Food Consumption Patterns and Use of Country Foods by Native Canadians Near Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada

  • Eleanor E. Wein
  • Jean Henderson Sabry
  • Frederick T. Evers
Keywords: Elders, Food, Native peoples, Social surveys, Subsistence, Alberta, Northern, N.W.T., Saskatchewan, Wood Buffalo National Park, Alberta/N.W.T.

Abstract

This study examined food consumption patterns of native (Indian and Metis) Canadians living in a boreal forest area with good access to both store-bought and country foods (traditional foods from the land, such as wild animals, birds, fish and berries). Frequency of use by season of 48 country foods by 120 households was examined by interview with the female household head. Twenty-four-hour recalls of individual food consumption on four separate days over two seasons were obtained by interview with 178 persons (71 males, 107 females) age 13-86 years, and the mean values per person were used to represent their usual intakes. The mean reported household frequency of use (number of occasions per year) was as follows: all country foods 319, including large mammals 128, berries 63, fish 62, birds 32, and small mammals 27. The upper quintile of households used country food two and one-half times more often than the sample as a whole. Recalls of individual food consumption showed that country food was consumed on average 4.2 times per week and averaged 0.5 kg per week. Country meat, birds and fish accounted for one-third of the total consumption of meat, birds and fish. Young people consumed less country food than did their elders. Thus, country food constitutes an important part of the food supply, especially of meat and fish of many native people of this region.

Key words: country food, food consumption patterns, Indians, Metis, native Canadians

Published
1991-01-01