About Our Sustenance

Our Sustenance is a community based social enterprise supported by a number of community organizations. Our Sustenance is dedicated to providing resources and programming to Six Nations community members in relation to garden production, food storage, healthy lifestyles, self-care, and traditional Haudenosaunee knowledge/values.

basket with tomatoes, cucumbers, and potatoes

Our Mission

Our mission is to help our community restore our interdependence with nature and take even greater strides
towards self-empowerment, self-sufficiency, holistic well-being, and sovereignty.

History of Our Sustenance

Our Sustenance began in 2011 as a result of information gathered from the community, and captured in the Six Nations Community Plan. It was the vision of the Community Planning department to develop a farmer’s market and community garden where people would be able to buy reasonably priced food in the community. Our Sustenance has been growing ever since then.

Our Sustenance began as a pilot project in 2012, during this time the program was administered by the Economic Development Department of Six Nations Council from 2011-2015. Throughout this period, members of the Our Sustenance team fundraised to keep the initiative going while seeking grants to help cover employee wages and program costs.

Through the use of these grants, help from Six Nations Council, and other funding sources, Our Sustenance was able to continue operation and gain momentum with the community.

In May 2015 when the Six Nations Grand River Development Corporation (SNGRDC) was formalized, Our Sustenance became a permanent department under the umbrella of SNGRDC and was given a forever home, and access to more stable funding.

As of March 2020, the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation (SNGRDC) is working collaboratively with the Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Council (SNGR) to develop a transition plan that is mutually agreed upon by both parties to divest this asset back under the direction of SNGR. Our Sustenance is anticipated to be back under the operations of SNGR by June 2020.

How we started

March 2017

-Our Sustenance receives a permanent sign for their front yard sponsored by Hydro One Inc.

December 2016

-Due to the increase in the amount of winter farmers market patrons, winter market now offered the first and third Saturday of the month
-Partner with the Two Row Times and Health Services’ Healthy Roots Program
-Apothecary services begin

September 2016

-Hosted First Night Market which saw over 300 visitors who were provided with dinner, entertainment, vendors, and information
-Construction on the Herbal Mediation garden began, which was sponsored by McMaster University

June 2016

-Began to offer summer student placements

December 2015

-First annual indoor yard sale at the winter market

May 2015

-SNGRDC formalized
-Our Sustenance given a permanent home and began as a department under the umbrella of SNGRDC

February 2014

-Began to hire contract staff from Guelph, Brantford, and Ohsweken

January 2014

-Due to the success of the farmers market a decision was made to continue with a monthly winter market

December 2013

-Test run of an indoors farmers market
-Volunteers from all over Ontario began to help us with the winter market

September 2013

-Kawenni:io Immersion Private school began attending weekly sessions to gain skills and spend time in the greenhouse

March 2013

-Begin to bring in greenhouse growers

December 2012

-Received funding for greenhouse pilot project

September 2011

-Administered by the Economic Development Department of Six Nations Council

June 2011

-Launched pilot farmers market and community garden

March 2011

-Talks with Community Planner