Norma Wolfchild, a member of the Blood Tribe, has spent nearly 20 years helping her community develop small business ventures, working with the Blood Tribe Economic Development as a small business development officer. After her husband was diagnosed with diabetes, she was determined to establish a healthier lifestyle with organic, nutrient-rich foods. She now has a thriving garden, a small horde of livestock and honey-producing bees.
Tracey Smith grew up near North Cooking Lake in Strathcona County and in Edmonton. During her undergrad degree in conservation biology at the University of Alberta, she became intrigued by questions of food security in the North. After graduating, Tracey moved to Fairbanks, Alaska to pursue a Master’s of Arts at the University of Fairbanks. Her research on the North compared the carbon footprint of raising backyard laying hens compared to that of importing eggs from the lower 48 states. Around the same time, Tracey began volunteering on a vegetable farm near the university. The farmer also kept a few hives for pollinating the vegetables. At the time, Tracey was living in a rustic cabin – no running water – and becoming disenchanted with academia. She wondered what kind of career to pursue.