Community Perspectives on Inuit Country Food Insecurity in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut




This paper explores how policies and programs can better support country food security and food sovereignty in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut. Through a series of six focus groups with a total of 74 participants, we explore the challenges that Elders, youth, hunters, food preparers, and program providers face in the access, availability, quality, and use of country food. Despite the diverse representation among focus groups, participants revealed similar challenges across demographics and highlighted how tailored policies and programs can provide complementary solutions that serve more than one purpose. We argue that policies and programs targeting financial and economic challenges; resources and infrastructure; and skills and knowledge will improve country food security and will promote food sovereignty. Ultimately, policies and programs must be community informed and tailored to their current context and community dynamics. However, the recommendations we provide could be adapted to other Arctic communities experiencing similar challenges.