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'We farm this land': Former Cowessess First Nation Chief Speaks at Canada’s Farm Show


Day two of Canada’s Farm Show fell on National Indigenous People’s Day.

Cadmus Delorme, the former Chief of Cowessess First Nation spoke to the crowd at the Viterra International Trade Centre, explaining Indigenous famers’ history and present situation.

“To speak here is about relationship. Indigenous people since treaty and pre-treaty have always been farmers,” Delorme told CTV.

He spoke of how all 34 First Nations on Treaty 4 land have farmland, and the importance of farming it themselves.

“In 2023, let’s just take this moment and realize that Indigenous people are now farming their own lands at the pace we should and in 10 years from now they should be, so we have to actually make sure that started today.”

Farmers are typically generational, having the lands, farm and knowledge passed down from parents and grandparents. Indigenous farmers are seeing gaps in generations.

“Indigenous nations have been removed two to three generations from that relationship to farming. Today it’s going to take an entire generation of teaching to remind us again.”

He added that education is needed in school as well as in reserve homes for the growth of farming by Indigenous people to take place.

Speaking Wednesday opened doors for communication but also collaboration with other farmers in Canada.

“He’s reaching outside the Indigenous community to find experts to fill those voids— and I think that’s the case for every new farmer that’s starting out,” said Cherilyn Jolly-Nagel, the host of Canada’s Farm Show and a farmer herself.

Jolly-Nagel is a fourth generation farmer, like her husband, and they are raising their two teenage girls on the farm. She said she was impressed by Delomre’s talk and willingness to learn, collaborate and grow.

She added that a lot of her knowledge not only came from growing up on a farm, but from shows, like Canada’s Farm Show, which gave her access to innovation and new ideas and technology.

“No matter your experience whether a little or a lot, you can learn something from this show… we bring in sometimes hundreds of delegates from other countries and encourage them to do business with Saskatchewan and with other agriculture industries in Canada.”

“It’s an opportunity for us to bring people together to innovate, educate and collaborate,” added Tim Reid, CEO of REAL.

Growing happens on the farm, but also at shows where other ideas, other ways, and knowledge from other countries are passed around, something Delorme hopes to bring back to Cowessess.

He also hopes to show other First Nations what they can do with their farms.

“Our grain bins are right next to our main road and so when you drive by on Cowessess, as a Cowessess member, citizen, you look at it and you’re like, ‘We own those bins, we farm this land.’” Top Stories

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