The cost and availability of food is a serious issue for First Nation communities in Northern Ontario. Healthy and nutritious food remain out of reach to many northern Indigenous communities.
According to a 2016 study by Food Secure Canada, the average cost of groceries for a family of four in Attawapiskat was $1,909 per month. Compare that with the Waterloo Region average of $861.80/month. Since this report was released the problem has only intensified.
An impact of colonialism is the breakdown of traditional Indigenous food systems, which directly connects to a deterioration of health in Indigenous communities.
MCC is partnering with Indigenous communities and organizations to address the impact of colonialism on food security by:
- Partnering with remote Indigenous communities and Mushkegowuk Council’s Nation Rebuilding Program to support traditional hunting, fishing and gathering skills as key provisioning activities and to empower Indigenous peoples. Learn more about the difficulties of living off the land in northern Indigenous communities.
- Providing grocery gift cards to urban Indigenous communities and Moose Cree First Nation helping to put food on the table throughout the year and in times of crisis.
- Supplying cold frame greenhouses to northern Indigenous remote First Nation communities allowing them to extend the growing season and maintain access to fresh vegetables.
- Responding to requests from First Nation communities to send gardening kits with location appropriate seeds and supplies. This step towards food sovereignty localizes the food system while fostering knowledge and skills. Read more about community gardening kits.
- Supporting a food co-op in partnership with First Nation communities to strengthen food systems and increase access to traditional foods.