Recently, a Canadian named Jennifer N. started a petition targeting an Indigenous-owned Toronto restaurant named Kukum Kitchen (whose doors recently opened in June). Jennifer’s "cause" petitions for seal meat to be removed from the menu, an Indigenous menu. As all educated Indigenous people and Canadians know, anti-sealing campaigns have had detrimental economic impacts for the Inuit (please watch Angry Inuk directed by Alethea Arnaquq-Baril or read any of the countless articles written on this topic).
After reading our emailed concerns, Jennifer's response was to assure us that she is "not anti-Indigenous" and stated that, "the slaughter of any being is wrong" -- which begs the question: WHY is Jennifer N. targeting an Indigenous restaurant when there are literally hundreds of restaurants in Toronto that serve meat?
Further, Jennifer and her supporters join a long history of Canadians weaponizing food and food sovereignty against Indigenous peoples. As Dr. Lenore Newman, the Canada Research Chair for Food Security and Environment, states:
"'If we look at the history of colonization, the first settlers really relied on Indigenous foods, and collaborating with Indigenous people to stay fed,' she explained. 'But when we get into the country-building period, we see food being used as a weapon.'
Newman cited examples of settlers taking control of salmon distribution on the West Coast, or the Canadian government's move to wipe out the buffalo in hopes of starving First Nations across the prairies.
She also mentioned how Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. MacDonald infamously 'bragged' about using food as a weapon against Indigenous peoples."
--- Cited from: 'Food being used as a weapon': The lasting effects of colonialism on Indigenous food (CBC October 8, 2017) http://www.cbc.ca/radio/unreserved/how-food-brings-indigenous-communities-together-1.4327345/food-being-used-as-a-weapon-the-lasting-effects-of-colonialism-on-indigenous-food-1.4343909
This petition aims to support Ku-Kum Kitchen located at 581 Mount Pleasant Road in Toronto -- Go there and support their business with your pocketbook & fill your tummy with delicious food...Try the seal! Alternatively, check out their Facebook and give it a "Like" and a "Share". https://www.facebook.com/kukumkitchen/. It has also come to my attention that anti-sealing supporters have been leaving disturbing reviews and 1 star ratings on Ku-Kum Kitchen's Facebook Page. If you've eaten there and have had a good experience, please take time to write a review or rate the restaurant to help offset this issue.
It's time to stop the cycle of willfully ignorant Canadians who continue to impose their ill-considered values upon Indigenous practices and people.
Anti-seal hunt rhetoric ignores facts and suppresses Indigenous culture Globe & Mail, Oct 12, 2017
#EatSeal #WearSeal #IndigenousSovereignty #Sealfie
Even Further Reading:
'Angry Inuk' Explores The Inuit Fight To Protect The Seal Hunt -
PETA's anti-commercial sealing videos 'devastating' to Inuit, critic says -
Anthony Bourdain goes to bat for Canadian seal hunt -