Tungasuvvingat Inuit (TI), a counselling and resource centre for Inuit in Ottawa, opened its new Food Security Program building on Friday, saying it’s another step to helping them better serve their clients.
“The opening of the food security centre has allowed TI to continue its mission of providing Inuit-specific programs that contribute to the health and well-being of Inuit in the community,” Rhonda Huneault, TI’s manager of food Security. said in a news release.
TI said it’s been struggling to meet the needs of its clients since the pandemic hit in 2020, and has only been able to meet the needs of a small portion of the Inuit community.
A $65,600 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an Ontario government agency, will go a long way to helping them catch up and meet the need, TI said.
“[The funding] will allow us to explore the varied needs of Inuit throughout Ontario and be able to strategize about the best way forward,” Huneault said.
Local MPP Lucille Collard said it’s important programs were in place addressing the needs of the province’s Inuit population.
“Programs like this one are vital for the health of our community, and it is so important that food security programs meet the needs of the communities they serve,” Collard said.
“I want to congratulate Tungasuvvingat Inuit for being resilient and providing such a significant resource for the urban Inuit community here in Ottawa.”
Largest Inuit population outside of North
The Inuit homeland in Canada spans across the Arctic in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, into northern Quebec and in the Labrador region of the Atlantic Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Although Ottawa is in the South, it has the largest Inuit population (estimated by community groups at between 3,700 to 6,000) outside of the North.
Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Federal government extends pandemic funding for northern food security, CBC News
Finland: Finland’s farming sector in crisis: report, Yle News
Norway: Norway and Russia agree to slash cod quotas in Barents Sea, The Independent Barents Observer
Sweden: 2018 drought took toll on Swedish farmers’ mental and fiscal health, research says, Radio Sweden
United States: This Alaskan spice shop brings new flavors to Indigenous dishes, Alaska Public Media