Minister Vandal announces support for Indigenous-led efforts to improve food security and create jobs across the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR)

News release

CanNor is investing over $383,000 to help revitalize the Mackenzie Delta reindeer herd

August 15, 2022 - Inuvik, Northwest Territories - Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Traditional country foods have long been healthy and sustainable sources of nutrition for Indigenous and Northern communities, and crucial to food security across the North. The process of respectfully harvesting, processing, distributing and preparing country foods is part of passing traditional knowledge to younger generations, and creating meaningful, culturally relevant work. The Government of Canada has heard from Indigenous partners about the need for greater access to traditional foods in addressing food insecurity and together, with partners, is supporting these locally-led projects.

Today while in Inuvik, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister for PrairiesCan and Minister for CanNor, announced that the Government of Canada is investing over $383,000 through the Northern Isolated Community Initiatives (NICI) Fund supporting a two-year project led by the Inuvialuit Community Economic Development Organization (ICEDO) to help revitalize the Mackenzie Delta reindeer herd. This announcement followed an earlier announcement regarding updates to the Nutrition North Program as well as a site visit to Inuvik's Country Food Processing Plant, which received CanNor funding in 2016, as part of CanNor's continued commitment to supporting food security across the North and Arctic.

With the guidance of trained and professional herders and the support of community members and partners, the goal is to grow and strengthen the reindeer population so that it can be a sustainable source of nutrition, hides and crafting supplies, and provide employment and training opportunities for Inuvialuit beneficiaries. 

Indigenous and Northern communities know best how to address local food security in meaningful ways that work in their communities. Locally-led, community-driven and culturally relevant initiatives play a crucial role in strengthening sustainable food sources.


"Inuvialuit have been stewards of our lands since time immemorial. This contribution and support from our Federal partners is a clear recognition of the importance of Inuvialuit-led initiatives and the role our communities play in providing for and supporting one another. IRC is committed to ensuring food security across the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and will continue to work with the Federal government to ensure initiatives like this take place alongside meaningful actions aimed at Reconciliation."

Duane Ningaqsiq Smith / Atanrur̂uq Katimar̂uanun, Chair & Chief Executive Officer, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation 

"The deep-rooted relationship between the land - beautiful and remote - and the communities across the Inuvialuit Settlement Region is well-established and apparent and has led to the development of this important project. The funding announced today will support the meaningful work of the Inuvialuit Community Economic Development Organization, work that will help those who need it the most and make a positive and significant impact on resilience and quality of life in communities across the region. By working together in partnership, we are addressing food insecurity, with local solutions, across the North and Arctic."

The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister for PrairiesCan and Minister for CanNor 

"Food security is about more than putting food on the table. It is about continuing to build resiliency, foster innovation and strengthen traditional knowledge and skills to address challenges in complex northern food systems. This work to revitalize the Mackenzie Delta reindeer herd is an incredible example of an Inuvialuit-led initiative that combines regional priorities, local knowledge and traditional values to benefit communities across the Inuvialuit Settlement Region for generations to come." 

Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament, Northwest Territories 

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Kyle Allen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister for PrairiesCan and Minister for CanNor

Barbara Abramchuk
Communications Advisor, Northwest Territories

Alexandrea Gordon
Manager of Inuvialuit Strategic Communications
Inuvialuit Regional Corporation

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