The Nihtaauchin (meaning It grows in Cree language) Chisasibi Center for Sustainability is a recently constituted non-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening autonomy and building framework that will guide research, education, and action to build the foundations for the sustainable management in production system and sustainable design for food, water, and green energy while combining innovation with Eeyou (Cree) knowledge and expertise in ways that respect and benefit the Cree Nation of Chisasibi.
Although we incorporated in 2018, we have begun our work related to food sovereignty and food security in the community in 2014 under the auspices of the Chisasibi Business Service Center (CBSC). Between 2014 and 2018 the CBSC developed and supported various food security and greenhouse initiatives in the Cree Nation of Chisasibi: healthy eating workshops, a community greenhouse, an elder’s food security initiative, and composting.
We began with healthy eating workshops and initiation to gardening with the three daycares in Chisasibi, including preparation of garden beds and indoor seeding. In 2016 we undertook most of the research and development of a community greenhouse. Today, we also developed food security workshops that involved teaching how to plant seeds, transplanting, fertilizing, harvesting, winter preparations, and composting while applying Cree traditional knowledge and techniques. We have also undertaken a recycling project by gathering organic food scraps from local produce retailers. The information we gathered from the compost project was presented to Cree Nation of Chisasibi led to ultimately be part of the Chisasibi’s recycling plant project that is projected to be constructed as early as 2019.
We have only recently incorporated as a non-for-profit organization given the great success of our initiatives. The Chisasibi Business Service Center (CBSC) remains a close partner and supporter of the greenhouse initiatives to be developed in the near future, including administrative and financial support.