Year(s) Funded: 2012-2013, 2013-2014, 2014-2015, 2015-2016
Topic Area: Food Security
Contact: Shirley Tagalik (email@example.com)
Partners:Arviat Health Committee & Arviat Hamlet Council
Action: Phase I of this project focused on research to create an Inuit definition of 'sharing' that can be applied to country food, what principles of 'sharing' need to be applied to food distribution (i.e. exploring Inuit concepts of 'reciprocity' and 'self-reliance'). To determine what assets the community has that can be used to develop country food supports in the face of climate change. In Phase II the community explored what economic and climatic options exist for developing local production of healthy foods. They explored the cost effectiveness of greenhouse production, recycling and composting locally reconstituting milk powder in order to produce dairy products for use in community food programs. They identified other sources of healthy food may be available locally if they could not be harvested in a small commercial enterprise and where they could acquire funding for pilot projects. In Phase III, the community explored how they could take advantage of the positive impacts of climate change in order to improve overall health and specifically food security. Specifically, focus on ways to improve soil quality in order to support plant growth. Finally the last phase of the project focused on the engagement and building capacity of Arviat community members to ensure they can respond to the impacts of climate change. The Inuit put heavy reliance on polimmaksarniq or ensuring that everyone develops the skills and knowledge that will help them to be successful regardless of changing circumstances.
Results: In Phase I, research was conducted with Arviat Elders to ensure the community food security plan being developed is grounded in Inuit values, and is considered culturally appropriate in today's context. This research was built on previous research and community planning processes to address identified priorities in availability and accessibility to country food. Information was documented to share Elder perspectives on a culturally appropriate definition of 'food sharing' principles of reciprocity and self-reliance. An adaptation tool, a community freezer, was acquired to ensure food security in a changing climate.
In Phase II, the project explored what economic and climatic options exist for developing local production of healthy foods, the cost effectiveness of greenhouse production, recycling and composting locally reconstituting milk powder in order to produce dairy products for use in community food programs. Determine what other sources of healthy food may be available locally if they could not be harvested in a small commercial enterprise. To ensure cost efficiency and cost effectiveness of producing healthy local foods, the community introduced organic composting to the community and removed food products out of community dump and composted them to enrich soil. They also began using seaweed as fertilizer.
In Phase III, a pilot project was run to investigate the feasibility of local food production with greenhouse farming. A Focus was developing local capacity with youth for building, operating and monitoring a greenhouse food production project with the help of mentors. The project developed local production of yoghurt to ensure access to dairy products that are accessible to community members.
In Phase IV, the project focused on the engagement of Arviat in becoming aware of the immediate impacts of climate change in order to build capacity to build community knowledge and promote solid planning. This project aimed to build capacity through the development of skills amongst the large youth population so they are well equipped to successfully address climate change through innovative and adaptive planning. Monitoring programs were established for water, fish health, plant growth and permafrost in addition to exploring the possibility of self-sufficient crop production in the greenhouse.
Outputs: This project collected as much baseline data about environment as possible now to have something to compare to the future. A series of videos, articles and information about the program can be found on Arviat’s website. Publications arising from these projects include:
Additional Publications & Resources