September 21st, 2023 – The Power of Indigenous Food Sovereignty Series: Dietitian perspectives and stories about the Impacts of Colonization on Indigenous health and food systems With Gerry Kasten, Michael Wesley, Seamus Damstrom and Tatyana Daniels

In this first part of “The Power of Indigenous Food Sovereignty Series” Gerry Kasten, Michael Wesley, Seamus Damsttrom and Tatyana Daniels will be sharing their journey with Indigenous food system and sharing the impacts of colonization. This webinar will emphasize the importance of recognizing Canada’s/BC’s colonial history, acknowledging Indigenous Peoples’ resilience and exploring the role that dietitians have in reconciliation.

Thank you for your interest and participation!

This session’s video is now available for viewing.

Thank you to everyone for your continued interest in our events.

We would like to reiterate that everyone is welcome to our UBCLC sessions.


Date: Thursday, Sept 21st, 2023 (PST)
Time: 10 a.m. to 11:30 am
Where: Free online via Zoom
View system requirements
Registration: required to participate; We would strongly recommend signing up for this event if you are interested even if you can’t make the date and time so we can have your information to send you the video link after the webinar session

About the Presenters:


Gerry Kasten loves food! He was born to a farming family, and still helps his brother bring in the harvest each year. He has an Honours Diploma in Commercial Cooking and has both a Bachelors and Masters degree in Nutrition. He worked in Public Health in BC for the past thirty years, and has led the boards of directors of both Dietitians of Canada and the BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation. Gerry is a Lecturer in UBC’s Dietetics program. Gerry’s chequered past has led him to a critical analysis of the constructions of gender, particularly as they are enacted through food.He wants to live in a world where people celebrate food, sharing it with those they love, taking its pleasure without restraint because its flavour saturates their most sensuous appetites.


Michael Wesley, Gitxsan RD.

Michael was born on the Gitxsan territory and raised on a small reserve called Gitanmaax.He is a husaband and  father of two. Michael have completed his degree in Bachelor of Science with a major in dietetics at UBC – Vancouver. Michael has started a business to approach dietetics with innovation to implement Indigenous knowledge into my practice.


Seamus Damstrom, RD

Shekoli/Hello, my name is Seamus Damström. I am Oneida with Czech ancestry on my mother’s side and Swedish and Irish ancestry on my father’s side. I live and work on the ancestral and unceded ʔamakʔis Ktunaxa territory, the traditional land of the Ktunaxa Nation. My post-secondary journey led me to the College of the Rockies and UBC, where I completed a 10-month placement with Northern Health. Currently, I work as a Public Health Dietitian with Interior Health, operating at the community, regional, and provincial levels. Throughout my journey of reclaiming my Indigenous identity, I’ve recognized the significance of food and Land in building relationships and strengthening connection between language and health. As a Registered Dietitian, I am committed to ongoing (un)learning, fostering trusting relationships, reclaiming my Oneida language and culture, and amplifying community stories to advocate for systems change.


Tatyana Daniels, RD

Tatyana is a Gitxsan-Wet’suwet’en dietitian who grew up in the community of Gitanmaax in northwestern BC. While growing up, her grandmother taught her about the nutritional benefits of traditional foods, the many different preservation methods for salmon, and the importance of our cultural foods for food security. Because of this experience, she became a strong advocate for land and food system protection early in her life and now has 12 years experience in Indigenous food sovereignty advocacy and rural food insecurity education. She graduated with honors from the dietetics program at the University of British Columbia in 2022, previously worked as a clinical dietitian in downtown Vancouver, and now works as a Population and Community Health dietitian for First Nations communities in northern BC. Her work includes incorporating cultural knowledge into nutrition and overall dietetics practice, while providing education within the dietetics community on the effects of colonialism on Indigenous health and food systems, and the complexities of food insecurity and food sovereignty in Indigenous communities.



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The topics we cover can often be sensitive or emotionally triggering. Please make sure that you are looking after yourself. If at any point you feel that you need to talk to a friend, Elder, counselor, or family member: don’t hesitate to do so. Check out our Counseling Support Page.

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