Agroecology in the North: Centering Indigenous food sovereignty and land stewardship in agriculture “frontiers”

Warming temperatures in the circumpolar north have led to new discussions around climate-driven frontiers for agriculture. In this paper, we situate northern food systems in Canada within the corporate food regime and settler colonialism, and contend that an expansion of the conventional, industrial agriculture paradigm into the Canadian North would have significant socio-cultural and ecological consequences. We propose agroecology as an alternative framework uniquely accordant with northern contexts. In particular, we suggest that there are elements of agroecology that are already being practiced in northern Indigenous communities as part of traditional hunter-gatherer food systems. We present a framework for agroecology in the North and discuss its components of environmental stewardship, economies, knowledge, social dimensions and governance using examples from the Dehcho region, Northwest Territories, Canada. Finally, we discuss several challenges and cautions in creating policy around agroecology in the North and encourage community-based research in developing and testing this framework moving forward.
© The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Version of Scholarly Record of this Article is published in Agriculture and Human Values, 2022, available online at: . Keywords: Canada, north, agroecology; Indigenous; food sovereignty.
Price, M.J., Latta, A., Spring, A. et al. Agroecology in the North: Centering Indigenous food sovereignty and land stewardship in agriculture “frontiers”. Agric Hum Values 39, 1191–1206 (2022).