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Harriet V. Kuhnlein

Professor Emerita of Human Nutrition
Founding Director, Centre for Indigenous Peoples' Nutrition and Environment (CINE)

harriet [dot] kuhnlein [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email)

Degrees

LL.D. (hon.) – University of Western Ontario - 2008
PhD: University of California, Berkeley - 1976
MSc: University of Oregon, Corvallis - 1969
BSc: Pennsylvania State University - 1961

Awards and Recognitions

Appreciation Award – Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and Inuit Circumpolar Conference
Fellow – International Union of Nutritional Sciences – 2009
Honorary Fellow – American Society for Nutrition – 2008
Jack Hildes Medal for Circumpolar Health – International Union of Circumpolar Health – 2003
E.W. Crampton Award for Distinguished Service in Nutrition – McGill University - 2002

Current Affiliations

Council of Canadian Academies. Chair, Panel on Assessment of the State of Knowledge of Aboriginal Food Security in Northern Canada
International Foundation for Science. Board of Trustees
International Union of Nutritional Sciences. Co-Chair, Task Force on Traditional, Indigenous and Cultural Food and Nutrition
Fulbright Scholar Program. Council for International Exchange of Scholars. Specialist Roster

Memberships

Canadian Nutrition Society
American Society for Nutritional Sciences
American Dietetic Association
Society for Ethnobiology
World Public Health Nutrition Association

Research

The foundation of Dr. Kuhnlein’s work is bringing recognition to the excellent nutritional qualities of unique, little-known foods experienced by Indigenous Peoples in their local rural settings. In a “first things first” approach Dr. Kuhnlein realized early on that the nutrient composition of Indigenous Peoples food resources must be known before dietary evaluations can be conducted, and before health promotion activities using these resources can be logically planned with a scientific basis. Scientific credibility can stimulate protection of unique food resources and the biodiversity they contribute in contemporary diets and nutrition.

Dr. Kuhnlein’s recent work with 12 case studies of grass-roots communities of Indigenous Peoples in 9 countries (Canada, Peru, Colombia, Federated States of Micronesia, Japan, Thailand, India, Kenya and Nigeria) led to a methods procedure available online.

This procedure has been widely implemented and is the essential first documentation for food system research and promotion with Indigenous Peoples. Two recent books published by the UN FAO documents how the procedure was used in the 12 case studies and shared broadly with the free online publication (see publications).. Sentinel earlier work with the Nuxalk Nation in British Columbia demonstrated how promotion of local food of Indigenous People can be used as a platform to deliver nutrition and health education, and build cultural morale for health improvement. The  program is supported by peer-reviewed publications as well as internationally distributed print material (posters) and film (www.indigenousnutrition.org) and is recognized by several United Nations agencies (FAO, WHO, UNEP-CBD) and The Rockefeller Foundation as important work to move basic scientific knowledge into policy settings affecting Indigenous Peoples.

NOTE: Dr. Kuhnlein is Emerita Professor and not accepting students at this time.

Publications

To view a list of Dr. Kuhnlein's publications, please click here.

Selected Publications

Kuhnlein HV (2014) How ethnobiology can contribute to food security. Journal of Ethnobiology 34(1):12-27.

Kuhnlein HV, K Fediuk, C Nelson, E Howard and S Johnson (2013) The legacy of the Nuxalk Food And Nutrition Program for the food security, health and well-being of Indigenous Peoples in British Columbia. BC Studies 179: 159-187.

Kuhnlein HV (2013) Animal food diversity in Indigenous Peoples’ food systems. In: Proceedings: Asia and Pacific Symposium on Sustainable Diets: Human Nutrition and Livestock. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Ministry of Industry and Agriculture of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar.

Kuhnlein HV, B Erasmus, D. Spigelski and B Burlingame (2013) Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems and Wellbeing: Interventions and Policies for Healthy Communities.398 pp. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome.  Available free online from:  http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3144e/i3144e00.htm

Kuhnlein HV and B Burlingame (2013) Why do Indigenous Peoples’ food and nutrition interventions for health promotion and policy need special consideration? In: Kuhnlein HV,  B. Erasmus, D. Spigelski and B Burlingame. Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems and Wellbeing: Interventions and Policies for Healthy Communitiespp. 3-8 (Chapter 1) United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome.

Turner NJ, M Plotkin and HV Kuhnlein (2013) Global environmental challenges to the integrity of Indigenous Peoples’ food systems. In: Kuhnlein HV, B Erasmus, D. Spigelski and B Burlingame. Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems and Wellbeing: Interventions and Policies for Healthy Communitiespp. 23-38 (Chapter 3) United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome.

Salomeyesudas B, HV Kuhnlein, MA Schmid, PV Satheesh and GM Egeland (2013) The Dalit food system and maternal and child nutrition in Andhra Pradesh, South India. In: Kuhnlein HV, B Erasmus, D. Spigelski and B Burlingame. Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems and Wellbeing: Interventions and Policies for Healthy Communities. pp. 75-100 (Chapter 6) United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome.

Kuhnlein HV, L Goodman, O Receveur, D Spigelski, N Duran, GG Harrison, B Erasmus and Tetlit Zheh. (2013) Gwich’in traditional food and health in Tetlit Zheh, Northwest Territories. In: Kuhnlein HV, B Erasmus, D. Spigelski and B Burlingame. Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems and Wellbeing: Interventions and Policies for Healthy Communitiespp. 101-120 (Chapter 7) United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome.

Turner NJ, WR Tallio, S Burgess and HV Kuhnlein (2013) The Nuxalk Food and Nutrition Program for Health recalled and revisited. In: Kuhnlein HV, B Erasmus, D. Spigelski and B Burlingame. Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems and Wellbeing: Interventions and Policies for Healthy Communities. pp. 177-190 (Chapter 11) United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome.

Englberger L, A Lorens,  K Albert, P Pedrus, A Levendusky, W Hagilmai, Y Paul, P Moses, R Jim, S Jose, D Nelber, G Santos, L Kaufer, K Larsen, M Pretrick and HV Kuhnlein (2013) Let’s go local! Pohnpei promotes local food production and nutrition for health. In: Kuhnlein HV, B Erasmus, D. Spigelski and B Burlingame. Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems and Wellbeing: Interventions and Policies for Healthy Communities. pp. 191-220 (Chapter 12) United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome.

Kuhnlein HV (2013) What food system intervention strategies and evaluation indicators are successful with Indigenous Peoples? In: Kuhnlein HV, B Erasmus, D. Spigelski and B Burlingame. Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems and Wellbeing: Interventions and Policies for Healthy Communitiespp 237-256 (Chapter 14) United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome.

Damman S, HV Kuhnlein and B Erasmus (2013) Human rights implications of Indigenous Peoples’ food systems and policy recommendations. In: Kuhnlein HV, B Erasmus, D. Spigelski and B Burlingame. Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems and Wellbeing: Interventions and Policies for Healthy Communitiespp. 257-278 (Chapter 15) United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome.

Kuhnlein HV, B Burlingame and B Erasmus (2013) Policy strategies to improve nutrition and health for Indigenous Peoples. In: Kuhnlein HV, B Erasmus, D. Spigelski and B Burlingame. Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems and Wellbeing: Interventions and Policies for Healthy Communities. pp. 279-296 (Chapter 16) United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome.

Kuhnlein HV (2012) Biodiversity and sustainability of Indigenous Peoples’ Foods and Diets. In: Sustainable Diets and Biodiversity: Directions and Solutions for Policy, Research and Action. Pp. 118-125. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome.

McCune LM and HV Kuhnlein (2011) Assessments of Indigenous Peoples’ Food and Nutrition Systems. In:Anderson, E. (ed.) Ethnobiology, Wiley.

Englberger L, A Lorens, M Pretrick, B Raynor, J Currie, A Corsi, L Kaufer, RI Naik, R Spegal and  HV Kuhnlein  (2010) Approaches and Lessons Learned for Promoting Dietary Improvement in Pohnpei, Micronesia. In: Thompson, B and L Amoroso (eds.) Combating Micronutrient Deficiencies: Food-based Approaches. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome.

Kuhnlein HV, B Erasmus and D Spigelski. (2009) Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems: the Many Dimensions of Culture, Diversity and Environment for Nutrition and Health. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization,  Available free online at:  http://www.fao.org/docrep/012/i0370e/i0370e00.htm

Kuhnlein HV (2009) Introduction. Why are Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems Important and Why do They Need Documentation? In: Kuhnlein HV, B Erasmus and D Spigelski. Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems: the Many Dimensions of Culture, Diversity and Environment for Nutrition and Health. pp 1–7. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome.

Egeland GM, G Charbonneau-Roberts, J Kuluguqtuq, J Kilabuk, L Okalik, R Soueida and HV Kuhnlein (2009) Back to the Future: Using Traditional Food and Knowledge to Promote a Healthy Future among Inuit. In: Kuhnlein HV, B Erasmus and D Spigelski. Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems: the Many Dimensions of Culture, Diversity and Environment for Nutrition and Health. pp 9–22. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome.

Turner NJ, T Harvey, S Burgess and HV Kuhnlein (2009) The Nuxalk Food and Nutrition Program, Coastal British Columbia, Canada: 1981-2006. In: Kuhnlein HV, B Erasmus and D Spigelski. Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems: the Many Dimensions of Culture, Diversity and Environment for Nutrition and Health. pp 23–44. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome.

Kuhnlein HV, M McDonald, D Spigelski, E Vittrekwa and B Erasmus (2009) Gwich’in Traditional Food for Health: Phase 1. In: Kuhnlein HV, B Erasmus and D Spigelski. Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems: the Many Dimensions of Culture, Diversity and Environment for Nutrition and Health. pp 45–58. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome.

Creed-Kanashiro H, M Roche, I Tuesta Cerron and HV Kuhnlein (2009) Traditional Food System of an Awajun Community in Peru. In: Kuhnlein HV, B Erasmus and D Spigelski. Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems: the Many Dimensions of Culture, Diversity and Environment for Nutrition and Health. pp 59–81. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome.

Kuhnlein HV, B Erasmus, D Spigelski, B Burlingame (2013) Preserving the World. Indigenous Peoples’ food systems. (Commentary) World Nutrition 4(7): 488-513.

Kuhnlein HV (2013) Characterization of different food systems, including traditional food systems, in relation to biodiversity and nutrition. Prepared for FAO, Commission on Genetic Resources, Rome.

Kuhnlein HV and S Smitasiri (2011) Karen spice: hot food in the Thai highlands. Songsaeng 32:12-15. UNESCO and APCEIU. Seoul, Korea

Kuhnlein HV (2010) Here is the good news. [Commentary] World Nutrition 1, 2: 60-77. Obtainable atwww.wphna.org.

Peace R, N Hidiroglou, P Jee, D Leggee and H Kuhnlein (2008) Levels of folate, pyridoxine, niacin and riboflavin in traditional foods of Canadian Arctic Indigenous Peoples. J. Food Compos. Anal. 21:474-480.

Damman S, WB Eide and HV Kuhnlein (2008) Indigenous peoples’ nutrition transition in a right to food perspective Food Policy 33(2): 135-155.

Kuhnlein HV, S Smitasiri, S Yesudas, L Bhattacharjee, L Dan and S Ahmed (2004, updated 2006) Documenting Traditional Food Systems of Indigenous Peoples: International Case Studies. Guidelines for Procedures. In collaboration with S Sirisai, P Puwastien, L Daoratanahong, S Dhanamitta, F Zhai, PV Satheesh, G Kothari and F Akhter. online.

Kuhnlein HV, HM Chan, O Receveur and G Egeland (2002) Canadian Arctic Indigenous Peoples, traditional food systems and POPs. In: Fenge T and D Downey (eds). Northern Lights Against POPs: Combating Toxic Threats at the Top of the World. McGill-Queens’s University Press. pp 22-40. Reprinted in: Kishagami, N. (Ed.) Indigenous Use and Management of Marine Resources. Senri Ethnological Studies. Osaka: National Museum of Ethnology.20.