Sowing the seeds of change - building on community strengths to achieve Indigenous food sovereignty in three northern communities

Lay Summary 

Food security is a critical issue that is disproportionately experienced by Indigenous populations. Climate change in the north further complicates secure access to traditional or country foods. We will use a community-based participatory action approach informed by Indigenous research paradigms and methods as we co-research alongside community members in Black Tickle, Sambaa K'e and Fort Providence, and with their respective governing organizations (NunatuKavut Community Council Sambaa K'e and Deh Gáh Got'îê First Nations).


We will use a four-step research process to address food security at the local level in a sustainable way and capture the overall development process: Year 1-will involve gaining a deeper understanding of local food security situation (e.g., traditional food patterns and land stewardship, identifying potential projects and strengths and limitations in moving forward, and creating an implementation plan. Year 2 - interventions and localized work (e.g., integration of traditional knowledge and programming, or hydroponic piloting). Year 3-will determine the effectiveness of the implementation by assessing nutrition content, community usability, co-researcher skills development, and effect on local food systems. Year 4 - evaluation and sharing knowledge to other communities within each respective area and ensuring that sustainability and succession plans are in place.


The project's impact will include the established processes for sustainable and local responses to food security led by three northern Indigenous communities. Approaches, built on local knowledge, will be community delivered and maintained. 


Adapted from

Community Health and Humanities
Canadian Institutes Of Health Research
St. John's
Newfoundland and Labrador
Northwest Territories
British Columbia
Social Justice
Environmental Science
Population Health
Industry Sectors 
Food Services and Drinking Places
Start date 
1 Feb 2019
End date 
31 Jan 2020
Lead Organization 
Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University