Media Centre

NTI President, Aluki Kotierk statement on the announcement on changes to Nutrition North Canada

(December 10, 2018 — Iqaluit, Nunavut) Today in Iqaluit, the Government of Canada announced changes to the Nutrition North Canada (NNC) program, most notably the introduction of a Harvesters Support Grant.

By introducing the Harvesters Support Grant, the Government of Canada recognizes the economy in Nunavut must include a focus on supporting Inuit harvesters. The recent Aboriginal People’s Survey found that 84% of Inuit 15 and older are participating in traditional crafts and/or harvesting.

For Inuit, harvesting, processing, consumption and sharing of country food is deeply linked to community ethics, identity and building relationships. It is a necessary and integral part of Inuit culture. It is our safety net, at a time of major social changes.
Other changes include: the subsidized list will now include food staples important to Inuit families; increased subsidy rates; support for smaller retailers; and recognition that the food supply chain to our communities is fragile and complex.
Nearly 70 percent of Inuit households in Nunavut are food insecure. Inuit children are living in food insecure households at a rate 8 times the national average, among the highest documented food insecurity rate for an Indigenous population in a developed country.

“Nutritious food and essential household goods are necessary for individual wellbeing and healthy communities. This is a basic human right. Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction.
But much more is needed to reform the Nutrition North Program to ensure full subsidies are being passed to consumers. This includes working collaboratively with Inuit on the issue of food insecurity in the North. NTI acknowledges the NNC program cannot address food insecurity on its own in fact, to sustain improvements, the discussion must include achieving a representative Inuit workforce.”

For further information:

Karen Flaherty
A/Director of Communications
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated
Tel: (867) 975-4900 Toll-free: 1-888-646-0006