Dawn is of Secwepemc ancestry and is the Founder/Curator of the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty. Since 1983 Dawn has worked and studied horticulture, ethno-botany, adult education, and restoration of natural systems in formal institutions as well as through her own personal healing and learning journey. Following the years she spent teaching Aboriginal Adult Basic Education, Dawn has been dedicating her time and energy to land based healing and learning which led her to her life’s work of realizing herself more fully as a developing spirit aligned leader in the Indigenous food sovereignty movement. Dawn has consistently organized and held the space over the last 13 years for decolonizing food systems discourse in community, regional and international networks and has become internationally recognized as a published author. Dawn’s work on the Decolonizing Research and Relationships appreciates and inquires into a critical consciousness that shines a light on the cross-cultural interface where Indigenous Food Sovereignty meets social justice, Indigenous climate action, and the movement to a more sustainable land and food system as a whole. Some of the projects Dawn is leading includes: Wild Salmon Caravan, Indigenous Food and Freedom School and, Dismantling Structural Racism in the Food System.
Arzeena earned her Bachelor’s degree in Crop Science from the University of Guelph and a Master’s in Sustainable Agriculture from the University of London, England. She worked as a CUSO volunteer in Thailand and as a researcher in Jamaica, India, and Bangladesh. She also served as the Coordinator of the Richmond Food Security Society from 2008-2012, and in 2010 helped launch the Richmond Farm School. She and her husband moved their family to the Comox Valley in 2012 and run Amara Farm, a 25-acre certified organic farm in Courtenay, BC. In 2018, Arzeena was elected to the Board of the Comox Valley Regional District where she serves as both Vice Chair and Director, Area B.
Kent Mullinix is Director of the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems at Kwantlen
Polytechnic University in British Columbia, Canada. The ISFS is an applied research and
extension unit focused on advancing place-based food systems as the foundation of
sustainable community and society. Mullinix attended the University of Missouri where
he earned a B.S. in Agriculture, M.S. in Horticulture and Ph.D. in Agriculture Education.
He also earned a Ph.D. in Plant Science from the University of British Columbia. Before
immigrating to Canada Mullinix was an Associate Professor and the Endowed Joint Chair
in Pomology at Washington State University and Director of Agriculture Programs at
Wenatchee Valley College. His areas of professional focus are pomology,
organic/regenerative crop production systems, regionalization of food systems, and
family-based agriculture revitalization. Mullinix has, lived and worked on farms, owned
and operated a pear orchard with his family in eastern Washington and oversaw the
establishment and management of a 45-acre organic apple, sweet cherry, and peach
teaching and research orchard in eastern Washington. At KPU he led the development of
the unique BSc Sustainable Agriculture degree, the graduate certificate- Sustainable Food
Systems and Security, and the Richmond and Tsawwassen First Nation Farm Schools.