AMC calls on the provincial and federal government to respond to First Nation food security crisis
November 8, 2019
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 7, 2019
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – Grand Chief Arlen Dumas and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) call on the federal and provincial government to immediately implement the recommendations of the First Nations Food, Nutrition& Environment Study (FNFNES).
The study, which was conducted over a ten-year period, offered an in-depth look at the diet and nutrition patterns of First Nations people across Canada. It also explored the impact of traditional food on health outcomes and whether drinking water was safe for consumption. The study concluded that First Nations communities are struggling with “extremely high” rates of food insecurity. Nearly half (48%) of all First Nations households are struggling with food insecurity. The study found that high food prices in remote communities made store-bought healthy foods out of reach. Despite the finding that traditional food consumption improves nutrition and diet, more than half of Indigenous adults say that traditional hunting has been negatively impacted by industry activities and climate change. The FNFNES was released as part of the national Indigenous food and health forum in Ottawa.
“The issue of food security has been neglected for far too long,” said AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas. “The results of the study are clear. First Nations families are struggling to provide for their families and are being denied the ability to take care of their basic needs. The state we are in now is a direct result of resource extraction activities that impact lands and waters and government policies that impact First Nations practicing their traditional way of life. We know what’s best for our people, and First Nation participation is the only way we are going to ultimately solve food security issues. If we are serious about improving diets and accessibility of healthy food for our Nations, the government should be allocating resources toward improving First Nation food production and distribution systems. We call on the provincial and federal government to immediately act on the recommendations of the study.”