Minister Vandal announces five new Indigenous-led projects that study food security in northern communities
June 6, 2023 — Ottawa, Ontario — Crown–Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
To better understand food security in the North and Arctic and how the Government of Canada can further support northern Indigenous communities’ food security priorities, research at the community level is crucial to inform current, and future, programs and initiatives.
Today, the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, PrairiesCan and CanNor, announced that five Indigenous-led research projects are receiving a total of $1.5 million in funding under Nutrition North Canada’s (NNC) new Food Security Research Grant to conduct research on food access inequality and food security in NNC eligible communities. These projects are the first to receive funding under the grant, since its official launch in August 2022.
The projects that are receiving funding include:
- “Nothing About Us, Without Us: Exploring the Current and Potential Impact of the Nutrition North Subsidy through Community-Based Criteria,” by Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services;
- “Food for Everyone in Sambaa K’e, NWT,” by Sambaa K’e First Nation;
- “NAN Homeland Foods and Food Systems Study: 2023 – 2024,” by Nishnawbe Aski Nation;
- “Understanding Food Affordability and Security in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region: An Assessment of the Retail Food Environment and Consumer Agency,” by Laval University in collaboration with the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation; and
- “Learning about Indigenous Concepts Relevant to Food Security Intervention in Northern Communities,” by the Governing Council of the University of Toronto in collaboration with Taloyoak, Nunavut, and Whati, Northwest Territories.
Research undertaken by Indigenous partners, northern communities, and academics, will be integral to providing data and critical information to inform NNC’s suite of food security programming including the Harvesters Support Grant and Community Food Programs Fund. More specifically, the projects will examine food access inequality, how the NNC retail subsidy is benefitting and reaching people in eligible communities, and help address data gaps on the cost of living.
The new Food Security Research Grant is an important example of how NNC is supporting Indigenous partners in northern and isolated communities to address food insecurity through culturally relevant, and made-in-the-North solutions, as part of the federal government's broader efforts to address food security across Canada.
“Everyone should have access to affordable and healthy food, no matter where they live. Through this Indigenous-led research, the federal government will build its knowledge base and continue to work in partnership with Indigenous governments, organizations, and communities to seek made-in-the-North solutions that work towards achieving food security.”
The Honourable Dan Vandal, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for PrairiesCan and CanNor
Nutrition North Canada (NNC) is an important part of the Government of Canada’s response to food security in the North. NNC supports residents in eligible northern isolated communities in the following ways:
- Nutrition North Canada Subsidy: By subsidizing the shipping rates of a list of perishable foods and essential items flown in by air, and non-perishable foods and essential items brought in by seasonal sealift, barge, or winter road.
- Harvesters Support Grant: By increasing Northerners’ access to traditional foods by supporting hunting, harvesting, and food sharing activities.
- The Community Food Programs Fund: By directly supporting culturally appropriate community-led food security activities.
- Nutrition Education Initiatives: By delivering community-based nutrition education activities and building on existing activities to increase access to healthy food.
- The Nutrition North Food Security Research Grant: By supporting Indigenous-led research on food access and the cost of living in the North.
In August 2022, the Government of Canada announced an investment of $143.4 million over two years that would expand NNC’s ability to help eligible northern and isolated communities address local food security priorities. This investment included $1.5 million over two years for the new Food Security Research Grant to inform ongoing and locally driven food security initiatives.
The Food Security Research Grant is investing $1.5 million to support Indigenous-led projects addressing food security and food access inequality in communities eligible under the NNC program. The Government of Canada will provide up to $250,000 per project, up to 100% of the total project cost. The successful projects will be receiving funding until March 2024.
For more information, media may contact:
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Dan Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs, and the Minister responsible for PrairiesCan and CanNor
Crown–Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
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