OTTAWA, Sept. 18, 2013 /CNW/ - The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) announced today that it is launching a study of nutrition and traditional food and water safety data collection this fall in 11 First Nations communities in Alberta as part of the national First Nations Food, Nutrition, and Environment Study (FNFNES). The FNFNES will document both the nutritional benefits of First Nations diets and food and water as well as the impacts caused by exposure to environmental contaminants.
This study will document some of the challenges that the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food has highlighted as facing First Nations in Canada such as food security, access to traditional foods and affordability of nutritious market foods.
AFN Alberta Regional Chief Cameron Alexis said: "The First Nations Food, Nutrition, and Environment Study will complement ongoing environmental monitoring initiatives and shed light on the concerns First Nations citizens have regarding nutrition and contamination of water and traditional foods. As consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, this study will be led by First Nations collecting their own data to provide a valuable baseline that can support decision-making now and into the future."
The FNFNES aims to gather information from 100 randomly selected First Nations communities across Canada about:
- Use of traditional and store-bought food
- Food security issues
- Traditional foods for nutrient values and contaminant content
- Mercury exposure
- Trace metals in drinking water
- Pharmaceuticals and their metabolites in surface water
"The FNFNES is a positive example of First Nations working directly with the research community to collect and analyze information that affects their lives and their communities," said AFN National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo. "The research is conducted in compliance with the principles of OCAP: Ownership, Control, Access and Possession. These principles should be respected and promoted in any research work with First Nations."
The FNFNES study, launched in 2008, has to date completed data collection in 48 First Nations communities and produced regionally representative reports for British Columbia and Manitoba. Results will soon be communicated back to First Nations in Ontario who participated in the project, with regional results released afterwards. The Assembly of First Nations has partnered with the University of Ottawa and the Université de Montréal in this groundbreaking study.
For more information visit: 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:
Alain Garon, AFN Bilingual Communication Officer
613-241-6789 ext. 382 or cell: 613-292-0857 or e-mail [email protected]
Jenna Young, AFN Communications Officer
613-241-6789, ext. 401; 613-314-8157 or [email protected]