I was born and raised in Prince Rupert, and am of mixed-ancestry. My mother immigrated from Hong Kong in the 1970s, and from my fathers’ side I am Ts’msyen and a member of the La̱x Kw’alaams Band. I am a lover of food and actively engage with Indigenous food systems, through harvesting, cooking, preserving, trading, eating and sharing, in both my personal and professional life. As a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with the nuučaan̓uł (Nuu-chah-nulth) peoples, supporting those living with type 2 diabetes through traditional food system engagement.
I am also grateful for the opportunity to work with other Indigenous-led organizations, including ISPARC (Indigenous Sports, Physical Activity and Recreation Council), BCCAFC (BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres) and NIDA (National Indigenous Diabetes Association), who are all actively promoting wellness through a decolonized lens. I also work with non-Indigenous organizations, including Diabetes Canada and the British Columbia Ministry of Health, to address oppressive ideologies that continue to burden Indigenous health.
As a Ph.D. Candidate at UBC in Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems, my research will seek to understand how Indigenous food system engagement can promote diabetes support, care, and resiliency for individuals, families and communities. Through advocating for Indigenous food sovereignty and social justice, I hope to demonstrate how wellness is embedded within our reciprocal relationships with our food systems, while simultaneously dismantling colonial and anti-Indigenous racist ideologies that impact Indigenous peoples’ ability to access and engage with traditional food systems. My research will also embed diabetes care within Indigenous health frameworks, moving away from individualistic, biomedical definitions of health, to foster empowerment and self-determination within diabetes care for Indigenous Peoples.
The intention of my work is to support those living with diabetes and work to prevent diabetes for our future generations. Along with recipes featuring Indigenous foods, I will also share recipes for some of our common meals and snacks that I have adapted to be diabetes-supportive. I have also included some resources that I have supported, and some of my favourite Indigenous resources for those looking to expand their understanding of Indigenous relations in Canada.