Health of Canadian Aborigines Essay

1782 Words8 Pages
As the world is becoming more industrialized, processed foods are becoming cheaper and easier to purchase. This shift in natural food availability is becoming a growing health concern for people around the world; however, Canadian aboriginal communities are feeling greater negative effects of food insecurity (FI). When people in a community do not have “physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”, they are considered food insecure (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 1998). While FI affects the health of all Canadians, the Aboriginal Peoples have been reported to have consistently lower health than other Canadians due to the extreme…show more content…
Indigenous foods such as root vegetables, leafy greens, berries, nuts and caribou meat provide adequate complex carbohydrates, vitamins (vitamin C), minerals (iron, calcium), fats and proteins (Kuhnlein, Turner, 1991). Many of these foods are available in the market today; however, 40-70% of Yukon First Nations, Dene/Metis, and Inuit, depending on location and age group, could not afford enough food. In addition, nearly 50% of these people did not have adequate fishing or hunting equipment, and 46% could not afford these activities (Lambden, Receveur, Marshall, Kuhnlein, 2006). Without proper equipment and financial security, obtaining traditional foods is becoming increasingly difficult. Modern processed foods are more readily supplied to remote Aboriginal communities because they are cheaper to produce and purchase and have a longer shelf life. The Government of Canada has provided a Food Mail program to subsidize the cost of transporting more nutritious foods to remote communities, but these foods are usually still too expensive for many families to afford. As a result, many more Aboriginal Peoples are purchasing processed foods, despite the lack of proper nutrients they provide. The shift to processed foods in Aboriginal communities has happened very quickly. Many reasons, including restrictions on hunting and fishing, relocation, cultural disruption, socioeconomic changes and reduced access to land, are
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