Farzaneh Barak, Senior Policy Advisor | Food Security Lead

Policy Advancement
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami

Food Insecurity in Inuit Nunangat: Context, Gaps, and Policy Recommendations

Inuit in Canada experience the highest documented prevalence of food insecurity of any Indigenous people living in a high-income country. According to the 2017 Aboriginal Peoples Survey, 76% of Inuit aged 15 and over living in Inuit Nunangat experience food insecurity. This extremely high prevalence of food insecurity reflects the significant challenges experienced within Inuit food system and highlights the magnitude of persisting and interconnected social and health inequities, including poverty, the high cost of living, climate change, inadequate infrastructure, intergenerational trauma, and systemic racism. These complexities have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and global inflation, highlighting the need for an Inuit-led, sustainable, and multi-faceted approach to address the issue of food insecurity across Inuit Nunangat. This session aims to provide an overview of the current status of food insecurity among Inuit in Canada, presenting the Inuit Nunangat Food Security Strategy and its associated implementation plan that sets a vision to end food insecurity and support the development of a sustainable and inclusive Inuit food system. Together, the Strategy and its Implementation Plan outline a course of action for Inuit organizations and partners, including the government of Canada, to come together and address this multidimensional and persistent gap in policy. The session will discuss the importance of context-specific, culturally appropriate, and community-based approaches in developing strategies to tackle food insecurity through specific, measurable, and time-bound policy recommendations and deliverables.

Speaker/Chair Bio:

Farzaneh Barak holds a Ph.D. from the School of Human Nutrition at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. Her doctoral research project was focused on intersectional gender analysis of women's empowerment and food security. She has over ten years of experience in national and international academic research and professional work related to public health nutrition and food security in various countries such as Uganda, Malawi, Canada, and Iran. Her research interests mainly focus on equitable food systems, community-based approaches, intersectionality and equity-centered analysis, gender, and science communication. Currently, she works as a Senior Policy Advisor and Food Security Lead at Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) to improve the food security status of Inuit in Canada through research, advocacy, public outreach, and education.