11. Fresh Roots: Decolonizing Fresh Roots’ Site History


Project Title

Decolonizing Fresh Roots' Site History

Organization Name

Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society


Related Course Concepts

Food justice, Asset based community development, Cultural identities, Racism, Colonialism, Indigenous food sovereignty

Organization Information

Organization Name

Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society

Mission and Vision of Organization

Vision: Good Food For All! We envision a world where everyone has access to healthy food, land, and community.

Mission: We cultivate engaging gardens and programs that catalyze healthy eating, ecological stewardship, and community celebration.

Guiding Principles + Values

Our core values are at the heart of everything we do here at Fresh Roots. They are joy, community, inclusivity, empowerment, and lifelong learning. Our beliefs drive us towards our vision and direct our activities. We believe that good, healthy food is a right for all people. We believe that food is an inspiring and mobilizing force for good. We believe that education is the first step towards positive personal and systems change. We believe that healthy food systems are dependent upon a healthy environment and empowered communities. We believe that how we work together is as important as the work we do. We believe that collective action is imperative to food systems change.

Contact Information

  • Primary Contact Person(s): Galen Taylor Jones
  • Email: [[1]]
  • Phone: 8023719833  
  • Address: 5050 Wales St Vancouver, BC V5R 3M6
  • Website: https://freshroots.ca/about/

Preferred Method of Contact

  • Best method(s) to contact: Email
  • Best day(s) to contact:Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays
  • Best time(s) to contact: Mornings, Afternoons

Preferred Platform(s) for Remote Collaboration

  • Email, Google Meet, Skype, Zoom

Project Description

Context: What challenge or issue does the project aim to address?

Fresh Roots is a white settler founded and settler led organization. The organization has been working on some steps towards capacity building of our team around decolonization but there is a long way to go towards our internal decolonizing and that of the organization's structures, practices, programs, purpose and ontology. Fresh Roots works on 4 main sites, in (now called) Vancouver, Coquitlam and Delta on Kwikwetlem, Katzie, Sto:lo, Musqueam, Tsleil Waututh, and Squamish Coast Salish peoples' land. The organization has helped build and steward vegetable farms on these sites, in partnership with schools and the school board. The farms grow food that is sold and donated into the community, and act as a land base for Fresh Roots' educational programming. While farming, gardening, landscaping, and schools have all been powerful tools of colonization, we have limited knowledge about the history of each site specifically, and more generally about colonization in the lower mainland.

Main Project Activities

  • Student's will research the history of Fresh Roots sites, and more generally the history of farming and colonization in the lower mainland area.
  • They will also learn about methodologies and protocols for doing decolonizing research and for sharing that knowledge.
  • They may also engage in other research to help Fresh Roots grow in its decolonizing approach: the origins of crops, agricultural practices, contributions to the lower mainlands farming community, knowledge etc. by non indigenous immigrant groups

Expected Project Deliverable(s)

Students will create a presentation to be given to some of the core Fresh Roots team, as well as creating a document to be shared with the findings of their research and some recommendations for the organization to move forward with any new knowledge.

Intended Project Outcome

Fresh Roots core team has a deeper understanding of the history of the sites where we cultivate farms, and a greater capacity and comfort to share that knowledge with program participants and community.

Student Assets and Skills (preferred or required)

  • Interest in decolonizing work; courses taken in Traditional Ecological Knowledge or Indigenous studies; research skills; adaptability, creativity and a desire to co-create their project with the Fresh Roots team

Student Assets and Skills (to be developed through the project)

  • Decolonizing research methodologies Deepened knowledge of local history

Are there any mandatory attendance dates (e.g. special event)?

  • no mandatory attendances

Is a criminal record search (CRS) required?


If a criminal record search is required, when should the process be initiated?  


Preferred Days of Week and Hours

Our team is working 9-5 M-F, that's the best time for contacting us but we don't have a preference for when students work on the project, assuming most of it will be remote

Related Community Service Opportunities for Students

Required Reading

Project/Partner Orientation Materials

Students should review these materials prior to the first partner meeting:

Additional Project/Partner Orientation Materials

The following will be provided at the first community partner meeting:

Expected Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

I hope students will learn about...

  • The change in paradigm and lens we need to start approaching decolonization & the pervasiveness of colonial perspectives and systems

I think students will come to appreciate...

  • Histories and current realities that have been made invisible forgotten and erased

Through this project, students will develop...

  • Stronger skills for collaborating with community partners in a co-creative process, greater knowledge of food and land histories

Organizational Outcomes

How does the student project contribute to your organization's mission and long-term vision?

Contributing to the early steps of Fresh Roots' decolonizing journey; helping the organization move towards more inclusivity, a greater acknowledgement of it's role and place as a settler organization, and ability to speak to its community about that place and role

source: https://wiki.ubc.ca/Course:LFS350/Projects/F2020/FreshRoots