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.