Thesis by: Saara Marjatta Sipola
Do not step on the farmer’s grass: On global food economy, Inuit food security and arctic agriculture is a thesis with a focus on Greenland as a part of the Inuit Nunaat, the Inuit homeland. This thesis is about the importance of indigenous food, harvest, and consumption. It is about connecting to indigenous cultures through food systems. Food systems that, in the case of Inuit, have sustained over thousands of years. Today this is not the case, and we all are consumers in what is called a global food economy. There is a vast range of literature suggesting that many indigenous peoples would still choose an indigenous diet, and participate in the food production, instead of being alienated from it. However, indigenous food production is largely perceived as ineffective and also non-profitable, thus it has had to change from large-scale industrial projects and mono-crop commercial agriculture. This thesis aims to illuminate the reasons for Inuit food insecurity beyond most often-stated reasons such as climate change or poverty. The argument set forth here is that indigenous people’s food insecurity cannot be separated from the colonial history, nor the current dominance of the global, capitalistic market forces: These issues being two sides of the same coin. Regardless of the destructive impacts on many indigenous societies, there is evidence of indigenous peoples’ resistance to seek solutions in circumstances of food insecurity, which be illustrated in the case of indigenous agriculture, and within sheep farming in South Greenland.