Assembly of First Nations Releases Manitoba Regional Report of First Nations Food, Nutrition and Environment Study

OTTAWA, June 20, 2012 /CNW/ - The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is pleased to announce the results of the Manitoba (MB) regional report from the First Nations Food, Nutrition and Environment Study (FNFNES). The MB regional report is the second regional report to be released after the results for BC were released last year.

The FNFNES is a ten-year, Health Canada funded partnership between the AFN, Université de Montréal and University of Northern British Columbia with participant First Nations.  Data was collected from nine randomly selected First Nations communities in MB in 2010.

The report contains information on MB First Nations' diet and nutritional quality, contaminants in traditional foods, trace metals in household water, pharmaceuticals in source water and mercury in hair.  First Nations communities were randomly chosen and sampled according to ecozone so that the results released in this report will be representative for MB First Nations communities.

This study finds that traditional foods support good health and that diet is greatly improved when wild game, fish and locally harvested fruits, berries and vegetables are eaten by First Nations people in MB.  However, First Nations in MB continue to experience problems with obesity, food security issues and a number of barriers have been identified that inhibit access to traditional foods.

In this study, chemical environmental contaminants in traditional foods were found at typically levels and do not warrant concern for health.  Trace metals in drinking water, pharmaceuticals in surface water and mercury in hair were also not of overall concern although close monitoring is recommended.

Community participatory research has guided FNFNES from the start and all participant First Nations in FNFNES were treated as full partners in the study and owners of their data.

The report was officially released today during the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs' Annual General Assembly at Swan Lake First Nation.

A copy of the report will be available at: www.fnfnes.ca

The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.  Follow us on Twitter @AFN_Updates and @AFN_Comms.

SOURCE ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS

For further information:

Jenna Young AFN Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 401; 613-314-8157 or jyoung@afn.ca

Alain Garon AFN Bilingual Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 382; 613-292-0857 or agaron@afn.ca

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