Coastal Foodways

An Indigenous-led nonprofit organization focusing on food sovereignty in the central coast, to connect communities in the area in building an abundant and resilient food system.

About us

A lifetime of practicing ancestral foodways, including harvesting and preservation, is how food became a focal point in ‘Cúagilákv (Jess H̓áust̓i)’s work. Jess has been working in Heiltsuk-related food work for a large part of their career and during the pandemic they realized that they wanted to build a network with other regions because of the precarity of food supply chains. While Jess acknowledges that work is being done by other organizations in the region and coast to coast, they realized that “we are not going to localize our food economy and build resilient food systems in silos.” This prompted them to realize that there was a need to create “supportive, loving, and reciprocal relationships” with their neighbours. 

Coastal Foodways wants to create a body of locally relevant resources that are written specifically for their communities that Jess hopes will be a helpful contribution to the work that has already been done by many leaders in food sovereignty, including their ancestor’s work. They add that “so much about what is out in the world doesn’t make sense in our geography, doesn’t make sense in our microclimate.” Their first step is building a library of resources that will help build skills in harvesting, preservation, and responsible foraging. 

Coastal Foodways also has microgrants to support work that is already happening in food sovereignty on the central coast, this aligns with the “reciprocal knowledge sharing” that Jess strives for. Coastal Foodways is also in the first steps of creating a seed bank, in the hopes that they will be able to build seed stock for distribution to communities food projects. 

Jess’ dream for the organization is to “find meaningful, sustainable ways to rebuild the grease trails, the potlatch trails that used to connect our communities.” They realize this can be a challenge, specifically in their region because they are geographically remote from big centers, but are also remote from other communities, which could cause problems for food travel. Jess hopes that Coastal Foodways can eventually manage the cost of travel between communities, so that they can share, buy and trade with each other again. For Coastal Foodways this means they can “lower the cost barrier, lower the logistical barrier and offer food safe and reliable, responsible food transportation for items like bear grease, herring eggs, groceries, seeds, and locally produced plants.

Mission + Vision + Values

  • Our goal is to break down the systemic barriers to food security, starting by creating resources and building capacity that make sense for our bioregion and cultural systems.
  • We believe our communities deserve abundance, and we are here to support you to grow, forage, harvest, jig, pick, and trade your way to nourishing and plentiful food systems.
Coastal Foodways


Non-profit organization

Geographic Region

Bella Bella, offering services to central coast communities (Bella Bella, Bella Coola, Wuikinuxv Village, Klemtu, Denny Island, or Ocean Falls)


Food sovereignty

How Coastal Foodways upholds United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)

Article 26
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired. 2. Indigenous peoples have the right to own, use, develop and control the lands, territories and resources that they possess by reason of traditional ownership or other traditional occupation or use, as well as those which they have otherwise acquired. 3. States shall give legal recognition and protection to these lands, territories and resources. Such recognition shall be conducted with due respect to the customs, traditions and land tenure systems of the indigenous peoples concerned.

Article 29
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the conservation and protection of the environment and the productive capacity of their lands or territories and resources. States shall establish and implement assistance programmes for indigenous peoples for such conservation and protection, without discrimination.

There are 46 Articles within the Declaration and they are all interrelated. The above list is not exhaustive but makes direct links between UNDRIP and this organization.

similar organizations

Tkaronto (with a cross-canada network)
Coast Salish Territories
Xat’sull, Northern Secwepemculecw
Xat’sull, Northern Secwepemculecw

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Organization Name:
Coastal Foodways