Food Security “exists when all people, at all times, have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”1.
Food Sovereignty “is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems”2.
Food security and food sovereignty are pressing issues across the Yukon and the North, and have been identified as priority concerns for the health and well-being of northern residents, and particularly for Indigenous citizens. Within an Indigenous context, food sovereignty is described:
“As Indigenous People we understand that food is a gift and that we have a sacred responsibility to nurture healthy, interdependent relationships with the land, water, plants and animals that provide us with our food. This also means, having the ability to respond to our own needs for safe, healthy, culturally relevant indigenous foods with the ability to make decisions over the amount and quality of food we hunt, fish, gather, grow and eat. These rights are asserted on a daily basis for the benefit of present and future generations. ”3.
The Council of Canadian Academies published a landmark report earlier this year titled Aboriginal Food Security in Northern Canada: An Assessment of the State of Knowledge4. This report emphasizes the serious challenges northern communities are facing with respect to food security. The Report also notes that “...the Arctic Institute of Community-Based Research...[is an] important resource for current and future research and policy development related to food security and northern Aboriginal peoples” (ibid. p.xxi).
AICBR has hosted multiple workshops focused on food security. These efforts have reached over 250 people, including youth. The training has built capacity for ongoing efforts to improve food security and food sovereignty across the Yukon. AICBR has also worked on many projects over the last six years that either focus on or relate to food security. Within these projects we have been working with Yukoners to identify what the major regional factors are which are affecting food security, as well as working towards addressing some of the issues.
AICBR is a member of Food Secure Canada and the Indigenous Northern Food Network. We continue to take a community-based approach to researching and advocating for food security and food sovereignty issues. We are currently using and promoting the document Resetting the Table: A Peoples Food Policy in order to see its recommendations put into practice in the Territory.
There are many people in Yukon and the North working in different areas of food security. It is clear that a strong network needs to be built and a Yukon-wide food security strategy be developed. AICBR is currently partnering with the Yukon Anti Poverty Coalition to host bi-monthly “Let’s Talk Food Security” lunch sessions, which bring together like-minded people to discuss and work together to address food security and food sovereignty issues. Everyone is welcome to participate and can contact us for more information. firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Federal Agricultural Organization of the United States (FAO). (2009). Declaration of the World Summit on Food Security. World Summit on Food Security Rome, Italy: 16‐18 November 2009.
2. La Via Campesina. International Peasants Movement. www.viacampesina.org
3. First Nations Health Council. (2009). Healthy Food Guidelines for First Nations Communities. First Nations Health Council, British Columbia.
4. Council of Canadian Academies (2014) Aboriginal Food Security in Northern Canada: An Assessment of the State of Knowledge, Ottawa, ON. The Expert Panel on the State of Knowledge of Food Security in Northern Canada, Council of Canadian Academies.
- Yukon Food Security Events - Hosted by AICBR
- Community Food Security & Climate Change Adaptation Strategies
- Community Gardener Gatherings - Hosted by AICBR
- Food Secure Canada
- Yukon Food
- Potluck Community Co-op
- UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food preliminary report on Canada:
Food Security Reports, Publications & Documentaries
(For full list of reports - go to Reports section)
[pdf] Working Together Towards a Food Secure Yukon - Outcomes from Yukon Food Security Roundtable | An Evening on Food Security | Open House, May 18 - 19th, 2016, Whitehorse, Yukon
[pdf] Keeping Our Traditions at the Fish Camps: Our Ancestors' Gift to Our Youth - A Collaboration between Selkirk First Nation and AICBR 2015 - 2016
[pdf] Nourishing Our Future: Building on Kluane First Nations Community Food Security Strategy & Youth Engagement in Traditions Related to Fisheries and Fish Health in Kluane Lake - A Collaboration between Kluane First Nation and AICBR 2015 - 2016
[pdf] Nourishing Our Future: An Adaptive Food Security Strategy to Ensure the Cultural and Physical Well-Being of the Kluane First Nation Against the Impacts of Climate Change in the Yukon - A Collaboration between Kluane First Nation and AICBR 2014 - 2015
[pdf] Celebrating Our Stories - Building a Healthier Yukon Together
[pdf] Climate Change and Food Security in the North - A Literature Review 2010
[pdf] Community Update
[pdf] Food Security in Times of Change - A Policy Brief on Food Security for Northern Canada
[pdf] Yukon First Nations Health Promotion Spring School 2007 Report