Northern Food Network

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The Northern Food Network (NFN) (est. 2016) is co-hosted by the Arctic Institute of Community-Based Research (AICBR) and Food Secure Canada (FSC) as a space for people working in and interested in northern food security to share, learn about each other’s work and network with others across the North. On a regular basis throughout the year, AICBR and FSC co-facilitate webinars and teleconferences with focused presentations and discussion around four core themes: environment, health, agriculture, and food security


Please sign up through Food Secure Canada (click image). After signing up, you will automatically be added to the emailing list for receiving information on future NFN meetings & webinars. You can unsubscribe from this list at any time.


We are currently seeking your thoughts and ideas on the next few years' direction of the Northern Food Network. What food related themes are you most interested in? What role should the NFN play in moving these themes forward as a network? Please help us answer these questions and more by filling out the survey below.

Webinar Information:

upcoming webinar:

next webinar (date tbd)

Important Technical Information:

Please download Zoom to be able to take part in the NFN webinars. For more information on technical requirements, click here. If you have registered for the webinar, this information will also be sent to you via email.

If there are any technical issues, please email:


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NFN Discussions at the Food Secure Canada 10th National Assembly

November 1-4th, 2018

On behalf of the Northern Food Network, AICBR had the pleasure of joining over 700+ people passionate about food at FSC’s 10th National Assembly in Montréal. At the assembly there were multiple sessions related to northern food systems. In particular, Molly Pratt, the NFN co-lead and community partner Kate Ballegooyen from Kluane First Nation, presented in a session called Food Sovereignty in Practice, along with Lea Laflamme, Food Security Officer from Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services. The session was framed as an open space for northerners to learn about each others’ work and discuss some current themes in northern food security.

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NFN Webinar #6: Youth champions for climate change adaptation in the north

June 18th, 2018

This month's Northern Food Network featured presentations from Yukon Indigenous Community Climate Change Champions (YIC4) regarding community-based solutions for climate change adaptation, with a focus on food and water security. The YIC4 project is a two-year initiative that is focuses on training Yukon Indigenous youth, aged 18-30 years on climate change and leadership skills for gathering and mobilizing new and existing knowledge, from global, local and Indigenous perspectives, for climate change adaptation in the Yukon. The overall goal of this initiative is to build upon Yukon First Nations communities' capacity to respond to complex issues related to climate change and its effects on food and water security, in particular. We heard from two YIC4 youth leaders, Robby Dick, from Tu Łidlini, also known as Ross River, Yukon, about some of the changes his community has noticed with climate change as well as the importance of on-the-land education and the need to support Indigenous youth, who are experiencing intergenerational trauma and having to "walk in two worlds". We also heard from Maggie Rodrigues, about her work with The Growcer, a social enterprise in modular food solutions based in Ottawa for produce production in northern communities.

Presentation slides:

  • [pdf] Presentation slides - June 18th, 2018

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NFN Teleconference #3: Focus Group - Northern Sustainable Food Systems Study

April 23rd, 2018

As part of the Northern Sustainable Food System Study, Food Secure Canada hosted a web discussion (focus group) to gain feedback on the draft findings and policy recommendations developed through the study. Participants working directly within food security and sustainable food systems in the North shared their perspectives on the priorities, reflecting on whether they aligned with their experiences, noting if anything important was missing or needs to be reviewed. For more on the study, please visit:  

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NFN Webinar #5: What does sustainable food mean in the north?

March 12th, 2018

This webinar focused on the concept of sustainable northern food and welcomed guests from Yukon and NWT. Filmmaker and retired family doctor, Suzanne Crocker from Dawson City, Yukon shared insights from her yearlong journey of feeding her family of five 100% locally sourced food from in and around Dawson City. This local food challenge is part of the project, First We Eat: Food Security North of 60, and is being documented as part of a film and website/blog. For more info on Suzanne's family journey as well as recipes of truly northern culinary innovations, please visit: We then heard from Tracey Williams from the Yellowknife Farmers Market and Yellowknife Food Charter Coalition who discussed the process whereby food activists and community members came together to advance a food charter in Yellowknife and how the City of Yellowknife is developing a local food strategy. Some of the benefits of a food charter are that it forms a community-based foundation of values, vision and principles upon which subsequent policy and strategies can be based on.  For more on the Yellowknife Food Charter, please visit:  

Presentation slides and recording:

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NFN Webinar #4: Insights from the Northern Food Policy Hackathon, October 25-26, 2017

November 20th, 2017

In this webinar we heard from Mieke Coppes, Program Officer for the North with the Gordon Foundation and Mary Jane Johnson (see additional clip in the recording). Mieke talked about the Gordon Foundation's work and gave an overview of the some outcomes from the recent Northern Food Policy Hackathon, which focused on traditional/country foods policy that was hosted in Nain, Nunatsiavut, October 25-26th, 2017. As a follow-up call to the webinar we were able to get Mary Jane Johnson, Heritage Manager from Kluane First Nation in Burwash Landing Yukon, on the line to hear some of her insights and important messages for the young people in our communities; she spoke of the need to build up young people as leaders, for them to honour and know their traditional territories and traditional knowledge so that they can be strong and raise their voices for their communities; she also highlighted some of the rapid changes on the land due to climate change and the need to protect the plants and animals that provide both nourishment and medicine. 

Presentation slides and recording:

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NFN Teleconference #2: Northern Priorities for Canada's National Food Policy

September 5th, 2017

This discussion was a continuation of previous policy conversations to build on the recommendations and drafted policy brief of outlined northern priorities. 


  • [pdf] Northern Priorities for National Food Policy - Recommendations


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NFN Teleconference #1: Northern Priorities for Canada's National Food Policy

August 9th, 2017

This discussion centered around national food policy and opening up a space for dialogue on recommendations of the proposed policy plan/components. We had a dynamic discussion and many important points were made. Some clear recommendations arising from this discussion were the need to have Indigenous voices and leadership at the table from the outset; to recognize connections between food and Reconciliation as well as advancing the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and food sovereignty for the North. Food sovereignty recognizes that communities have the skills and knowledge to make decisions for themselves and to advance their own control over their food systems.


Community engagement session: 'What's your Recipe for a Better Food System?' - Community meal & Discussion on National Food Policy

Co-hosted by AICBR and Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition (YAPC), July 31st, 2017 

As part of an FSC campaign "What's Your Recipe for a Better Food System", AICBR along with YAPC co-hosted a community meal to gather insight on the food issues that matter to Yukoners. This event was held in Whitehorse, July 31st and welcomed about 40 Whitehorse residents who are involved with and passionate about food.

  • See below for media coverage

  • [pdf] - Final Report - submitted to FSC and AAFC


Community Engagement session: 'What's your Recipe for a Better Food System?' Community Engagement on National Food Policy - Fireweed Farmers Market Workshop

July 20th, 2017

We hosted a booth as part of the Fireweed Farmer's Market to gather insights from Northerners about the food issues that matter to them and to share policy resources and food security work done in the Yukon. We also had an ipad available and encouraged people to fill out the government's online survey that was part of their public consultation on the developing Food Policy for Canada.

  • See below for media coverage

  • [pdf] - Final Report - submitted to FSC and AAFC


NFN Webinar #3: Growing Food and Community in the Northwest Territories

Co-hosted by Arctic Institute of Community-Based Research and Food Secure Canada, June 19th, 2017

At our 3rd webinar in the series, Amanda Wilson from FSC provided a short overview of the food policy context in Canada: from WHAT is policy to the WHO is involved in the national food policy process; WHEN is the government's process taking place; and WHY is a national food policy important? We then had the pleasure of hearing from two groups who are growing food and community in the Northwest Territories. Emily Mann, from the Inuvik Community Greenhouse shared some of the awesome community-grown projects going on in the hockey-arena-turned-greenhouse in the Beaufort Delta region; yoga classes, gardening internships and training, as well as small-scale food programs in various NWT communities are just some of the initiatives available through the Inuvik Community Greenhouse and the Inuvik Community Garden Society. We then heard from Kim Rapati from the Northern Farm Training Institute in Hay River who spoke of the incredible growth of the Institute and transformation/remediation of an abandoned 1000 pig industrial complex and lot to a sustainable, community-focused facility capable of growing enough food for a community of 200. The Institute has trained 150 people from 30 communities in NWT (and Manitoba) and currently has 260 acres, 200 animals, various northern-focused research projects, and runs various on-campus training in growing/harvesting techniques, animal husbandry, accessing markets, as well as various special courses. 

Presentation Slides and recording:


NFN Webinar #2: Core Themes on Northern Food Security 

Co-hosted by the Arctic Institute of Community-Based Research & Food Secure Canada, April 25th, 2017

The Northern Food Network's second webinar welcomed over 45 guests from across the country and two guest speakers. Daniel Gladu Kanu gave a presentation on behalf of the team at the Food Matters Manitoba, sharing stories from community about food programs in northern Manitoba; we then heard from Norma Kassi from AICBR about the role that community-based research can play in promoting self-sufficiency in Canada's North, through the sharing of AICBR's work with Kluane First Nation on the Nourishing Our Future project. 

Presentation slides and recording:


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NFN Webinar #1: Core Themes on Northern Food Security 

Co-hosted by the Arctic Institute of Community-Based Research & Food Secure Canada, February 27th, 2017

The Northern Food Network's first webinar welcomed over 60 guests from across the country and two guest speakers from different regions of the North. Dexter MacRae gave a presentation on behalf of the team at the Tr'ondëk Hwëch’in First Nations Teaching and Working Farm, sharing insights from the process of the farm school's development and recent success in Dawson City, Yukon; we then heard from Kukik Baker on behalf of her team at the Arviat Wellness Centre about the many inspiring community-driven, on-the-land, experiential programs in Arviat, Nunavut. 

Presentation slide and recording:


Gathering: Northern Networking and Information Sharing on Northern food security

Food Secure Canada's 9th National Assembly, October 13th, 2016

AICBR co-hosted a Northern Networking and Information Sharing Gathering with FSC at their National Assembly which welcomed 35 people who were either currently living and working in the North or are interested in Northern food security. At the Networking gathering, we learned about initiatives going on in other regions related to food security and identified some common strengths and needs for improving food security across the North. 

  • [pdf] Meeting minutes - Networking Gathering



Food Secure Canada's 9th National Assembly, October 14th, 2016

As part of the Indigenous and Northern Stream, AICBR also co-hosted a session called “Advancing Food Security Across Canada’s North”, with Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) and Food First Newfoundland and Labrador. At this session, we heard how communities and regions across the North are developing their own food security strategies and using innovative ways to communicate stories of resilience and strength. AICBR gave a presentation about the food security project recently completed in and led by Kluane First Nation, which was delivered by Mary Jane Johnson (KFN Elder and Project Advisor, pictured left) and Norma Kassi, Co-Founder and Director of Indigenous Collaboration at AICBR. Jody Butler Walker, Co-Founder and Co-Director at AICBR also provided an overview of AICBR and the principles of community-based research as well as shared some highlights from AICBR’s recent Yukon Food Security Roundtable.


FSC Assembly (9th) session: Northern Food Summit Open Space Dialogue

Food Secure Canada's 9th National Assembly, October 15th, 2016

At the Assembly, AICBR also hosted an Open Space dialogue on the possibility of a Northern Food Summit. There were 20 people in attendance from both the North and the South who shared their thoughts and input on the idea of bringing key Northern leaders for a Northern Food Summit to advance food security planning on a pan-Northern scale. 

  • [pdf] Meeting minutes - Open Space

  • [pdf] Summary - Key Action Items



Media & Publications:

  • FAQ Sheet - FAQs About Canada's National Food Policy...Read More

  • News Item - Northern and Indigenous Food Security a Central Issue at Food Secure Canada's 9th National Assembly: October 13 – 16th, 2016....Read More

  • [pdf] Putting the Community Back Into Our Food System - Key Messages from Pan-Canadian Food Discussions at Food Secure Canada's National Assembly, October 13-16th, 2016