Pathways towards food sovereignty: Reconnecting individuals, food, nature and community in the inner city in Winnipeg, Manitoba

  • Zulfiya Tursunova Peace and Conflict Studies, Guilford College
  • Chantal Ramraj Peace and Conflict Studies, Guilford College
  • Stephanie Fulford Peace and Conflict Studies, Guilford College
  • Monica Cyr Peace and Conflict Studies, Guilford College
  • Shirley Thompson Peace and Conflict Studies, Guilford College


This case study research documented 15 interviews with inner-city residents of Winnipeg, Canada, concerning their experience of food swamps and struggles for food sovereignty. Community members from diverse cultural backgrounds
reported coming together to adopt practices towards food sovereignty in their urban environment of West Broadway, historically characterized with inadequate housing, crime and poverty. This community and community organizations like West Broadway Community Organization (WBCO) response to the lack of access to healthy food choices in their neighbourhood but also to build community and agency. The programs of WBCO include community gardens, Farmer’s Markets, good food boxes and local farm field trips, which positively impacted the citizens of West Broadway. ‘Community spirit’ is forming in a community that only years earlier was known more for violence and crime. Many participants made positive comments about grassroots initiatives and advocated for more community gardens. WCBO is connecting people to grow, share and organize around food, as well as connect them with farmers and the food system to provide many elements of food sovereignty. However, to address food insecurity and health in West Broadway more needs to be done to provide better food infrastructure in boarding houses and local healthy grocery stores. Furthermore, action for food sovereignty requires more programming and organizing for community food planning.