As the holidays pass us by, most of us are blessed to be complaining about the amount of food we have eaten, or thrown away. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have these complaints, even here in Canada.
I had the opportunity to work with youth in/from a culture/context/role unfamiliar to me. The experience quickly identified an ignorance. I was not aware of how the generational trauma of First Nations peoples is impacting the food security of their children.
I worked with an eleven-year-old youth and on occasion, their behavior appeared triggered by food. Potential reasons; couldn’t process the amount of food available in the program, introduction to new food, a daily eating schedule, consistently being able to eat, control, etcetera.
Meal times were often times of crisis, as an intervention, the team packed a picnic and planned a hike to pick berries. Changing the environment during meal time and making the process less formal we hoped would alter the acting out behavior.
When the youth chose not to participate in the hike or berry picking we had our picnic at the playground. Being out of context I was not mentally prepared as other neighborhood kids sat or stood around us, as we ate, stating they were hungry.
Sharing was not an option. Unsafe situations, with community kids/youth, were already a concern due to the program's safety and wealth.
When the eleven-year-old, in our care, threw up we discussed the effects of eating too fast, too much and the importance of taking the time to “feel” full and what feeling full may feel like. This was not the first-time food, due to overeating, had been regurgitated.
As I chatted with the youth in our care, several little faces from the community listened and asked questions. Eager for knowledge and the attention of a safe adult. The experience took time to process and solidified my belief that we as a society need to pull our heads of the sand and implement culturally respectful help. Canada is a beautiful and diverse county that needs to make amends for the damage we have inflicted on our First Nation citizens. Children's basic needs are not being met today in our country because of the actions of our country. This is not only unacceptable there is no need for it. We are a prosperous country, food waste is at unacceptable levels.
Food security is required to learn, grow and succeed.
Individuals cannot grow, develop and prosper without having their physiological needs met (Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs).www.reddit.com/r/BasicIncome/comments/6dcn3t/basic_income_maslows_hierarchy_of_needs/ We need to focus on fulfilling these needs for all of our children if we hope to change the concerning behaviors that are negatively impacting our families/culture today.
“Imperfect Perspectives" will consist of written and video format. The writing and videos will be imperfect as I am the composer and director and I am perfectly imperfect! Be genuine, have the hard conversations and be compassionate to self and other. Be empowered!