Recommendations for Advancing Food Security in Yukon

list Derived from Yukon Food Security Events held in Whitehorse, Yukon May 18 - 19th, 2016

The following recommendations were developed from the outcomes from the Yukon Food Security Roundtable and Open House and the Association of Yukon Communities questionnaire (reported elsewhere). The list is organized according to top 5 priorities and values emerging from Roundtable, 1) Access for All, Self-Sufficiency, Support for Local Food Producers, Addressing Planning and Policy Development, and Encouraging Community Gardens and Greenhouses. The recommendations are categorized into three main categories, Local Actions, Territorial Actions and Practices and Processes. Partnership across various sectors was identified as a key component of these recommendations. 

Local Actions

(in partnership with communities, local food producers, Indigenous, territorial and federal governments, Non-Governmental Organizations, academics, the private sector, foundations, and others)

Access for All

1. Access to community kitchens – more outdoor spaces to cook food

2. Support culture and harvest camps

3. Reconnecting to ‘old ways’ and culture/traditions

     a. Revive Yukon First Nations trade networks and encourage sharing within communities and between communities

     b. Continue finding ways to pass on traditional Indigenous knowledge, practices and values to future generations

     c. Support seasonal gathering/hunting

4. Expand initiatives like Sally and Sisters model of providing safe access to nutritious meal shared with women and children only – use up-to-date statistics to assess & respond to need

5. Implement “Good Food Bucks” program

6. Prioritize distribution system for low-income individuals and families to access local food (grown/harvested/hunted)



7.  Convene a Yukon First Nations Food Security Network

8. Continue education and skills building around preservation, processing and cooking of healthy, local and fresh foods

9. Increase access to storage facilities (especially cold storage and root cellars) in communities (outside of Whitehorse especially)  

10. Develop food co-ops in communities

11. Encourage youth on-the-land activities – have kids involved in every level of food production/harvest, preparation and composting

12. Develop community strategies – adapting to climate change and food security strategies (must be community-driven)

13. Educate on safety – bear safety while hunting, etc.

14. Increase access to local foods in restaurants/stores


Support for local food producers

15. Support community champions as an avenue for sustainability in community development initiatives involving food security


Addressing Planning and Policy Development

16. Work on how to get expiring foods to groups in need rather than throwing food out – involves education around expiry dates

17. Decrease waste and use resources wisely - Conserve water, save/reuse lumber, develop composting program in each community, reduce waste (includes education on the importance of conservation) * incorporate these lessons into public education system and involve children and youth

18. Increase access to urban spaces to grow food

19. Provide more access to non-stigmatizing spaces and relationships around food sharing, community kitchens and collective cooking

20. Make food security strategizing and planning a priority and develop a Food Charter



21. Develop community jobs around gardening and agriculture (i.e. create microenterprise for community-gardening to thrive as economic initiative and reduce overreliance on volunteers)

22. Continue education on growing techniques, gardening – particularly, basics in soil health and when to plant different crops

23. Continue community growing courses through Fireweed, Lorne Mountain Community Association – expand these models to rural communities

Territorial Actions

(in partnership with communities, local food producers, Indigenous, territorial and federal governments, Non-Governmental Organizations, academics, private sector, foundations, and others)

Access for All

24. Develop an emergency food plan for the Territory that is informed by community values and priorities

25. Support low-income individuals and families, including programs that enhance job skills

26. Support organizations working to improve food security and reduce poverty

27. Work with, learn from and build on already established success stories/projects (i.e. TH Teaching and Working Farm - share resources, training and curriculum development)

28. Work with wholesalers on absorbing some of freight and transport costs in order to decrease cost of food – community example of this happening already where it has been a win-win (food costs less and people are able to buy more)

29. Make food security an election topic for upcoming 2016 Territorial elections (model off of Food Secure Canada’s Eat, Think, Vote Campaign from Federal election)



30. Expand thinking beyond just ‘band-aid solutions’ (i.e. move towards food hubs/food centres and promote accessible housing and education)

31. Perform public engagement/communications program to increase public’s knowledge on food security and services/programs/activities offered in communities

32. Support activities that celebrate food (eating food, making food, growing/preserving food) – make sure these public festivals and workshops are accessible for lowincome/rural individuals


Support for Local Food Producers

33. For the Yukon Government to expand College curriculum for agriculture (use TH Teaching and Working Farm as a role model)

34. Expand Kids on the Farm & From the Ground Up programs

35. Continue education on growing techniques and gardening (i.e. basics in soil health and when to plant)


addressing planning and policy development

36. Focus on income-based solutions to food security and housing legislation to counteract homelessness

     a. Calculate living wage for Yukon

37. Work with Department of Environmental Health on policies around food safety and shared spaces & mobile food emergency sources

38. Continue working with multiple groups across sectors on implementing the Local Food Strategy and track progress of its implementation

39. Continue school food programming (ensure kids have access to “good food”) and increase education on where food comes from – provide children with the opportunity to grow their own food

40. Monitor food insecurity in the territory - participate in the Canadian Community Health Survey and other surveys monitoring health and household food insecurity

41. Focus on succession planning in all aspects of government and food production to deal with high job turnover and aging farming population – job shadowing, job skills, etc.

42. Support local producers – through subsidies for land, tools, skills building and in accessing local markets

43. Encourage sustainable resource development and conservation of water


encouraging community gardens and greenhouses

44. Build community gardens/greenhouses in every community – ensure systems are in place to counteract food volunteer/employee ‘burn-out’ and ensure food grown is accessible to everyone in community

45. Hands on mentorship for local growing/gardening/farming – Continue Growing Forward program

Practices and Processes


46. Invest in more collaborative spaces for sharing, educating, processing harvest (i.e. community smokehouse), and cooking

47. Invest in innovation – innovation that is accessible and beneficial to all

48. Share information, skills, etc. – strengthen networks and initiatives that support this

49. Clarify what “local means” for marketing purposes – is food locally grown? What percentage of ingredients locally grown? Or is food just locally prepared?

50. Work with our neighbours on issues concerning food (local level with neighbours, territorial level within/between Indigenous and non-Indigenous citizens/governments/organizations, federal level with other territories/provinces, and Internationally with Alaska)