UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Planning for whom? The practice of cultural inclusion in alternative food initiatives in Metro Vancouver Ostenso, Victoria


As part of a social movement to challenge and transform the dominant agrifood system, alternative food initiatives (AFIs) strive to create more socially and environmentally just food systems through policy change and programming. In a culturally plural context, processes need to be in place to ensure change efforts consider the perspectives and priorities of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including from diverse racial, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds. This thesis calls attention to the approaches and outcomes of AFIs towards cultural inclusion and racial justice through two case studies. The first is an analysis of the approaches to cultural inclusion by four food policy councils in Metro Vancouver. The second takes a closer look at one AFI, the Richmond community garden program, to better understand how garden participants navigate and benefit from the convergence of difference in public gardens. Through interviews, participant observation, and document analysis this thesis exposes the complexity of shifting towards culturally inclusive practice and provides key learnings for AFI practitioners as they strive towards more culturally inclusive outcomes in their own context.

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