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 3
STORIES IN THIS EDITION
Province boosts ag spending
It’s a draw!
Editorial: Vice grip
Back Forty: Snow days make good days for seed selection
Viewpoint: Farmers need to prepare for annual snow melt
Smooth start to season as foreign workers arrive
Sidebar: Province mulls piece rates
Late winter has some Okanagan growers on edge
Ag show attracts near-record attendance
Ag Briefs: Traceability funding available for producers
Ag Briefs: Cattlemen’s launches webinar series
Ag Briefs: Grant winner announced
Labour remains a priority for fruit growers
Dairy, aquaculture take home awards at gala
Farmers need to prepare for uncertainty
Ag critic listens to concerns at farmers’ institute
Growers are responsible for workers’ safety
Robotic milkers sized up during dairy tour
Safe, high-quality silage depends on preparation
Diversification makes orchard a landmark
Ranchers need to match forage with herd needs
Producers question new Indigenous rights law
Hosting TRU students a way to give back
Livestock co-op provides selling, buying options
Sidebar: Market set to stay steady
Research: Bluetongue outbreaks expected to increase
Filling a niche for gourmet mushrooms
Regulations, housing key issues in Langley
Sheep producers seeing value in genetic program
Above and beyond
Vegetation fundamental to farms, landscape
Studies continue on forage, corn crop pests
4-H BC leader singled out
Growers go with the grain of beer revival
Agri-tourism has plenty of room for growth
Rose stem girdler poses threat to cranberries
Site prep critical for healthy hazelnut orchards
Sidebar: BC renewal program opens up
Wannabe: Renewal comes with a new generation of farmers
Woodshed: Deborah and Doug McLeod turn up the heat
A good place to meet up
Jude’s Kitchen: Celebrate spring by eating outside