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(P36) Hunter-gatherers’ food security and sovereignty: quests for self-sufficiency beyond times, places and disciplines

Convenors: Shiaki Kondo, Hokkaido University; Hirofumi Kato, Hokkaido University; Taro Yamauchi, Hokkaido University

Abstract: Increasing numbers of academics consider food security and sovereignty as insightful analytic tools to investigate questions regarding sustainability. We welcome contributions from various disciplines and indigenous perspectives that examine the relevance of food security and sovereignty in hunter-gatherer contexts.

Keywords: food sovereignty, food security, rights, self-sufficiency, biocultural survival

Format: standard panel

Precirculated papers: yes

 

Increasing numbers of academics and community members consider food security and sovereignty as insightful analytic tools to investigate questions regarding global and regional sustainability. If we are what we eat, then self-sufficiency and resilience of foodways are the keystone of any society in the past and the present.

The self-sufficiency of hunter-gatherer societies has been a hot topic of discussion (e.g., the so-called "wild yam hypothesis"). What’s more, hunter-gatherers themselves take the issue of food sovereignty very seriously (e.g. Gwich’in people’s protest against oil development). In this sense, this panel hopes to provide participants with a forum for discussion involving diverse actors. We welcome contributions from various disciplines and/or indigenous perspectives that examine the relevance of food security and sovereignty in hunter-gatherer contexts.

Food security and sovereignty have been seen as contrasts: food security tends to look at food production and its economic aspects. On the other hand, food sovereignty focuses on re-establishing people’s relation to the land and the food harvested therein. In this panel, we use the terms in a very broad sense to make sure that diverse disciplines and communities can be represented.

Our research questions include but not limited to: How do foraging foodways and the trade of food sources relate to the question of ethnogenesis of hunter-gatherers in relation to their neighbours? How can we use archaeological data on utilisation of plant and animal sources to discuss the resilience and adaptability of hunter-gatherer foodways? What are the threats to hunter-gatherer self-sufficiency? What are the strategies to protect food security and sovereignty of the hunter-gatherer foodways? How can we indigenise the concepts of “food security” and “food sovereignty,” which originally came from non-hunter-gatherer contexts? 

 

 

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