Key Strengths of the Yukon Food System

The following list was derived from the Yukon Food Security Roundtable discussions May 18th, 2016. In order to know where we need to go, we need to have a full understanding of where we are now and what is working. With these points in mind, we can build off strengths, discover and work within leverage points in the system and increase our awareness of where more attention is needed for achieving food security in Yukon.

One of the things that was evident from this Roundtable discussion is that there are many strengths within the system and many positive and successful activities are going on in the Territory to do with food security. 


Some of the key strengths of our current food system in the Yukon are the following:


  • Community gardens/greenhouses, kitchens, farmers markets, food bank & food co-ops in the territory

    • Examples:
      • Community gardens in Teslin, Atlin, Pelly, Whitehorse and Dawson City
      • Greenhouses in Pelly, Carmacks and Dawson City
      • Co-ops in Whitehorse (Pot Luck Food Coop) and Old Crow (Arctic Co-op grocery store)
      • Farmers markets in Dawson City and Whitehorse
  • Youth Engagement in the food system 

    • Examples:
      • From the Ground Up
      • Kids in the Kitchen
      • Harvest and culture camp initiatives to bring youth to the land
      • Opportunities for and interest in farming apprenticeships
  • Increasing demand for local food & rising public awareness about food security

  • Opportunities for engaging in traditional First Nations practices and culture & enthusiasm for community development

    • Examples:
      • Harvest and fish camps
      • May Gathering (Northern Tutchone annual gathering that brings people together from Selkirk First Nation, Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation and First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun to discuss challenges and make decisions, celebrate harvest and teach traditional skills)
  • supportive Networks

  • Healthy eating & education programs

  • Innovation and training

  • Funding and government support:

    • Examples:

      • Agriculture development support: i.e. Growing Forward 2

      • Small business funding and support (Government of Yukon's Enterprise Trade Fund)

      • Community development support: i.e. Government of Yukon's Community Development Fun; From the Ground Up (Government of Yukon's Agriculture Branch, Health Promotion Unit and Department of Education)

      • Federally-inspected abattoir - has allowed local meat/poultry to be introduced to grocery stores

      •  ecoENERGY for Aboriginal and Northern Communities Programs - funds renewable energy projects for Aboriginal and northern communities

      • Back to the Earth program - Lorne Mountain Community Association

      • Government of Yukon's Local Food Strategy - [pdf]

Overall, there is a lot of PASSION and MOMENTUM for securing our food system for the future. It is important to keep the conversation going...

What are some of the ways you are contributing to the food system? What works well and how can we build on good initiatives to come up with promising practices? What are some ideas for actions that you are already doing and/or can do right now to work towards food security for your family; your community; and your territory?

Share your thoughts on our social media pages. 

Credit. Heidi Marion. 

Credit. Heidi Marion. 

"We are all part of the food system because we all need to eat. The food system is complex with many interrelated parts."