Vast Area – Few People


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Vast Area – Few People

  • Vast Area – Few People

  • 2 million square kilometres (same size as Western Europe)

  • 25 communities - accessible by air and sea only

  • Population of Nunavut = 31,906 1

  • Population of Pangnirtung = 1506 1

  • 1. Statistics Canada, 2011 Census of Population



Income - vs - Cost of Food

    • Income - vs - Cost of Food
    • In 2009, the median total income for Nunavut was $26,830/year 1
    • The current average cost to feed a family of 4 in Nunavut is $437.00/week or $22,724/year 2
    • 1. Second lowest in the country. Statistics Canada, Income Statistics Division, Special Tabulations (Prepared by: Nunavut Bureau of Statistics, November 7, 2011) 2. Nutrition North Canada; Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (Note – does not include High Arctic communities of Grise Fiord and Resolute)


With current high food prices, many Northerners would have to spend more than 100% of their incomes in order to feed their families properly.

    • With current high food prices, many Northerners would have to spend more than 100% of their incomes in order to feed their families properly.
    • Statistics Canada does not collect or compile data directly measuring poverty in Nunavut.


We can’t eat just like our ancestors did

  • We can’t eat just like our ancestors did

  • Inuit traditional practices are still strong and hunting for sustenance remains an important part of life

  • Poverty is preventing many people from living entirely off the land

      • Start-up costs are very high: Snowmobile ($10,000), gas ($400 per trip), kamotik made of wood ($1000), GPS ($200) and satellite phone ($1000), gun and bullets. ($1000)
  • Even if you are able to harvest wildlife, it is shared among extended family members

  • Traditional Foods harvested from the land now supplement store-bought foods in the North



Extreme Environment

  • Extreme Environment

  • We have extreme cold conditions, limited sunlight, high electricity costs, permafrost, and blindingly high construction and maintenance costs.

  • Many of the usual fixes for food insecurity like agriculture and greenhouses are not possible.



Transportation by Sea

  • Transportation by Sea

  • All communities receive an annual resupply by ship

  • Most economical shipping method; mainly limited to non-perishable items

  • Most people not in an economic position to buy a year’s worth of canned & dry goods at one time

  • Inuit value system encourages sharing of resources, resulting in bulk food purchases consumed quickly by those in need.



Transportation by Air

  • Transportation by Air

  • Most communities also receive daily air service for passengers and perishable foods.

  • Air freight charges and passenger fares are very expensive compared to the rest of Canada – even short distances.

  • Over $3,000 for round trip travel from Pangnirtung to Edmonton.



Government Food Subsidy Programs

    • Government Food Subsidy Programs


Government Food Subsidy Programs

    • Government Food Subsidy Programs






Our Group’s Intentions:

  • Our Group’s Intentions:

  • To raise awareness about high cost of food in Nunavut

  • To organize peaceful protests in communities

  • To provide a forum where Nunavummiut could come together to talk about struggles with high cost of food and the affects that hunger has on their lives

  • To unite Northerners’ voices as one





































Our Group’s Current Objectives:

  • Our Group’s Current Objectives:

  • Encourage Northerners to empower themselves to create independence from within the people at the grass roots level.

  • Unify people across the North to share one voice.

  • Encourage Government policy-makers and retailers to find better ways to lower the cost of food (NNC is not doing enough).

  • Encourage new food suppliers to operate in the North in order to increase competition and lower prices.

  • Encourage improvements in food quality through better inventory control, such as:

    • Removing inedible and rotting food from store shelves
    • Proper food shipping and handling
    • Reducing transit time for perishable foods
  • Encourage establishment of more Food Banks.

  • Work with Government and other NGOs to improve the overall quality of life for Northerners.



“Inuit have long lived to survive – it is in our blood to find food and help others when someone goes hungry. Inuit all over the north have understood the word “hunger” from the past to this day. It is handled through patience, through acceptance, and through innovations. Hunger was fought by our ancestors, and we can fight it again today using different techniques.”

  • “Inuit have long lived to survive – it is in our blood to find food and help others when someone goes hungry. Inuit all over the north have understood the word “hunger” from the past to this day. It is handled through patience, through acceptance, and through innovations. Hunger was fought by our ancestors, and we can fight it again today using different techniques.”




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