Food insecurity has reached crisis levels for many Inuit communities in Canada.
To address these challenges, there are many community-based initiatives that are playing an important role to improve Inuit food insecurity. These initiatives are very diverse and include food banks, land-based programs, and community kitchens. They also employ a range of approaches from supporting nutritional needs, teaching traditional skills, and strengthening social connections around food.
The project was developed to:
- Highlight and promote the work of community-based initiatives
- Facilitate partnerships and improve coordination between initiatives
- Bring attention to the food insecurity situation in Inuit communities
- Help guide decisions about where to direct resources
- Inform advocacy and influence policy
Regional Interactive Map
The project features the first online interactive map of community-based food security initiatives in the four Inuit regions. It also provides complementary resources such as information on Inuit food security and funding opportunities.
While this is only a partial picture of the work being done at the community level to address Inuit food insecurity, the project illustrates the critical role of these initiatives and the need for their ongoing support. Whether you are involved directly in one of these initiatives or just interested in finding out more about food security in Inuit communities, everyone is encouraged to explore the mapping tool and associated resources.Explore Map
Inuit Food Security Working Group
The Nuluaq Project has been developed by the Inuit Food Security Working Group. The working group is coordinated by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) and includes representatives from the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services, Nunatsiavut Government, National Inuit Youth Council, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada and Inuit Circumpolar Council – Canada.
The Nuluaq Project is an interactive mapping and resource site that provides information on community-based initiatives that play an important role in addressing food insecurity among Canadian Inuit communities. The aim of the project is to highlight and promote the work of initiatives; facilitate partnerships and improve coordination between initiatives; bring attention to the food insecurity situation in Inuit communities; and help guide decisions and inform policy work in the area.
‘Nuluaq’ means ‘net’ in Inuktitut, the Inuit language. Similar to the function of a net for Inuit to capture and gather food, Nuluaq was chosen because the project captures and gathers information on community-based food security initiatives.
Maps are powerful tools for visualizing and communicating information. It is important that the Nuluaq Project be able to share information on community-based initiatives and allow people to visualize where the initiatives are taking place in the four Inuit regions. This interactive mapping tool was designed specifically for this project so that information could be presented in a straightforward and accessible manner.
The Nuluaq project features a unique interactive map of community-based initiatives and provides detailed initiative information. The site also contains other resources about Canadian Inuit food security.
The initiatives that have been included in this project are community-based projects or programs that are addressing Inuit food insecurity. These initiatives have not necessarily been formally evaluated for their effectiveness. However, they are recognized by stakeholders as being promising practices and important to mitigating food insecurity at the community level.
The food insecurity situation in Inuit communities is critical. As a result, the health and well-being of Canadian Inuit is being negatively affected. There are many community initiatives that are generating effective solutions to improve Inuit food insecurity. By promoting and facilitating connections between these initiatives, the Nuluaq Project aims draw on their strengths to further inform solutions at the national level. The project is therefore a collective effort from community initiatives and national partners to come together and improve Inuit food insecurity.
All of the information on community-based initiatives is received directly from initiative representatives. This information is provided on a voluntary basis. All representatives from initiatives that are displayed on the map fill out an identical form that is reviewed and uploaded to the Nuluaq site.
The information provided by initiatives is reviewed to check for relevance and inconsistencies. Follow-up with the organizations is done as needed to ensure the information provided is as accurate and complete as possible. However, the Inuit Food Security Working Group does not independently verify the accuracy of the information submitted. The tool relies on the representatives of the initiatives to provide accurate and complete information.
Community-based food security initiatives are constantly changing so there may be information on the site that is not current. However, information on the initiatives is periodically reviewed to ensure that the Nuluaq site is providing information that is accurate and up-to-date.
Are the initiatives displayed on the Nuluaq site a complete list of all the initiatives occurring in communities?
While the Inuit Food Security Working Group attempts to gather information on as many initiatives as possible, the map is not a comprehensive depiction of all community initiatives. Initiatives are added on a voluntary basis so there may be some that are missing from the map. However, the Nuluaq Project provides a valuable portrayal of the food security initiatives that are available on the ground in communities that is not captured in any other resource.
Why do some initiatives appear to take place in multiple locations and be categorized under more than one type of initiative?
Some initiatives take place in multiple communities and in multiple regions. This information is typically identified on the initiative information page which lists all the communities where an initiative is active. Some initiatives also span different focus areas and can therefore be categorized under multiple types of initiatives. For example, an initiative may act as a soup kitchen by providing meals to those in need but also run cooking programs in the kitchen. In this case, the initiative would be identified as both a soup kitchen and community kitchen.
All initiatives submit information using the same form but not all of the information requested on the form is mandatory. If an initiative has chosen to only fill out certain sections, only the information provided will be made available on the site.
An initiative can participate in the project if it is a community-based initiative and is contributing to improve food insecurity in the Inuit regions of Canada. Examples of initiatives that are included in the project are:
- Commercial Hunts
- Community Kitchens
- Country Food Knowledge Sharing Programs
- Country Food Processors
- In-Store Health Food Promotion Activities
- Regional Price Monitoring Projects
- Soup Kitchens
- Community Freezer Programs
- Community-Led Food Security Research Projects
- Country Food Markets
- Food Banks
- Hunter Support Programs
- Land-Based Initiatives
- School Food Programs
A community-based initiative can be added to the map by a representative of that initiative by going to the ‘Participate’ tab and submitting an information form. The Inuit Food Security Working Group will review the form and contact the representative if any additional information is required before posting it to the site.
Not at all. The information form has been designed so that it is easy and quick to fill out.
One of the primary goals of this project is to highlight the meaningful work of food security initiatives that are making a difference in communities. This can’t be done without the participation of these initiatives. It is important for initiatives to contribute information and be added to the map so the project can provide a comprehensive picture of how food insecurity is being addressed at the community level. Participating will also give initiatives the opportunity to connect with one another and be part of a unified effort to improve Inuit food insecurity.
Yes. Once an information form is submitted and reviewed, it is posted on the Nuluaq website and available to the public.
There are many initiatives that work in the area of Inuit food security. However, for the purpose of this project, only initiatives that operate at the community level in areas that are known to impact food insecurity are being included.
The Nuluaq Project Team promotes this tool when appropriate at conferences, forums and other meetings. The map may also be featured on the websites and social media accounts of the team member organizations. The promotion of community-based food security initiatives and increasing awareness of Inuit food insecurity are goals of the project. Therefore, the project is highlighted and used as an education and advocacy tool whenever possible to serve these goals.
Yes. An initiative on the map can be contacted directly when that contact information is available. This mapping project encourages the bridging of connections and facilitation of partnerships whenever possible. Initiatives can engage with inquiries at their own discretion.
The Nuluaq Project is supported by members of the Inuit Food Security Working Group including Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services, Nunatsiavut Government, National Inuit Youth Council, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, and Inuit Circumpolar Council – Canada. Funding for the project was also provided by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada – Government of Canada.
Absolutely. The Nuluaq Project is a living site that is constantly being updated and has numerous opportunities for expansion. The Inuit Food Security Working Group is committed to advancing this unique project by continuing to increase the information available on community-based food security initiatives and addressing the food insecurity situation among Canadian Inuit. For more information on potential partnerships, please contact us.