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Renee Thomas-Hill is a Grandmother to many, and shares the knowledge of the people. She carries a message of Peace & Understanding of Life. Her walk has taken her across Turtle Island. Grandmother Renee recently presented at the UN Indigenous Womens’ Forum, Weaving the Web of Peace, in New York City. It is a priority of the TFPC to recognize indigenous food ways and to recognize the work of First Nations over thousands of years, and Grandmother Renee’s work as part of that history, to preserve food traditions and to help create new food traditions based on those teachings. Grandmother Renee is an artisan, a Holder of Names and the Genealogy of Six Nations, a storyteller through Woodland’s animal puppetry, a First Nations Doll Maker, a Traditional Counsellor and Elder at local high schools, and a Traditional Dancer and Golden Age Smoke Dancer. She has worked with social agencies, educational institutions, museums, hospitals, male and female institutions, youth lodges, nursery and day care facilities, and has participated in many community events.
Renee Thomas-Hill, an elder who used to work with helping people overcome addictions and mental illness, spoke on that topic. She explained how almost all addictions — from bad habits to improper drug use — stem from the misuse of food.
“Usually when you help someone with an addiction to drugs or alcohol you would make them throw away their drugs and alcohol first and then start to rebuild from there. But the first thing I always do is teach an individual how to respect, cherish and honour their food properly,” said Thomas-Hill, who often goes by Grandma Renee.
Grandma Renee said the food we eat, or are supposed to be eating, is sacred and should be treated as such.