Building connections between land and community Many Canadians were shocked by the disclosure this summer that children lay buried at former residential school sites across the country. It was as though the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, based on hundreds of hours of testimony between 2008 and 2015, were given new life by the news of those lost children.

In response, the federal government moved forward with the declaration of September 30 as a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to ensure the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools is never forgotten.

But equally important is a commitment to building a better tomorrow, a commitment that must be shared by all Canadians. A growing number of Indigenous communities see agriculture as key to their future, not only as a means of economic development, but as a way to heal. The stories you find here offer a glimpse into their journey.

COWS AND PLOWS | Treaty 7 agreement was finally upheld in 2021, 14 decades after it was signed.
The language within the 1877 Treaty 7 is plain with little room for ambiguity. As part of the Blood Tribe’s participation in the treaty covering southern Alberta from the Rocky Mountains to the western edge of the Cypress Hills, cattle or farming implements would be provided at the expense of the Crown in exchange for allowing settlement of the same portion of land….  READ MORE
LOST OPPORTUNITY | The File Hills Colony near Balcarres, Sask. epitomized everything that was wrong about colonial attitudes towards Indigenous peoples. But a new model for Indigenous agriculture is emerging.
More than a century after its creation, there is no visible sign remaining of the File Hills Farm Colony in southern Saskatchewan. But the painful memories of an experiment that epitomized the culture of assimilation permeating that era’s attitudes towards Canada’s Indigenous peoples still live in the collective memories of residential school survivors…  READ MORE
VERTICAL GROWTH | A Northern Manitoba community has turned to vertical farming to overcome the challenges of accessing nutritious food.
Stephanie Cook planned on a career in Child and Family Services. She never imagined that would lead to operating a vertical farm helping to feed her northern Manitoba community. As a member of Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN) located near The Pas 600 kilometres north of Winnipeg, Cook grew up surrounded by the impacts of colonization and the legacy of residential schools…  READ MORE
TRIBUTE | A corn maze built this summer to commemorate the lost children is a place to reflect and remember.
It’s hard to describe the feeling of wandering through the Deer Meadow Farm’s Every Child Matters and Turtle Island corn mazes south of Winnipeg. To be completely candid, it was humbling to walk along the pathways of this monument for people like my grandmother…  READ MORE
NEW PATH FORWARD | Finding a new way of living together is key to the future of rural Canada.
The setting is a farmyard in central Saskatchewan, in a summer of record heat and drought. Judging from the line of vehicles parked along the road, it might have looked like a small auction. At lunch-time, on a day when the temperature would rise into the mid-30s…  READ MORE

Cattle deal dealt with 140 years later

Alex McCuaig

Reconciling the painful past creates hope for a more promising future

D.C. Fraser

First Nations farm improves northern food security

D.C. Fraser

Every child matters

Shelley Cook

Sharing the countryside

Roger Epp

Site Design

Ryan Fralic, Ron White

Digital Media Producer

Bruce Thorson


Laura Rance