This research was motivated by increased tensions that had arisen within First Nations communities in the Peace River region of Alberta over the selling of country foods and the belief among some that it has incentivized excessive hunting and the abandonment of food-sharing traditions. Our results indicate that rather than having deleterious ecological and social effects, country food sales are not being driven by profitability, nor are the norms associated with harvesting and food sharing being adversely affected. Although the sale of country foods has been motivated in part by the capital demands of hunting, country foods are not being treated as mere commodities, nor are they used as instruments for profit. With these results, community leaders are in a better position to challenge colonial policies that criminalize the selling of country foods and defend the distinctiveness of their own culturally sanctioned food systems. This research is an example of anthropological praxis where assumptions derived from modernization and household production theories are tested through applied research with the intent to resolve tensions over the speculative impacts of country food sales in First Nations communities.

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