7 June 2024

Community Contribution Partner Spotlight:
Tea Creek Farm

Indigenous people in Canada were food sovereign for thousands of years before colonization. Now at a critical time of rising food insecurity and a growing demand for land-based Indigenous skills training, Tea Creek Farm is planting seeds to bring it back.

Tea Creek Farm is an award-winning family farm and Indigenous Food Sovereignty project sitting on 140 acres in the Gitxsan Territory of northern British Columbia. Since 2020, Tea Creek has blossomed into a center for Indigenous empowerment and capacity building, touching the lives of hundreds of members of the local community and hundreds more who travel each year to visit or gain work experience on the land.

What is Food Sovereignty?

Indigenous Food Sovereignty is the right for Indigenous people to produce and consume their own food and control the policies that govern food production. Since time immemorial the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island have stewarded the land, using traditional knowledge and sophisticated technologies to create food sovereignty and an abundance that settlers once marveled at. But since first European contact, intentional colonial actions have led to the destruction of Indigenous food systems, separating Indigenous peoples in Canada from their cultures and the land. Now experiencing high rates of poverty, food insecurity, and the ongoing impacts of Canada’s residential school system, Indigenous peoples are still fighting for sovereignty, rights, and reconciliation across Turtle Island. 

Land-Based Programming

Tea Creek’s initiatives to revitalize Indigenous Food Sovereignty are almost too bountiful to list. They offer free training to Indigenous individuals in the areas of:

  • Carpentry
  • Cooking
  • Machine Operation
  • Mechanics
  • Agriculture
  • Nutrition
  • Administrative skills
  • And more!

Tea Creek Farm also grows thousands of pounds of food each year, which both sustains their on-site meal program and provides nourishment to the local community through their Free Farm Stand events. The integration of daily operations with their mentorship programs also means that all trainees are active participants in making Tea Creek a site for systems change.

Images: Tea Creek Farm

Recognition & News

Having received local and international acclaim, Tea Creek has been named the United Nations Food Hero for North America and become a leader in Indigenous Food Sovereignty in Canada, as well as the only Indigenous designated horticulture centre in BC.

Their impressive array of partnerships includes local knowledge keepers, the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills (PSEFS), Stop Hunger, and their own nonprofit, the Indigenous Food Sovereignty Association (AFSA).

Tea Creek Farm has certainly kept themselves busy since last year’s growing season. From drafting a discussion paper on Food Sovereignty for the BC Indigenous Advisory Council on Agriculture and Food (IACAF), to building out their onsite training offerings designed to provide Indigenous-led, land-based, and culturally safe mentorship, to releasing a feature-length documentary with CBC now making the 2024 film festival circuit, you could say that they are wasting no time planting seeds to shift the paradigm on how Indigenous food sovereignty is understood and uplifted.

Urban Matters is proud to call Tea Creek Farm a Community Contribution partner and see the impact their work is creating due to the high demand for land-based and culturally safe food sovereignty initiatives in British Columbia and across the country.

Tea Creek is pleased to partner with Urban Matters in supporting on the ground reconcili-ACTIONS for our Indigenous community. This partnership supports the weaving together of elements that include community capacity building through hands-on food skills training and mentorship, direct community participation in food systems renewal, and a culturally safe mentoring environment for our Indigenous participants.

– Peter Kok | Program Advisor, Tea Creek/Indigenous Food Sovereignty Association

To support Tea Creek’s work, read the discussion paper, follow them on social media, and check out the trailer below for their new CBC film Tea Creek.


To learn more about Urban Matter’s Community Contributions, visit our Impact page.