Canada's New Government launches first ever national Food Guide for First Nations, Inuit and Métis



    YELLOWKNIFE, April 11 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Tony Clement,
Minister of Health, and the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Indian
Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and
Non-Status Indians, today launched the first ever national food guide for
First Nations, Inuit and Métis - "Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide - First
Nations Inuit and Métis."
    "This is the first time that Canada's Food Guide has been tailored
nationally to reflect the unique values, traditions and food choices of
Aboriginal populations," said Minister Clement. "As a complement to the new
2007 version of Canada's Food Guide, this tailored food guide includes
traditional food from the land and sea, and provides the best, most current
information for eating well and living healthy."
    "This new food guide for First Nations, Inuit and Métis is yet another
example of how Canada's New Government is addressing the specific needs of
Canada's Aboriginal people," said Minister Prentice. "This guide will be a
valuable tool that will assist Aboriginal communities and Northerners in
making informed healthy choices, while respecting their traditional way of
life," added Minister Prentice.
    Canada's Food Guide has been one of Canadians' most trusted sources of
information for 65 years. Over the past three years, Health Canada has
consulted approximately 7000 stakeholders including dietitians, scientists,
physicians and public health personnel, in order to develop the new version of
Canada's Food Guide released on February 5, 2007. National Aboriginal
Organizations and intermediaries, such as nutrition professionals, confirmed
their support for a nationally tailored First Nations, Inuit and Métis food
guide and have been engaged at all stages of its development. In fact, more
than 400 people were consulted over the past two years.
    "We are happy to see that Canada's Food Guide has been tailored to meet
the needs and considerations of Canada's First Nations," said National Chief
Phil Fontaine of the Assembly of First Nations. "This new tailored guide is a
positive step towards improving the health of First Nations peoples but we
must continue to work with the government to improve access to affordable,
healthy food, especially in remote and northern communities," added National
Chief Fontaine.
    "We are pleased to see 'country food' being recognized in the Canada Food
Guide as an essential element of a nutritious diet for Inuit," commented Mary
Simon, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. "Country food for Inuit includes
caribou, Arctic Char, seal, whale, walrus, muskox, ptarmigan, and many other
plants, animals, and fish. This Food Guide will be a useful tool to educate
Inuit youth across the Arctic and in the South."
    "On behalf of the Métis National Council, I would like to thank Health
Canada for their clear recognition of and commitment to the health and well
being of the Métis through the publication of "Eating Well with Canada's Food
Guide - First Nations, Inuit and Métis," said Mr. Dale LeClair, Chief
Administrative Officer, Métis National Council. "The Métis National Council
shares Health Canada's commitment to good health and we will continue to work
together to improve and maintain the health of the Métis nation."

    For more information on Canada's Food Guide - First Nations, Inuit and
Métis, please visit Health Canada's Web site (www.healthcanada.gc.ca).

    Egalement disponible en français




For further information:

For further information: Media Enquiries: Paul Duchesne, Health Canada,
(613) 954-4807; Erik Waddell, Office of the Honourable Tony Clement, Federal
Minister of Health, (613) 957-0200; Indian and Northern Affairs Canada:
Deirdra McCracken, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Jim Prentice,
(819) 997-0002; Media Relations, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, (819)
953-1160; Public Enquiries: (613) 957-2991, 1-866-225-0709; Health Canada news
releases are available on the Internet at www.healthcanada.gc.ca/media


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