September 27, 2021

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International Indigenous People’s Day: Canada’s Inuit Plan to Fight Food Shortages | Future planet

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According to the latest census, the Inuit population in Canada is over 65,000 (Eskimo is an unused term). They live mainly in the provinces of Quebec and Labrador, in the northwest and in Nunavut. For decades, they have faced great difficulties in bringing adequate, accessible, nutritious food to their table in line with their culture. Inuit Tabrid Kanadami (ITK), The body, which represents them nationally, cites a public health crisis Strategy for dealing with this problem, They just released. According to the document, the Inuit, a food insecure tribal group in developed countries.

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McGill University researchers There are historically published studies About its effects. Malnutrition and food insecurity are associated with increased risks of food-borne chronic diseases in Inuit adults. Similarly, about 70% of the children in this pre-school age village in Nunavut live in houses without adequate food; A situation with implications for their educational and psychological social development.

Natan Obad, President of ITK, noted during the online presentation Inuit food insecurity is not a new problem, “the duty to fix Canada is a human rights violation.” Both the difficulties in accessing the Obate diet and the poverty levels of his people stem from “the combined effects of historical and current – colonialism, formal racism and structural inequality in Canada.” Inuit infant mortality is 12.3 per 1,000 children (4.4 among other Canadians) and 45% of its members live in overcrowded conditions (6% in other parts of the country).

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This document emphasizes that the Inuit diet has had a very negative impact on the political decisions of Ottawa since the beginning of the 20th century. Displacements, forced fainting, internships for domestic juveniles and the killing of thousands of dogs – their main transport force – are worth remembering at the hands of the police. These elements caused changes in diet, dependence, uncertainty and habits.

They rotate frequently Images on social networks Supermarkets and Small Businesses In Inuit communities. A notable feature is the large amount of so-called “junk food”, as well as the limited supply of local ingredients. Another is the prohibited cost of various nutritious foods. “Prices are very high. In addition, there are often some fruits and vegetables,” says Alaqua Puvasi, of Salouit, located 1,850 kilometers north of Montreal and in the Nunavிக் region of northern Quebec. Puvasi, a mother of two, added, “At least we will not pay the amount for the Nunavut people.

In the Nunavut area, a Chinese cabbage costs $ 17 (50 11.50); 16 (10.80) a bag of grapes. According to ITK report data, the weekly cost of providing a healthy meal for a family of four in an Inuit community can range from $ 328 to $ 488 (220-330). The same basket of goods costs about $ 209 (141 euros) in a city in southern Canada. Unemployment in the Arctic is about 25% (7.8% in the rest of the country).

Efforts such as greenhouses, livestock or aquaculture are still small enough to meet the need for food in the Inuit areas.

ITK’s strategy covers various points, which require the support of the central government and the provinces. The goal is to create a sustainable diet that enables access to good quality food at affordable prices and takes local customs into account. There is a barrier in the infrastructure. Most airports located in small communities have gravel runways, which restrict the type of cargo that can be carried. Sea transport also plays against, because small boats have only two ports and two ports in deep water, although the latter is mainly used by mining companies. The strategy emphasizes that the federal government should allocate more subsidies for groceries in stores. It also calls for the creation of one of these large ports. The latter received a response: On August 3, Federal Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna announced a $ 40 million investment to build a port on Kikiktarjuwak (Nunavut).

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There is a second barrier to local production. ITK pointed out that several initiatives are already underway. However, they are still small enough to meet the need. “We see more and more products from that area in stores, but they should be in greater numbers,” says Beauty Buassi. Greenhouses, hydroponic containers, livestock, aquaculture and home gardens need support to grow and distribute products in as many communities as possible.

This strategy warns of climate change and the presence of pollutants because they “affect the availability of wildlife and the conservation of Inuit forages.” The document says: “Climate change is fundamentally changing the ecosystems that support the animals we live in to feed our families and maintain our culture and way of life.” The strategy includes reviewing the legal framework for natural resource management and conducting research and education programs.

Commenting on ITK’s strategy, Karen Midi, spokeswoman for the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Northern Affairs, said: ” .

Midi points out that the central government is allocating various assistance in this regard. For example, the Northern Nutrition Program will receive approximately eight million Canadian dollars from 2019 (4 5.4 million) Annually. In April 2020, in the framework of the fight against the epidemic, an additional injection of $ 25 million (approximately 17 euros) was approved in this program to increase subsidies on various products. In October 2020, an additional eight million were provided to Inuit companies for food security initiatives. The 2021-2022 budget contains an amount of 163.4 million (110, euros), which is to be distributed over three years, in order to expand the Northern Nutrition Plan.

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“The start of the strategy is an important milestone; however, this goal will require the continued support of governments and other stakeholders,” Nathan O’Brien said. It underscores the need to understand the causes and implications of food insecurity.

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