Painting of a Caribou

Food & Nutrition

"Caribou is an animal where everything is used whether it's for food, clothing, or tools. It is a main food for Inuit that is available nearly all year long." -Visual Story by Alexander Angnaluak

by TakingITGlobal

HARMFUL

  • Limited available processed food options with addictive ingredients (sugar & salt) impacting energy levels
  • Food Insecurity (harder to live off the land and high levels of poverty)
  • Lack of understanding of how seasons impact the foods and nutritional ingredients we need to be healthy (i.e. vitamin D in dark winters)

HELPFUL

  • Access to healthy meals & country food
  • Opportunities for students to help & learn how to cook healthy meals
  • Land-based experiential education
  • Understanding impacts of colonization and 'white-mans' food
  • Ensuring understanding of essential ingredients for different seasons
  • Prevention focus rather than reaction

Examples of Connected North Sessions

  • Sessions with chefs who can talk about healthy eating, such as Chef David Wolfman
  • Sessions to reflect on land-based learning experiences
  • Sessions featuring food sharing and community gardening initiatives

What does the research tell us?

In a Cree community of Fort Severn, Ontario, for example, two thirds of households experienced food insecurity in 2002. A 1997 study in the northern communities of Repulse Bay and Pond Inlet found about 50% of each community's families reported not having enough to eat in the past 30 days. (Social Determinants of Health: The Canadian Facts, Juha Mikkonen & Dennis Raphael, 2010, Toronto: York University School of Health Policy & Management: PDF)

Traditional forms of hunting and fishing have been replaced by increasing dependency on food supplied from the south. However, the cost of shipping to northern communities means paying high prices, even for the most basic food items. For example, bananas can cost as much as $5.39 per kg., oranges $11.19 per kg., apples $9.39 per kg., and a 4 litre bag of milk $14.00. As a result, diets have become more and more unhealthy. This has led to a major rise in diabetes, obesity, dental caries and other health problems in First Nations communities. (Feathers of Hope : A First Nations Youth Action Plan (Provincial Advocate for Children & Youth) Ontario; 2014)

What can we do?

01

Deliver programming that teaches students to prepare healthy meals.

02

Deliver programming that teaches students about Canada's Food Guide and the body's Nutritional requirements.

03

Deliver programming that teaches students to make healthy food shopping choices.

04

Deliver programming that teaches students how to grow and care for food, including shelf life.

05

Deliver programming that teaches students of the mental, physical etc. effects of malnutrition.

06

Deliver programming that teaches students about local food sources (hunting, fishing, gathering)

Explore the Well-Being Framework Elements

Culture, Language & Identity

Hope for the Future

Food & Nutrition

Parent & Family Involvement

Relationships with Peers / Students

Arts & Recreation

Relationships with Staff & 'Authority'

Acknowledgements

The conceptual framework, insights and content reflected here has been developed collaboratively by members of the Connected North team at TakingITGlobal inspired by the communities we partner with.

Special thanks to Alexander Angnaluak, Doronn Fox, Nyle Johnston, Nigit'stil Norbert, Dallas Pelly, Waukomaun Pawis, Magdalena Kelly, Chris McLeod, Jason Jones, Mitch Holmes, Shelton Nipisar, Kim Dymond, Andrea Breen, Michael Furdyk, Edgar Gonzalez, Peyton Straker, and Jennifer Corriero.

We gratefully acknowledge youth, educators, elders and leaders from Connected North partner communities who have graciously shared their experiences, hopes, challenges and feedback with our team. In particular, we appreciate active inputs towards this framework from the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Saskatchewan and Ontario.

We would also like to thank Vani Jain and the team at the McConnell Family Foundation for their support as thought partners.

© 2022 TakingITGlobal and Alexander Angnaluak. All rights reserved. Contact connectednorth@takingitglobal.org for inquiries.