The Current

Report finds Nunavut has the highest food insecurity rate for any indigenous population in a developed country

Staying well fed can be as hard as staying warm in Canada's north. Imagine going grocery shopping and spending $30 on a single vegetable. Upwards of $60 for a chicken. Can't afford those prices? Well, neither can many Canadians who live in the North. We discuss the growing problem of Food Insecurity in the North....
Staying well fed can be as hard as staying warm in Canada's north. Imagine going grocery shopping and spending $30 on a single vegetable. Upwards of $60 for a chicken. Can't afford those prices? Well, neither can many Canadians who live in the North. We discuss the growing problem of Food Insecurity in the North.

The cost of groceries in the north can sound almost unbelievable to people in other parts of Canada... it can cost $10 for a carton of milk, $28 for a cabbage. And these sky high costs contribute to the fact that people in Nunavut have the highest "food insecurity" rate for any indigenous population in a developed country.

he World Health Organization defines food security as existing "when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life."

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Iqaluit resident Imoe Papatsie. CP/Aaron Watson

A new report released yesterday by the Canadian Council of Academies highlights the issue of high food insecurity in the north and its effects on residents there, including children. For example: a quarter of Inuit preschoolers are severely food insecure. Of those children, 76 per cent skip meals ... and 60 per cent have gone a whole day without eating.

Jesse Mike is a resident of Iqaluit and has seen the real-life impact of "food insecurity" on people in Iqaluit and neighbouring communities.

Jesse Mike's struggles are unfortunately common in the North. Yesterday, the Expert Panel at the Council of Canadian Academies released a report called Aboriginal Food Security in Northern Canada: An Assessment of the State of Knowledge.

To tell us more about the findings of the expert panel, we were joined by Harriet Kuhnlein from her home in Anacortes in Washington State. She is the chair of of the Expert Panel that put out the report and was the founding director of the Centre for Indigenous Peoples's Nutrition and Enviroment at McGill University.

Nutrition North Canada is a relatively new government program -- aimed at improving the supply of healthy food to northern communities. Wilfred Wilcox chairs Nutrition North's Advisory committee. We reached him at home in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.


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This segment was produced by The Current's Sujata Berry, Pacinthe Mattar, Dawna Dingwall and Marc Apollinio.


Last Word - #hashtag

current-twitter-thumbnail.jpgWe've been posting pictures and introducing you to some of the people who work here at The Current today on Twitter this morning. Hope you've been checking us out and sending your questions, to #studio322. That's our studio number here at CBC Toronto.

The word "hashtag" has joined the Canadian vocabulary for only a few years, thanks to its role in organizing Twitter feeds. The symbol is formally known as an octothorpe, but that word is part of almost no Canadian's vocabulary.

"Hash" is a corruption of hatch -- as in cross-hatch, the technique artists use to shade drawings. Its use as an organizer can be traced back to Chris Messina. He worked for Google in 2007, and recognized an urgent need to group the huge number of Twitter messages. He believed taking out a patent would slow public adoption of the symbol. Otherwise, he might have been stinking #rich today .

He talked about the early days of hashtagging with Bloomberg and gets today's #Last Word.


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