Improving food security while providing culturally appropriate employment and economic development opportunities
The Inuit Health Survey, which completed fieldwork in 2007-08, indicates that country food consumption is critical to protecting the health of Inuit of Nunatsiavut. Key regional results and recommendations from this study include:
- Country foods like arctic char, caribou meat, ringed seal meat, ringed seal liver and ringed seal blubber are great sources of selenium, polyunsaturated fatty acids and omega 3-fatty acids. Each of these nutrients are vitally important for our health;
- Inuit in Nunatsiavut should eat more country foods to take advantage of these rich nutrient sources;
- The health of Inuit in Nunatsiavut (especially those under 40 years of age) could be improved by eating more country foods.
In partnership with the Nain Fish Plant and the Department of Education and Economic Development, the Nain Research Centre and community freezer has implemented a pilot program to increase the Arctic char fishery in 2013 by 10,000 lbs, all of which is fresh frozen. The additional 10,000 lbs of Arctic char is being used for community consumption purposes in all Nunatsiavut coastal communities. We have partnered with, and are providing char to, several stakeholders and programs including Inuit Community Governments, community freezers, daycares, Language Nest programs, Aboriginal Head Start programs and elder’s programs.
We are simultaneously evaluating the impact and benefits of the program, including employment, time on the land, improved health and enhanced food security status.