Indigenous Peoples' Nutrition - The Project

In recent decades, Indigenous Peoples globally have experienced rapid and dramatic shifts in lifestyle that are unprecedented in history. Moving away from their own self-sustaining, local food systems into industrially derived food supplies, these changes have adverse effects on dietary quality and health.

The Centre for Indigenous Peoples' Nutrition and Environment (CINE) based in McGill University, Canada, responded to requests from indigenous leaders from around the world to help stop loss of traditional food system knowledge with research and community-driven activities that bridge the generations.

This series of videos presents highlights from 12 indigenous community areas in 9 countries, and is intended to contribute to the evidence base used to make global policies to protect Indigenous Peoples' food resources and promote good health.


Indigenous Nutrition for Better Health

This video discribes the project as a whole. Included is a brief history of CINE as well as the overall objectives the project promotes with Indigenous Peoples around the world.



The Inuit and their Indigenous Foods

On Baffin Island, within the Nunavut Territory, the rural community of Pangnirtung uses traditional knowledge and country food to address emerging health patterns resulting from transition in nutrition and all facets of life. Working with the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the Government of Nunavut Department of Health and Social Services and the Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, the project promotes health and well-being of community members with focus on local Inuit food.

The Nuxalk and their Indigenous Foods

Located in the fjords, on the central west coast of British Columbia, Canada, the Nuxalk Nation participated in research to document the many animal and plant species in their local, cultural food system. Despite daunting environmental challenges traditional knowledge of Elders was used by community members to develop a broad range of education activities with local and market foods to improve health status, particularly for iron, folate and vitamin A.

The Gwich'in and their Indigenous Foods

In the northern Northwest Territories of Canada within the Gwich'in Nation is the community of Tetlit Zheh. In this rural Arctic setting, the Gwich'in Traditional Food Project has actively promoted local wildlife foods and healthy market foods in many community programs for their cultural and health benefits.

Pohnpei and their Indigenous Foods

On the Pacific island of Pohnpei located in the Federated States of Micronesia, the Island Food Community of Pohnpei conducts programs to help preserve use of many unique island species, varieties, and cultivars of food plants and animals for the Indigenous People. Programs in women's groups, schools, health facilities and other community settings are used to promote these foods for better health.

The Maasai and their Indigenous Foods

The pastoral community of Enkereyian is on the floor of the Great Rift Valley in Kenya within the Ngong Division of Kajaido District. The Mainyoito Pastoralist Integrated Development Organization (MPIDO) and the Rural Outreach Program (ROP) studied traditional Maasai food use within the context of culture, food security, nutrition and environmental sustainability.

The Aguaruna and their Indigenous Foods

The Awajún Indigenous People highlighted in this video live in the Peruvian Amazon on the Rio Cenepa, and practice a mostly traditional lifestyle using more than 200 species of local food resources. Researchers based with the Instituto de Investigación Nutricional (IIN) in Lima formed a strong partnership with the women’s organization of the Organización de Desarrollo de las Comunidades Fronterizas de Cenepa (ODECOFROC). Together they documented the local food system and encourage greater use of high quality traditional foods to promote community health, with particular attention to children.

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