Federal funds to provide urban Inuit with country food

“Country food is important for mental health”

Arctic char is among the various country foods that will be sent to Nunavut Inuit living in urban parts of southern Canada. (Photo courtesy of Tunngasuvvingat Inuit)

By Nunatsiaq News

About $2.5 million has been earmarked for food security and shelter for Nunavut Inuit in the south in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. said on Monday, June 1.

The money flows from the $75 million provided on May 21 by the federal government for communities and organizations working with Indigenous peoples living in urban areas and off reserve.

“Coronavirus is hardest on those people with weakened immune systems. We want to support the most vulnerable Nunavut Inuit, living outside of Nunavut, to help meet their most basic needs,” said NTI president Aluki Kotierk in a news release.

According to the NTI enrolment list, there are 5,014 Nunavut Inuit residing outside the territory, with the highest numbers living in Ottawa, Yellowknife, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Montreal.

Country food will be harvested in Nunavut, “providing an important economic activity in the territory,” NTI said, and then distributed to organizations serving Nunavut Inuit in urban areas through NTI’s Indigenous Community Support Fund for Nunavut Inuit living outside the Nunavut Settlement Area.

NTI has allocated $505,000 for the harvesting, shipping and distribution of the country food.

“Country food is nutritionally high quality food and is often the preferred food for Inuit. Given the stress of coronavirus, Inuit outside of the Nunavut Settlement Area have also shared with us that country food is important for mental health,” said James Eetoolook, NTI’s vice-president, in a news release.

An additional $1 million has been allocated to fund food security. These funds will be provided to urban organizations serving Nunavut Inuit, so they can purchase food for distribution or personal protective equipment for staff. Of this amount, $576,000 has been allocated to organizations in Ottawa, Yellowknife, Winnipeg and Edmonton.

Similarly, $1 million has been allocated to shelters in urban centres to adapt to health protocols, support physical distancing and purchase personal protective equipment for staff or clients. Of this, $576,000 will go to urban Inuit organizations in Ottawa, Yellowknife, Winnipeg and Edmonton.

Proposals for the balance of both of these funds will be accepted until June 12, NTI said.

Share This Story

(15) Comments:

  1. Posted by Lizzie Imak on

    Am i eligible for this. Im from nunavik living in Truro Nova scotis

    • Posted by INUK on

      Sorry , you have to make due with cod, lobster and moose meat, WHICH , you have to pay for

      • Posted by Moose Is Where It’s At on

        Moose. Yum yum. Would take that over caribou any day of the week. Absolutely delish. Oh, dear and caribou are good and I’d never say no either, but moose is the platinum standard.

    • Posted by Clara Gardiner on

      How do I know if I’m eligible?

  2. Posted by All’s Fair, Right? on

    Can I get New Brunswick fiddleheads sent to me in Nunavik at Canadian taxpayer expense?

    It is a very healthy country food that is almost impossible to get in Nunavik. It is good for my mental health.

    If the taxpayer can do it for one of Canada’s ethnic groups, we can do it for all? RIght?

    • Posted by Not so fast, All’s “Fair” on

      It seems we still quite a long path of reconciliation ahead of us before ill-informed comments like yours are understood as ignorant, racist, and something our society should leave behind.

      • Posted by CAaron Harestad on

        Hi, I am +7th gen. Norwegian/Canadian, here before “Colonization”; my people came here at (roughly) the same time as you. We have family records of trading with both the Dorset and Inuit people. Archaeologist/Anthropologist say the Inuit moved from Mongolia 200-450 A.D. and supplanted the last Dorsets around 600-700 A.D. Has any Inuit tried to find – and offer repairations to – A Dorset/Northern Cree person with the correct genetic history?

        • Posted by Good On You on

          Ooooh, I’m amazed that this comment is still here.

          Mentioning the Inuit replacement of the original population of the north seems to get censored so much. Good on you.

        • Posted by Norse-Canadian on

          My understanding is that Inuit ancestors, the Thule, migrated into what is now called the Canadian Arctic around 1200 ad. from Northern Alaska (previously from the islands in the Bering strait). They were looking for iron, some of which was located in Greenland and some that was being traded with the Norse, who in turn were trading for walrus ivory. Inuit oral history speaks of wiping out the Dorset; of killing them all and pushing them into the sea. True, this rarely gets talked about, I’ve even seen young Inuit identifying themselves as #Dorset on twitter, obviously not knowing what that even means. It’s an unsavoury history I suppose and the similarities to later colonization by Europeans might motivate the desire to ignore it. Though Europeans never sought to exterminate the Inuit, only convert them into what was considered proper, good little Christians. It some ways it was a staggering success.

          • Posted by Darek B on

            Good bad or ugly, it’s history. The only way to avoid repeating history is to understand where our ancestors went wrong. Being honest with those truths will help US not to repeat THEIR atrocities.

            The only thing worse than the atrocities of our ancestors is blaming the children of those who committed them as if children are somehow responsible for those deeds of their parents.

      • Posted by Financial Sanity and an Equitable Society on

        Good questions have been raised. Why should federal taxpayer money be used to provide minority groups with their preferred food? If the Inuit orgs or Nunavut government wish to spend their money that way, more power to them, but federal taxpayer money? No way.

        Would you support federal funds being used to provide gefilte, which is impossible to get in Nunavut, to the Jewish population of Nunavut? It is no different.

        I have found the poster’s comments not to be the least racist, but they do raise very good concerns about equal treatment in this country. Focus on this, and our society will be a stronger and more equitable one.

        Attitudes like yours have no place in a multi-cultural and diverse Canadian society and are a hindrance to Canada reaching its full potential.

  3. Posted by Rebecca Salmonson on

    Our fellow Inuks from Nunatsiavut are getting help through our friendship centre in Halifax, but there is nothing for Nunavummiut. We are basically forgotten. How do we apply for this help? Can anyone give me some insight on this!

  4. Posted by K.A.F. on

    Kivalliq Arctic Foods
    P.O. Box 329
    Rankin Inlet, NU
    X0C 0G0

    Caribou&Fish available.

  5. Posted by Ned Flanders on

    Meanwhile single Moms and. Children in Nunavut go hungry.??????

  6. Posted by Brett N on

    How do I get some? I

Comments are closed.