Name: Ryan DeCaire
Research Project: Indigenous community food production and the re-establishment and re-strengthening of biocultural relationships
Educational level: Master’s candidate in Sustainability Studies
University: Trent University
Academic background: BA Honours with a double major in Environmental & Resource Studies and Indigenous Studies (Trent University)
Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the researcher: Shé:kon ne wa’tkonnonhwerá:ton. Ryan iontiáts. Kanien’kehá:ka niwakonhwentsiò:ten tánon Wáhta nitiwakahtóntien.
My name is Ryan and I give you greetings, love and respect. I am Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) and come from Wáhta Kanien’kehá:ka Territory, located near the eastern shores of Georgian Bay in the area now commonly known as central Ontario. I am currently a second year Masters student in the Sustainability Studies program at Trent University. While growing up in the small community of Wáhta, I have come to develop great passion and love for Kanien’kehá:ka ways of understanding and being that work in tandem with the custom of Iethi’nihsténha Ohwén:tsia (Mother Earth). With this passion as a primary force guiding many of my actions, I have sought to learn and understand (k)new ways of re-fostering strong and sustainable biocultural relationships throughout Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. In particular, and as the basis for my Masters research, I have had great interest in the restoration and revitalization of Indigenous food systems, with an emphasis on agricultural systems. As a result of this interest I have spent much time farming (growing mixed crops and raising livestock) and have created an continue to coordinate an Indigenous community gardening initiative in Wáhta called Tsi Tewaienthótha, which is at centre of my research. Primarily, my research currently focusses on human-food relationships and the role of Indigenous community gardening in nurturing subsistence-based lifestyles and strengthening relationships to land. Among many other things, I am also very interested and engaged in the revitalization of Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) languages, with Kanien’kéha (Mohawk language) in particular. Niawen’kó:wa/Thanks a lot.