March 27, 2014

Aboriginal Food Security in Northern Canada: An Assessment of the State of Knowledge

The Expert Panel on the State of Knowledge of Food Security in Northern Canada

Summary

Food insecurity presents a serious and growing challenge in Canada’s northern and remote Aboriginal communities. In 2011, off-reserve Aboriginal households in Canada were about twice as likely as other Canadian households to be food insecure. Finding lasting solutions will require the involvement not just of policy-makers but of those most affected by food insecurity: people living in the North.

In recognition of this problem, the Minister of Health, on behalf of Health Canada, asked the CCA to assess the knowledge of the factors influencing food security in the Canadian North and of the health implications of food insecurity for northern Aboriginal populations.

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The Question

What is the state of knowledge of the factors influencing food security in the Canadian North and of the health implications of food insecurity for Northern Aboriginal populations?

Key Findings

The Expert Panel on the State of Knowledge of Food Security in Northern Canada found that food insecurity among northern Aboriginal peoples requires urgent attention in order to mitigate impacts on health and well-being. Aboriginal Food Security in Northern Canada: An Assessment of the State of Knowledge offers policy-makers a holistic starting-point for discussion and problem-solving. It also provides evidence and options to researchers and communities engaging in local responses.

  1. Food insecurity is a serious problem in northern and remote Aboriginal communities across Canada.
  2. Food security is a complex issue with significant implications for health and wellness.
  3. There is no single way to “solve” food security issues in the North. A range of holistic approaches is required.
  4. There is a nutrition transition taking place in the rapidly changing North.
  5. The concepts of food security and food sovereignty are equally important in understanding the problem and finding effective, multi-sectoral solutions.
  6. Many factors enable or serve as barriers to food security and food sovereignty.
  7. There is no single experience of food insecurity.
  8. There exists a strong body of research and traditional knowledge with respect to food security and northern Aboriginal health, but several knowledge gaps persist.
  9. The food security measurement methods used to date have been valuable, but their ability to respond to the complex issue of food security in the northern Canadian Aboriginal context is limited.

 

 

 

 

Expert Panel

The Expert Panel on the State of Knowledge of Food Security in Northern Canada