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Land Acknowledgement


Rake and Radish Farm is located on unceded lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ territories and I take that as a serious part of my farm operations as I continue to grow my practise of supporting decolonization. Farming has historically been and continues to be used as a tool of colonization. Agriculture has played a key role in dispossessing Indigenous people from their homelands.

This land should be part of a thriving Indigenous food system as it has been since time immemorial. Before Rake and Radish Farm, the land was a slightly neglected hay field, not providing food for anyone or suitable habitat for local species. Transitioning the land into a small-scale farm using sustainable practices allows the land to feed more people and strengthen community. I hope this can be a stepping stone to comprehensive Indigenous food sovereignty.


The area surrounding the farm, PKOLS, is extremely important to W̱SÁNEĆ people. The name means “White Head” in SENĆOŦEN and one oral history tells that this name comes from the last ice age when the mountain was the last place that glacial ice receded from on the South Island. PKOLS is also a traditional meeting spot between W̱SÁNEĆ and lək̓ʷəŋən peoples: its height allowed people to see out over the land and it lies on the meeting overlap of each nation’s territory.

The area is also home to the lək̓ʷəŋən Tsuli’lhchu family and village settlement (sqw’uqw’unukwul), one of the five main lək̓ʷəŋən sqw’uqw’unukwul.

Events in the area were instrumental in the lead-up to the contested Douglas Treaties. Early white settlers during the mid-1800s were found stealing cedar trees from the coast near PKOLS to use as mast poles for their sailboats. This led to a group of W̱SÁNEĆ warriors confronting them and James Douglas, who was in charge of establishing the first colonial settlement at Fort Victoria. The confrontation was one spark for the signing of the controversial Douglas Treaties in 1852. Indigenous accounts show that they were viewed as peace treaties following the tree-stealing incident rather than an agreement to sell the land. Records also show that conditions and clauses of the treaty were added after it had been signed by Indigenous leaders. The contents of the treaties, such the the right to “carry on their fisheries as formerly” have also clearly been broken.

Increased colonization, settlement, and colonial notions of private property, as well as overt legal discrimination, has led to disconnection and a struggle to access traditional foods and sacred places. 

Going forward:

The presence of Rake and Radish Farm on these lands, as a farm operated by a white settler, is not neutral and I will strive to lessen the negative impact of my presence. This starts with building reciprocal relationships with the land.

I will ensure any fertilizer run-off from the farm is limited and does not reach nearby salmon bearing streams, as well as that all farm infrastructure can be removed without serious impact to the existing Douglas Fir ecosystem. I will educate myself about appropriate protocol and work on developing relationships with host nations and more than human hosts. I won’t pretend that my farming practices are perfect or above critique and I will strive to be open to receiving feedback. I won’t let the strenuous labour and workload of farming keep me from showing up and learning more about how to be a better accomplice to Indigenous peoples. A portion of farm revenue (at least 1% of profits each year) will also be sent to a local nation or Indigenous-led project as rent owed.