TSWA and Cornerstone Food Share add fry bread to the menu for the BC anti-racism intitiaive. Fry bread is a treat in the Haisla community and is best served with Rogers syrup. (Jacob Lubberts photo)

TSWA and Cornerstone Food Share add fry bread to the menu for the BC anti-racism intitiaive. Fry bread is a treat in the Haisla community and is best served with Rogers syrup. (Jacob Lubberts photo)

VIDEO: Traditional fry bread given at Kitimat food share for anti-racism initiative

The TSWA is using food to challenge and identify the racial divide in the community.

The Tamitik Status of Women Association (TSWA) is using food to challenge and identify the racial divide in the community.

With the $7,500 grant from the BC Anti-Racism Network, the TSWA is using food to highlight cultural differences as it is a substance consumed by all.

“Food is a pretty universal thing in every culture. Whether it’s physical nourishment, healing, or comfort,” Michelle Martins, TSWA executive director said.

Wanting to highlight the cultural representations of the Haisla Community, the TSWA gave away traditional Haisla fry bread with Rogers syrup. The bread was made by transition house staff, Ruby Duncan and Ladine Craik, for the Food Share program.

“We celebrate with food; the fry bread is very much a celebratory food, it’s a treat or dessert in Haisla culture,” Martins said.

Though staff kept things positive and joyful when distributing the food to those in need, Martins used this window to educate the public by giving a recipe card with a brief history of the Haisla Nation.

Martins believes the ripple effect of colonialism is still prevalent in our community and is using these anti-racism initiatives to engage the community in discussing these issues.

“Kitimat consistently has one of the highest average incomes in the province, because of the industry we have in here, and if you look at the demographics at who begins to enjoy that, it’s predominantly a settler population,” Martins said. “And if we look at who’s impoverished in Kitimat, its predominately Indigenous and Haisla people.”

“Our intention is to start a conversation in a ‘digestible’ sort of way because when we mention colonialism or racism. I think there’s an automatic wall that goes up with people responding saying they’re not racists nor do they contribute to racism. […] When that happens I think the conversation is really touching a nerve inside that person and even amplifying an unconscious bias they didn’t know they held.”

Using these programs, the TSWA hopes these initiatives allow individuals to look beyond their lens and start conversations between friends or family about the possible economic and social stratification between different cultures in our community.

“We want people to have conversations about our divide over something that really unites us, [food],” Martins said.

Through the Food Share program and other initiatives hosted by the TSWA, Martins hopes events like these help cultural engagements between the different demographics in the Kitimat community.

“I think that [conversation] is imperative right now because I believe that any civil or social movement can’t just be advocated by those affected, but it has to be people outside that demographic for change to benefit others.”

The TSWA’s next initiative will emphasize the loss of previous demographics and cultures that have been part of the Kitimat community.

“There used to be quite a predominant Indian, Middle-Eastern, Filipino, and Chinese population in Kitimat […] Those who have lived out the rest of their days here are a typically eurocentric population and the remaining populations have often left and gone down south where their ethnic populations are more robust. I personally think [the remaining residents of populations that have left Kitimat] feel a lesser sense of belonging, so that’s something we’re really trying to bring to light,” Martins said.

READ MORE: Tamitik Status of Women Association receive $7,500 in anti-racism funding



Just Posted

Outside the Kitimat RCMP police station, Diversity Morgan’s family and Kitimat RCMP come together for a pride flag-raising ceremony. (Jacob Lubberts photo)
Kitimat RCMP host pride flag ceremony in memory of Diversity Morgan

“We’re gathered here in solidarity for anyone who’s ever experienced prejudice or discrimination”

(Haisla First Nation logo)
Haisla Nation host walk for strength and series of virtual sessions for Indigenous History Month

The purpose of the walk is to bring Haisla Nation members together and show their collective support

The District of Kitimat will be awarding business owners with a store front up to $5,000 to cover up to 50 per cent of exterior renovations. (Norhtern Development logo)
The District of Kitimat is awarding $5,000 to storefront owners for exterior renovations

The district has set aside $20,000 this year and non-profits are also eligible

Ron getting loose and sipping a glass of the family’s favourite greek amber spirit, Metaxa. (Photo supplied)
In Our Valley: Ron Lechner

Retired part-time singer and Rio Tinto lifer: Ron Lechner

Map of the road work that will be completed this summer. The streets highlighted in red are what the district planned on completing before additional funding, and the streets highlighted in orange is the road works that will be done with the additional funding. (District of Kitimat photo)
$1.1 million allocated for road work this year in Kitimat

Kitimat council has added $470,000 for more work by deferring four other projects.

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

Most Read