Support hunters to fight hunger in Nunavut, says report

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Iqaluit hunters cut up a bowhead whale in 2011. A new study of Nunavut's food security problems is calling for increased support for the territory's hunters and fishers. (CBC.ca)
Iqaluit hunters cut up a bowhead whale in 2011. A new study of Nunavut’s food security problems is calling for increased support for the territory’s hunters and fishers. (CBC.ca)
A new study of  food security problems in Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut  is calling for increased support for the territory’s hunters and fishers.

It says country food provides a rich source of all nutrients needed for a well-balanced diet.

Dr. Alika Lafontaine, one of the coauthors of the Action Canada report “Hunger in Nunavut: Local food for healthier communities,” says he and his fellow researchers were surprised by some of the findings.

“The traditional Inuit diet was sustainable as far as vitamins, essential nutrients, and other things we associate with having to eat fruits and vegetables and other components of our southern food pyramid,” he said.

The report says 79 per cent of Nunavut households would prefer to eat more country food, and the most common barriers to accessing country food were the lack of a hunter in the household or not being able to afford to hunt.

It recommends better subsidies for hunting equipment, training youth in hunting skills, and improving processing and distribution capacity to get more country food into stores.

Leesee Papatsie, who founded the Facebook group ‘Feeding My Family’ dedicated to raising awareness of food insecurity in the North.​ says a traditional Inuit diet has benefits that go beyond nutrition.

“Country food promotes Inuit culture; it promotes our language; it promotes our lifestyle,” she said.

Papatsie says lowering the price of food in the stores is only the first step. She’s calling for open dialogue about food security as the next step in tackling the problem.

Related Links:

Canada: Feature Interview: What will it take to ensure food security in the Arctic?, Eye on the Arctic

Sweden: Food more expensive in Sweden’s North: survey, Radio Sweden

United States: Alaska Natives focus on food security and self-determination at convention, Alaska Dispatch

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0 thoughts on “Support hunters to fight hunger in Nunavut, says report

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    8 February 2014 at 1 h 11 min
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    It is heartbreaking that in 2014 we as a world are unable to grasp the great whales and how intelligent they truly are. It doesn’t matter who throws the harpoon their is no humane way to kill a great whale. I think it is unfortunate that the government and inuit tribes cannot forge a new relationship with cetaceans who have so much to teach us and share if we would only listen, and stop harming these amazings beings. They are ET on earth yet they continue to be slaughtered like cattle.

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