecological practises in North America and around the world.  It seeks to highlight the connections between these understandings, and creates the much-needed space to celebrate and appreciate the value of the many ways of understanding and interacting with the food system.

– Paul Taylor, Executive Director, FoodShare, Toronto

Earth to Tables Legacies is an extraordinary collaboration among farmers, researchers, and educators in an exceptionally creative and accessible format. The videos, links, stories, reflections, interviews and commentaries reflect years of participatory research and relationship-building among indigenous and settler farmers, historians, storytellers, and activists of more than two generations, who live, work, and think in Mexico and Canada.  This project organized and documented exchanges and encounters across borders in fields, markets, and tables. 

Deborah Barndt’s skills in documentation and popular education (in collaboration with co-editor Lauren Baker and co-director Alexandra Gelis) are the foundation for the exquisite organization of the website. The site is a joy to explore and links to external sources are easy to navigate. The unusual depth and openness in exploring the tensions between settler and indigenous foodways, and tensions of both with monocultural agriculture, will excite students to reflect on ways of knowing, growing and eating. The facilitators’ guides are an invaluable resource for teachers. I was honoured to be asked to write a commentary on one of the videos — to be included in a group of thinkers from both countries (including U.S food scholar Molly Anderson and Haudenosaunee scholar Amber Adams) whose reflections are presented as “deepening the conversation.”  

– Harriet Friedmann, Professor Emerita, Dept of Sociology, University of Toronto

This beautiful resource opened doors in my thinking. It can work well for union and community groups that see food as a key organizing issue. The presentation is so rich and the sources so diverse that a range of activists can find access points. The section on “Who will feed us” goes past the widespread critique of industrial agriculture, to a sober and challenging exploration of labour and environmental strategies for the future. What an impressive piece of work!

– D’Arcy Martin, Labour educator, Toronto

The website is beautiful! And evidently conceived of and realized with great care and respect.  I really liked the options it offered for navigation, and the different levels of engagement you offer.  I followed the less linear path and then at a certain point also looked at the more linear table of contents and that was useful too, to get a sense of the scope and range of topics.

Earth To Tables is a wonderful interactive online resource for people who want to learn more about Indigenous food sovereignty and its relation to treaties. With great care and respect, Haudenosaunee contributors Rick Hill, Chandra Maracle, and Ryan DeCaire beautifully articulate Indigenous ways of knowing and the interrelated food, agricultural, and linguistic traditions of Haudenosaunee peoples, beginning with the valuing of relationships with all living things inherent in the Thanksgiving Address, offered here in both Mohawk and English.  They reveal how Indigenous appetites have been colonized – how they have been made to desire what they should not eat — and how traditional Haudenosaunee food security is based on a complete system, not just agriculture, that requires living within the cycles and balances of the natural world. With great clarity, simplicity, and sophistication, Rick Hill draws on the principles of the Great Law, the Dish With One Spoon, the Two Row wampum and other agreements involving the Haudenosaunee, to demonstrate the inextricable links between Indigenous philosophies,  food sovereignty, and treaty responsibilities. Earth to Tables offers a wonderful buffet of opportunities to learn and reflect about our relationships to land, food, power, and each other.

– Victoria Freeman, Historian, Adjunct Prof of Indigenous Studies, University of Toronto

I am very excited by this website and can see many different connections to courses that I teach including Civics/Careers, World History, Canadian History and Indigenous Studies. Since we have been forced into online learning I have been doing a Gardening Project with my students that I will be sharing this website with. My hope is to create some assignments for my next cohort of students that will be doing the same project in the fall (and likely also online). Ideas of food sovereignty, land and history raised by Earth to Tables are already filling my head – lots of ideas and questions that will enhance our Covictory Gardens.

 The Digging in (especially the exploration of terms) and Digging Deeper allow students to explore further at their own pace – Inquiry based learning at its best. The site encourages students, grounding themselves in their land and food, to explore history, power, sovereignty and other topics. Wonderful. 

 I also find the site so engaging. It is a dynamic site with a great energy about it that invites people to explore. The moving images, videos, images and essays are all presented in a way that are accessible and logical.

– Nathan Tidridge, Secondary school history teacher, Waterdown, Ontario

This multi-media package is a vital resource for anyone wanting to teach and/or learn about food issues.  The Facilitator’s Guides are particularly useful for those interested in food and pedagogy – they offer multiple entrees into the subject matter and invite critical engagement with the problems caused by, and the paths out of, the deeply unsustainable industrial food system.  Truly a legacy for the future.

– Jennifer Sumner, Professor, Adult Education and Community Development Program, OISE/University of Toronto

About a year ago, two of the collaborators in the Earth to Tables Legacies Project, asked me to review some of their materials.  This is an unusual and beautiful project, and you might want to use it in your teaching to illustrate the value of different ways of knowing in the struggles for food justice and food sovereignty.  It is also useful for seeing how food activists from different places and perspectives framed by indigenous and settler backgrounds can work together.  There is a “soft launch” now of the multimedia website including facilitators’ tools, with a book coming out soon. I hope you enjoy it!

– Molly Anderson, Professor of Food System Studies, Middlebury College, Vermont. Past president of the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society 

Email Responses From Our Readers

Thank you for reaching out to me and sharing these amazing resources.  It’s clever how you have successfully leveraged food (and issues connected to it) as an access point for teachers and students to discuss other critical social justice issues.  This is a timely series and resource.  

– Ian Pettigrew, Director of Curriculum & Assessment, Ontario Ministry of Education

This resource is amazing. I would love to discuss this project with you and how we can make it accessible educators across the TDSB with some professional learning.

– Tanya Senk, Principal, Indigenous Education Centre and Wandering Spirit School, TDSB

Wow – what an incredible resource and collection of ideas, stories and issues! Congratulations on a phenomenal achievement! 

I love the interactivity of it, and how you’ve attached teaching resources to the different elements. 

– Michelle Munk, public school teacher, social justice educators network, Toronto

What a fantastic website and project! I’m very impressed. The site is beautiful, and I’m sure it will take me some time to fully explore all of the excellent content you’ve put together. 

I’ll be happy to spread the word about this. In fact, I’m working on a project called Feeding the City: Pandemic and Beyond as part of a postdoc I’m doing at UTSC. Perhaps we can highlight the Earth to Tables site as a resource there.

Happy to chat about our overlapping interests at some point but, in the meantime, best of luck with the soft launch of the project!

– Bryan Dale, NFU and Culinaria Research Centre, University of Toronto Scarborough Campus

So good to hear from you and thanks for sharing this beautiful, comprehensive project. You always do such innovative and creative work it is a joy to witness.

– Lorna Wanosts’a7  Williams, Professor Emerita, University of Victoria, Governor General’s Award for Indigenous Language Revitalization

Congrats on the project and the beautiful website. At the moment the most I can responsibly offer is social media amplification from The Leap, which we’d be honoured to do. When would the best moment for a boost be?

– Avi Lewis, The LEAP

What a fantastic resource, Deb. Thanks for sharing with me. I will certainly pass the link and flyers on!

– Peter Andrée, Professor, Department of Political Science, Geography and Environmental Studies, Carleton University

This looks fascinating, and I’ve already passed it on to my colleagues who teach food courses here. I may use a piece in my International Development course… so important!

– Philip  McMichael, Professor, Department of Global Development, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

What a phenomenal resource, Deborah! Congratulations to you and everyone involved! And perfect timing, as I’m tweaking and updating my 3rd year online food systems & sustainability course.

How exciting to learn about all of this. it really resonates on many levels. I’m particularly excited about the ‘personal connections’ kind of questions that you have included.

– Steffanie Scott, Professor, Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo. Former president of Canadian Association for Food Studies

Just want to send this note to tell you how amazing the legacies project is and how beautifully the website design serves the project and its pedagogical objectives.

I will definitely be using sections for the food, land and culture course this fall.

– Lisa Myers, Anishnaabe artist, FES, community arts coordinator

What incredible accomplishment. This is truly amazing. Thank you so much for all your work and to everyone who put this together. I’m so excited to explore it in more detail.

– Charles Levkoe, Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Food Systems, Lakehead University

Thanks so much for sharing this, Deb! It looks like a fabulous resource! And the timing is much appreciated as this will definitely help me in creating some content for online course offerings.

– Erin Nelson, Sociology and Anthropology, University of Guelph

Congratulations Deborah and team! This looks amazing! what a wonderful teaching and community resource. It’s good to see all the good work and creativity that went into it.

– Elizabeth Abergel, Professeur, Département de Sociologie et Institut des sciences de l’environnement (ISE), Université du Québec à Montréal, UQAM

Just a quick note to say that this resource looks AMAZING. Thanks so much for the inspirational work, and for forwarding it to the listserv. I look forward to using this material when I teach the sociology of food in the fall.

– Josee Johnston, Professor of Sociology, University of Toronto

Congratulations! This is a fantastic resource. I will promote it as widely as I can. I will definitely use these resources in my Intro Sociology and Sociology of Food and Eating courses. 

– Mustafa Koc, Sociology Professor, Center for Food Security Studies, Ryerson University, Former president of CAFS and Food Secure Canada

I am exploring and figuring out how to use the website. So far I am blown away by the videos and photos and the general calm and peaceful aspects of the design. It is nice to see so many old friends like Diane and Daniel and Fluvio and to see so many young people who are carrying on and creating their own way. I like the fact that there are people I see who reappear in different segments. I am thinking how I might use the website with my grandson in this coming year. Perhaps we could connect on the site somehow (since we are in different physical spaces) to talk about these issues. He is 10. The pfd files for teaching will be helpful. 

So far I have looked at Our story, the book reference (and was disappointed when I went to the Rowan website I couldn’t reserve a copy or did not see a mention of its publishing), and the Haudenosaunee prayer of Thanksgiving. I think I have figured out the digging deeper buttons and how to maneuver around. The subtitles are also very helpful.

This is a work of your lifetimes – it is powerful and exciting and educationally transitional I believe. I hope it will help us understand our places and provide healing.

– Mary Lou Morgan, retired food movement leader, Foodshare, Carrot Commons, etc

Congratulations!!  What a beautiful site, and I LOVE the framing.  I look forward to watching one of the stories and using the tools as a guide.  I was thinking of hosting a book club for my son and some of his friends, but perhaps, we will mix it up with some Earth to Table Legacy stories and discussions.  This approach really speaks to me – using stories, real people, and discussion to make sense of complex food challenges.  As we have discussed, it often doesn’t feel like a conversation, rather a monologue of information that can be either too complicated or too high level for different kinds of people and voices to be part of.  Again, congrats and thank you for sharing.  I’ll report back on my “user experience:)”

– Kristin Coates, Second Muse

Congrats on the Earth to Tables Legacies project. It is such a beautiful, rich contribution!

– Alison Blay-Palmer, UNESCO Chair in Food, Biodiversity and Sustainability StudiesDirector, Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems, Balsillie School of International AffairsProfessor, Geography and Environmental Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON   Canada

This looks to be a terrific resource, and extends the wonderful work you have done over the years towards food justice.

I’ll make sure to send out a note about this to our Canadian network of teacher educators dedicated to EE in the fall newsletter.  I would encourage you to share it with the TDSB EcoSchools team to see if they would like to share it with their teachers (they have a website to locate their contacts).  I would recommend doing some conference presentations to share it as well – as most conferences seem to be moving online these days, mobilizing research and resources is becoming more accessible.

– Hilary Inwood, Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, OISE, Universit of Toronto; co-chair of Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication

Congratulations!! The fruition of a beautiful project and done with many of our students.

This is perfect for me to use as part of the Fall grad course Nature & Society, which always has food components. I am looking forward to more details.

– Leesa Fawcett, Associate Professor, Faculty of Urban and Environmental Change, York

I’ll be using the site in my Environmental Arts course in the winter term.

– Honor Ford-Smith, Associate Professor, Faculty of Urban and Environmental Change, York

I spent a couple of hours on the site last night. Wow. What a joy. I haven’t been pulled in like this in a while. It is so tasteful, beautiful! And so wise. I am challenged and nourished. It is not a simple thing to present teachings from other cultures. (I have been uncomfortable lately with this.) But the relationships in your group and the mission of the work are all about honour. Sitting outside now with my headphones on, ready to listen to the Thanksgiving address again. I am excited to speak with you about how to bring this to middle grades. Thank you for this amazing work. 

– Marcia McVean, Middle school teacher (friend of Lauren)

This is amazing work!  I am so engaged already by the personalities and the stories in this website.  Thanks for sharing and I will definitely be sharing this widely.  This is such a great project!!

– Ruthanne Henry

Wow! What a beautiful, important and creative project – weaving together so many key issues. This is really something! Huge congrats to all of you. I will certainly share this..

– Anna Pascal

Just wanted to send the three of you a personal note with thanks for the amazing work you are doing with this website, along with the many amazing projects you are each connected to. What a wonderful set of stories and relationships to launch into the world, modelling what is possible and what is being stewarded! The website and stories are so rich and interesting and inspiring. There remain so many threads to pick up and weave together and each of you is doing such important work. Looking forward to weaving forward with each of you.

– Jane Hayes – Permaculture Designer

I spent a couple of hours on the site last night. Wow. What a joy. I haven’t been pulled in like this in a while. It is so tasteful, beautiful! And so wise. I am challenged and nourished. It is not a simple thing to present teachings from other cultures. (I have been uncomfortable lately with this.) But the relationships in your group and the mission of the work are all about honour. Sitting outside now with my headphones on, ready to listen to the Thanksgiving address again. I am excited to speak with you about how to bring this to middle grades. Thank you for this amazing work. 

– Marcia McVean – Elementary School Teacher

Thanks for sharing this hidden treasure.  It is amazing both in terms of presentation and content.  Great resource for bringing folks together to explore the thousands of ways in which we are connected through food.  I will definitely share the website with some ppl who I know will be interested.

– Guillermo Castilleja – Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

I wanted to congratulate you and everyone that worked on this fantastic project. It looks amazing. I have just been engaging with the site for the last hour. It’s beautiful and so well done. I will share it with a few farmers I know and some folks who I think would be very interested. 

 I am currently based in Kyrgyzstan, learning Russian amongst other things. Last summer I supported some local organic farmers to create the first ECO kids camp in Bishkek. It was really fun to do. I definitely thought lots about you and Chris in the process (making space for storytelling, games, getting everyone’s hands dirty in the soil, including community elders in the village to share traditional knowledge).

– Jessica Whitbread, Kyrgyzstan

Great to see this initiative, I will go to the site and also sign up for the launch.  We are still building gardens here in St. Lucia, it is great to see you are still singing the gathering call and honouring ancestors!

– Damian Adjodha, St. Lucia 

I am Lindsay Herring, a Food Studies masters students at Chatham University. I was looking at your website, and wanted to congratulate you on all of your amazing work. The way you combine activism with art is so inspiring, and is what I am aiming to do in the future. I was wondering if you had any advice on best ways to dive further into the food activism and sustainability professional scene.

– Lindsay Herring, food studies grad student, Chatham University, Pennsylvania

Wow, this looks fantastic, Lauren!  Love the narrative, thoughtful and very evocative. And beautifully designed… but most of all the human connection between the collaborators really comes through.  Well done! 

– Faris Ahmed