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Economic Development & Transportation and Environment Explore Sustainable Access to Country Food
IQALUIT, Nunavut (July 10, 2012) – The Government of Nunavut’s Departments of Environment (DOE) and of Economic Development & Transportation (ED&T) are exploring strategies to increase sustainable and long-term access to country food.
DOE’s Wildlife Research Section released a report this spring that analyzed the availability of various species of harvested wildlife, and their potential as sources of country food for Nunavummiut. The report identified five muskox subpopulations in the Kitikmeot Region that may be sustainably harvested with the support of the Country Food Distribution Program led by the Nunavut Anti-Poverty Secretariat within ED&T. The report states that it will be crucial to direct resources toward monitoring muskox populations and harvest levels in order for the program to be sustainable in the long-term.
“Many wildlife species are extremely important sources of food for Nunavummiut,” said the Honourable James Arreak, Minister of Environment. “I am pleased to work with the Nunavut Anti-Poverty Secretariat to look at ways to ensure the long term availability of country food. This partnership also raises awareness on the need for ongoing monitoring and careful management of our wildlife for future generations.”
Another key recommendation in the report seeks to diversify country food sources in order to increase their availability without increasing pressure on caribou and other vulnerable wildlife populations. The departments are exploring potential partnerships for new, collaborative research and monitoring program for Nunavut wildlife to inform the future development of country food programs.
”Country food, harvested locally, is preferred by many Nunavummiut who want affordable and nutritious food,” said Peter Taptuna, Minister of Economic Development & Transportation. “We need to work with the Department of Environment to make sure that sources of country food harvested today will remain available in the future.”
Seeking to build on these collaborative efforts towards increasingly sustainable access to country food for Nunavummiut, representatives from the Department of Environment attended the Nunavut Food Security Coalition meeting held in Iqaluit June 26, 2012, which was convened by the Nunavut Anti-Poverty Secretariat.
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Department of Environment
Department of Economic Development & Transportation