The Co-Creators Project

As part of our on-going efforts to support and amplify the diverse pedagogical work and research related to sustainable food systems and agriculture education, our Co-Creators Project brings together those who offer teachings and those who integrate offerings into their courses. Teaching and learning in complex terrains  are always creative, collaborative, and conjectural. In each posting in this project, we will highlight the people, resources, and pedagogical approaches embedded in co-creating new learning experiences for students in sustainable food and agriculture education programs.

Indigenous Food Sovereignty in an Introductory Food Justice Course


  • Tabitha Martens (she/hers)
  • Assistant Professor
  • Dr. Marten’s research explores the processes and practices of Indigenous food systems, with particular interest in the factors that affect Indigenous peoples’ food sovereignty


  • Will Valley (he/him)
  • Associate Professor of Teaching
  • Associate Dean, Equity, Decolonization, and Inclusion
  • Taught course since 2014, twice per academic year (13 iterations as of July 2022)


  • Core Food Systems Curriculum: Required; 3rd-Year; Bachelor of Science; 13 weeks
  • Required for Students in Majors: Dietetics; Food, Nutrition and Health; Nutritional Sciences; Food Science; Food and Resource Economics; Sustainable Agriculture and Environment; Global Resource Systems
  • Class Size: 160 students; 5 TAs, 1 Community Relations Coordinator; 1 Instructor; 20-24 Community Partner Organizations
  • Competencies: Project Development; Collaboration; Equity; Collective Action; Communication 
  • Conceptual Frameworks: Community Food Security; Food Justice; Asset-Based Community Development; Community-Based Experiential Learning Term Projects

Contextual Basis

Land, Food and Community II is a required, introductory food justice course for nearly all students enrolled in degree programs in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at UBC. The purpose of the course is to support students to Identify, interrupt, and interrogate systems of oppression as they relate to issues within food systems, and beyond. Indigenous Food Sovereignty is a theme of one of the weeks in the course. 

Dr. Tabitha Martens article is a required reading for the session and Dr. Martens offers a one-hour guest lecture to unpack challenging topics and create a dialogue with students as they encounter the depths of the issues surrounding colonization, Indigenous resurgence, and settler-responsibilities to working towards a more just and sustainable food system in Canada.

Themes: Colonialism; Indigenous students’ experiences; epistemic and affective dissonance; critique of objectivity in food systems education

In this audio recording, Dr. Tabitha Martens discusses elements of her teaching approach, including affective theory, supporting Indigenous and non-Indigenous students encounter difficult topics, and challenges within STEM cultures, as well as her scholarship related to Indigenous Food Sovereignty

by Dr. Tabitha Martens