Harvesting Food Security in Nunavut

Despite anti-poverty efforts, hunger in Canada has not decreased – and it has now reached epidemic levels in Nunavut, where almost half of households suffer from food insecurity, according to a new study by University of Toronto researchers. The Nunavut Food Security Coalition identified country food as foundational food for Nunavummiut and included it as part of the Nunavut food security strategy and action plan.

We chatted with hunters about the challenges they face obtaining country food, particularly since NTI stopped the Nunavut Hunter Support program in 2014. Hunters repeatedly mentioned that often the barrier to hunting is simply MONEY:  money for snowmobile/ATV maintenance and repair, gas money, hunting grub (food) money, naptha money and ammunition money.

THE HUNTER NEEDS TO HAVE TOOLS, TRANSPORTATION, AND ENERGY. YOU NEED ALL THREE OR YOU’RE NOT ABLE TO HUNT.”

– Report : Food policy in the Canadian North: Is there a role for country food?

 

While, we are not able to fund snowmobiles and expensive repair right now, there are items on the “barriers to hunting” list that we are able to help with, such as providing supplies of gas, food, ammunition and naphtha.

“Per kilo, it’s cheaper to reap the bounty from the backyard than to fly it in”. - Todd Johnson, Kivalliq Arctic Foods, Rankin Inlet

 

Starting with one community in Nunavut, we have designed a hunter/fisher pilot program designed to: 

• Provide community country food sharing in the traditional Inuit cultural way. Support school meals, Elders, community emergency food relief programs and/or food insecure households with donations of country food.

• Increase opportunities for hunters and fishers by removing some of the common cost barriers.

• Encourage Youth skills land trips by providing supplies and compensation to participating Hunters and/or Elders.

• Sponsor hunts that will provide country food for Community Feasts.

Thank you for donating your Aeroplan points! We will be using them to travel and implement this program.

Posted by: Feeding Nunavut on July 26, 2016.