OTTAWA, June 20, 2012 /CNW/ - June 21 is not just the Summer Solstice,
it's also known as Aboriginal Day. It's a holiday for most First
Nations across Canada. It's a day for celebrating Aboriginal cultures,
recognizing their contributions. It's about barbecues, community
feasts, and family meals. But it's also a day to remember the less
More than half (54.2%) of all households on First Nations, on-reserves
and northern communities, reported experiencing food insecurity. 14% of
these same households said they experienced "severe food insecurity."
By comparison, statistics for all Canadians in 2004 excluding those
living on Crown lands and First Nations reserves indicated that 9.2%
were "food insecure" and 2.9% were "severely food insecure." (Office of
Nutrition Policy and Promotion, 2007)
One in six First Nations adults said they struggled throughout the year
to meet basic requirements to feed themselves.
This is only some of the information contained in the recently published
National Report of the First Nations Regional Health Survey (RHS)
covering the years 2008 to 2010.
Government studies identify the high cost food transportation to
northern communities as a cause for higher food prices on the shelves.
These higher prices are one factor adding to food insecurity in the
north. Other studies point to other factors, such as the high cost of
equipment, fuel and supplies for hunters, trappers and fishers. These
make it more difficult for some northerners to access traditional food
sources on lands and waters.
Research points to higher unemployment and lower incomes as factors
contributing to food insecurity. Some studies show that among First
Nations adults income and financial insecurity are significant factors
in food insecurity.
"The data we collected shows that food insecurity on First Nations
reserves and in northern communities is a real and present problem,"
says Jane Gray. She's the National Projects Manager of the RHS.
"Poverty is one factor, likely a major factor, but so is lack of access
to traditional sources of food. We should remember where our food comes
from when we get together to celebrate on days like this."
SOURCE The First Nations Information Governance Centre
For further information:
Gail Mc Donald
FNIGC National Operations Manager
To download the full report, go to the "Downloads" page: www.fnigc.ca