AFN Launches First Nations Food, Nutrition, and Environment Study in Ontario

OTTAWA, May 6 /CNW/ - The Assembly of First Nations announced today that an ongoing study of nutrition and food and water safety will be brought to First Nations communities in Ontario. The First Nations Food, Nutrition, and Environment Study (FNFNES) will document both the nutritional benefits of First Nations diets and food and water as well as the impacts caused by exposures to environmental contaminants and, as such, is a welcome source of much-needed information for Ontario First Nations.

"The First Nations Food, Nutrition, and Environment Study will help shed light on the concerns our citizens have here in Ontario regarding contamination of water and traditional foods and will explore the health benefits of maintaining a traditional diet. This study will provide valuable baseline data that First Nations can use now and in the future," said AFN Ontario Regional Chief Angus Toulouse.

There are five general components to this study: household dietary interviews, tap water sampling for trace metals, surface water sampling for pharmaceuticals and their metabolites, hair sampling for mercury exposure and traditional food sampling for nutrient and contaminant content.

The FNFNES aims to gather information from 100 randomly selected First Nations communities across Canada about:

•     Current traditional and store-bought food use

•     Food security issues

•     Traditional foods for nutrient values and contaminant content

•     Trace metals in drinking water

•     Pharmaceuticals and their metabolites in surface water

The FNFNES study, launched in British Columbia in 2008, has completed research in 21 BC First Nations communities and produced a report representative for BC First Nations as a whole. Data is still being analyzed for the 9 First Nations communities in Manitoba who participated and will be presented back to the communities once completed. In Ontario, approximately 18 communities will be invited to participate in the survey over a two year period starting this summer.  The research will be conducted in compliance with the principles of OCAP (Ownership, Control, Access and Possession).  The Assembly of First Nations has partnered with the University of Northern British Columbia and the Université de Montréal in this groundbreaking study.

For more information see: www.fnfnes.ca

The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.

SOURCE ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS

For further information:

Contact information:

Alain Garon, Bilingual Communication Officer
Assembly of First Nations
613-241-6789 ext. 382 or cell: 613-292-0857 or e-mail agaron@afn.ca

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