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Local Legacies

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

Black People in Victoria Impacting our Local Food System

The role of Black people and their communities in Canada has largely been ignored as a key part of Canada’s history, and few people in Canada are aware of the fact that African people were once enslaved in the territory that is now known as Canada, or of how those who fought enslavement helped to lay the foundation of Canada’s diverse and inclusive society.

Black History Month is a time to learn more about these local people with lived experiences and their contributions that shape our social fabric.

To create equitable policy and seek justice in the present, it is critical to understand and acknowledge the damaging events of the past. Racism in the food system it is part of Victoria’s food landscape.

This brief history begins to build a picture of how inequality in food production, food access, and subsequent health outcomes have their roots in a long history of structural racism across the food system. The racism present in the system contributes to higher levels of food insecurity and hunger, increased instances of diet-related diseases like diabetes, and higher poverty rates among Black communities and other communities of colour.

We take the time to look outside instead of honoring the relationship with us in our communities that has impacted the way we engage with food. This list is not exhaustive by any means; however these are the people we have relationships with who have impacted the way we look at our involvement in shaping our local food systems.


Chef Castro Boateng

Castro Boateng, originally born in the West African country of Ghana, his raw talent, admirable flavour combination and natural creativity have propelled him to the top of the podium at many culinary competitions, including the Fine Grain Master 2017, the Hungry Hearts 2017 and 2014, Colour Your Palate 2015 and 2014, Alberta’s Young Chef competition 2005, Bermuda’s Young Chef Challenge 2003. Chef Castro was also chosen as the first catering company to be invited to the Gold Medal Plates in 2015.

Chef Castro continues to show why he is one of the best Chefs on Vancouver Island. His philosophy is simply fresh ingredients, delightfully personal service and seriously good food, which you can alays find at House of Boateng!


Natalie Justin

Originally from St. Lucia, Is an Entrepreneur, Chef and Owner Natalie Justin of Stir it Up, a locally owned Authentic Caribbean Soul Food restaurant.

The menu features fresh ingredients, amazing spices and exotic Caribbean influences.

For Natalie, showing up for community is a passion she shares and develops. She's also a cofounder of Clean Heart Youth where they host a Reggae Dance Food Drive a fundraising reggae party with non perishable goods to be donated to food-related organizations.

Big ups!


Pulchérie Mboussi

Pulchérie was born in Cameroon, West Africa. She has earned a strong reputation as a community leader and advocate of promoting and celebrating the rich and diverse culture of Africa and the Caribbean.

Pulchérie's life-long commitment as an Ambassador of African and Caribbean culture. You will find her cooking in many events she organizes as the Founder of African Art & Cultural Community Contributor CCC. Inc. (AACCCS) and the Issamba Centre, to act as the Community Convener for people of African Descent living in British Columbia, in addressing the rise in hate and racism in our province through the BC Resilience Project.


James Bowen

Originally from Grenada, Chef and Owner James Bowen opened the Caribbean Village Cafe in 1998! Known as a local meet up spot in Quadra Village, James proudly offers a full menu for all Caribbean food lovers.

You will find James talking about politics and challenging point of views. Our last discussion was about Dialectical Materialism.

Stop and try his Callallou, Cou Cou and Fried Fish - Yum!


Stay tuned for another edition of Local Legacies, coming soon!

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