Land-Based programs in the Northwest Territories: Building Indigenous food security and well-being from the ground up

Keywords: environmental change, wild food, community-based research, community food security, Indigenous health and well-being, northern Canada


Food security in Canada’s North is complex, and there is no singular solution. We argue that land-based wild food programs are useful and effective in contributing to long-term food security, health and well-being for Indigenous communities in the context of changing environmental conditions. Such bottom-up programs support cultural continuity and the persistence of skills and knowledge that, over time, increase local food security and food sovereignty. This paper (a) highlights the link between observed environmental changes and wild food procurement in two Indigenous communities in the Northwest Territories, (b) compares and discusses the impacts of two collaboratively developed, community-based programs to improve foodways transmission and capacity for wild food procurement, and (c) identifies lessons learned and productive ways forward for those leading similar efforts in other Indigenous communities.

Original Research Article