Food Relatives: Decolonizing and Indigenizing the Global Food System

April 1-2, 2022
Hybrid Conference: Zoom (Day 1) and in-person at UC Berkeley (Day 2)

The term “Food Relatives” signals to the alternative and Indigenous food systems that view food as more than a commodity. As a generative category and notion, Food Relatives gives insight into how various actors can decolonize and indigenize their respective Food Systems by attuning to the more-than-human as part of economic, social, and political lives.

The conference’s main goal was to connect scholars, community members, artists, and policy makers through varying critiques and discussions of three major systems of oppression in the global Food System: colonization, heteropatriarchy, and capitalism. In doing so, the Food Relatives conference gave focus to alternative food relations outside of Industrial agricultural practices in order to amplify existing decolonizing and indigenizing movements that may improve Food Systems across all Global Directions, such as Indigenous and Black stewardship, alternative food systems, and sustainable ecologies.

Questions for discussion at the Food Relatives conference included:

  • How have Indigenous relationships with food and land changed in response to and as a result of colonization?
  • How are discussions of Food Security, Food Justice, and Food Sovereignty valuing the more-than human?
  • How do different disciplines tackle food system questions? What analyses are centered, or silenced, in these discussions?
  • What can an improved relationship with food and non-humans look like? How may that impact human and non-human health?
  • How have Indigenous and other historically marginalized peoples used food and land to resist colonization and exercise agency over their health, cultural practices, and social empowerment?

Registration for the Food Relatives conference was free to all participants and attendees.

This conference was organized by the Food Institute Graduate Council (FIGC) at Berkeley, and sponsored by the Berkeley Food Institute (BFI), the Graduate Assembly (GA), the Native American Studies center, the Latinx Research Center, and the Multicultural Community Center (MCC), the Big C Fund. Any inquiries to FIGC can be made via

Conference Schedule

Day 1, Friday, April 1

10:00am – 10:15am – Introduction from FIGC Conference Committee
10:15am – 11:15am – [Panel] Revitalizing Indigenous Food Systems
11:15am – 12:45pm – Movie screening: The Ants and the Grasshopper
1:00pm – 2:00pm – [Panel] Gendering Food Liberation
2:00pm – 2:45pm – Movie Screening: Food as Resistance
3:00pm – 4:00pm – [Panel] Transnational Food Politics
4:00pm – 5:00pm – Keynote: Chairman Ron Goode, North Fork Mono Tribe

Day 2, Saturday, April 2

10:00am – 10:15am – Land acknowledgement
10:15am – 11:15am – [Panel] Stewarding Food Relations
11:30am – 12:30pm – [Panel] Reconnecting with more-than-humans
12:45pm – 1:45pm – [Panel] Reclaiming Filipinx Foodways in Healthcare
2:00pm – 3:00pm – Keynote: Peter Nelson, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and
Management, UC Berkeley
4:00pm – 5:00pm – Career Panel: Decolonizing and Demystifying Careers in Food Research