Food Insecurity: Current Problems


July 12, 2021

Food Insecurity Strategies

The Inuit Nunangat Food Security Strategy

Inuit Tapariit Kanatami – The “Inuit Nunangat Food Security Strategy” (INFSS) identifies drivers of food insecurity that are common to all regions of Inuit Nunangat. It sets out the coordinated actions required to address the interrelated drivers of food insecurity, such as:

  • Poverty
  • high living costs
  • climate change, and
  • contaminants.

The INFSS calls for actions to strengthen Inuit control over the governance of our food system through national policies, programs, and initiatives that provide direct supports for the local and regional Inuit-driven initiatives that are can make a difference. Furthermore, the Strategy identifies ways to support the development of an Inuit Nunangat food system that more closely reflects the realities and priorities of Inuit communities.

The Inuit Nunangat Food Security Strategy (INFSS) advances Inuit-driven solutions for improving food security and creating a sustainable food system in Inuit Nunangat. Our vision is to end hunger and support Inuit food sovereignty throughout Inuit Nunangat by helping to develop a sustainable food system that reflects our societal values, supports our well-being, and ensures our access to affordable, nutritious, safe, and culturally preferred foods.

The high prevalence of food insecurity among Inuit is among the longest lasting public health crises faced by a Canadian population. Moreover, Inuit face the highest documented prevalence of food insecurity of any Indigenous people living in a developed country. This crisis not only reflects the significant challenges experienced within our food system but also the gravity of compounding social and health inequities that persist among our people.

Multiple interrelated factors including poverty, high cost of living, climate change, inadequate infrastructure, intergenerational trauma, and systemic racism contribute to Inuit food insecurity.

  • Governments must take action to end this crisis by partnering with Inuit to improve food security in Inuit Nunangat. Action and investments are needed to support harvesting activities and Inuit wildlife management decision-making
  • subsidize and regulate food transportation
  • support regional food production through the development of local food markets
  • develop effective public policy initiatives, food security programs, and interventions

Partnerships between Inuit, governments, and research institutions are necessary to monitor the effectiveness and impacts of such measures, protect our health from contaminants, and support the development of new initiatives focused on the most vulnerable members of our society.

Ambitious and coordinated action within the following five priority areas is necessary to address the drivers of food insecurity:

  • research and advocacy;
  • food system and well-being;
  • legislation and policy;
  • programs and services; and
  • knowledge and skills.

The INFSS identifies objectives and actions within each priority area that must be advanced by Inuit in partnership with governments, academic institutions, and other partners.