March 6, 2019
by PETER MITHAM
Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples is a priority for BC premier John Horgan, but data from Statistics Canada shows the province leads the country when it comes to First Nations farmers.
A total of 1,060 farm operators identified as Indigenous in the 2016 Census of Agriculture. Of these, 285 – or 27% – were located in BC. A further 495 identified as Métis.
“Aboriginal people represented one of the few growing sectors of the agricultural population in 2016, posting large increases even as the total agricultural population declined,” Statscan said.
The insights were derived from a correlation of farm operator data with population data.
The data indicated that First Nations farmers typically operated small farms and generating an annual income of about $18,000. This is about a quarter of farm revenue among non-Indigenous operators.
“These differences are partly explained by the concentration of First Nations agricultural operators in British Columbia, where it is more common to find small agricultural operations that focus on specialty crops, such as berries,” Statscan explained.
However, some First Nations farming ventures are very large indeed. These include Inkameep Vineyards in Oliver. Ranching, greenhouse vegetables and market gardening are also part of the mix.
First Nations farm organizations in BC include the First Nations Agriculture Association. For three years, an Indigenous agriculture forum has occurred in Kamloops under the auspices of the Community Futures Development Corporation of Central Interior First Nations.
Vol. 105 Issue 5
STORIES IN THIS EDITION
What on earth?
Opposition slams ALC bill
Sidebar: Protection & pushback
Editorial: Truth in labelling
Back Forty: So you don’t believe in climate change
Viewpoint: Don’t blame the cows for global warming
Ag council’s lobbying efforts produce results
Learning a new skill
Foundation’s nest egg for funding projects increases
Province will hold the line on piece rates
New CEO aims to kindle team spirit at co-op
FIRB decision prompts rethink of pricing scheme
Beekeepers see potential in technology transfer
AgSafe markes quarter century
Raspberries hit hard by harsh February
Blueberry growers anxious for new varieties
Biological controls for pests in demand
Sidebar: Pesticides in play
Growers urged to focus on fresh
Westgen celebrates 75 years of excellence
Top seller was no-show at Holstein sale
Spring show attracts exhibitors from Quebec
Cheesemakers unite to grow niche market
Range use permits under greater scrutiny
Sidebar: Range use plans go digital
Market Musings: Top bulls sell for top dollar at spring sales
Grapegrowers share sustainability objectives
Grape specialist honoured for dedication
Hazelnut production expands across BC
Sidebar: Pest pressures
Supporters take to AITC’s Sips & Sprouts
Research: Cultured meat fails to impress researchers
UAVs undergo testing for pesticide delivery
Sustainability goes beyond saving farmland
Father and daughter roll with the last of the steel wheels
Woodshed: Susan Henderson is warming to country life
Wannabe: Farming is more than just a job
Surplus, cull fruit finds new purpose as tasty snacks
Jude’s Kitchen: Special food for special moms