Can hunting and local harvest solve the dietary crisis in Northern Indigenous communities?

Michael Robidoux works directly with Dene and Métis communities to strengthen food security

By Olivia DeBourcier

“It was super fun fieldwork for five years”

Interestingly, Robidoux didn’t get into food security research right off the bat. For many years he studied Canada’s favourite pastime — hockey! More specifically, the closed labour culture of professional hockey teams. It was through this work that he ended up being invited to play and study hockey in First Nations communities.

Supply vs. demand

When Robidoux looked at the results, he saw that these food sources were nutritionally and culturally very important. But he also saw that “the access issue is such a problem — it’s so difficult, it’s so expensive to get onto the land to acquire enough food.”

“It really is a fraction of what their actual energy requirements are”

Robidoux hopes the knowledge to come out of the research group might inform the federal government’s policies on reducing food insecurity in these communities. In Robidoux’s view, the policies he has seen in development overemphasize the potential for land-based foods to meet community nutrition requirements.

Meet the students and academics who are discovering solutions to our climate and sustainability challenges. Writing from Edmonton-Amiskwacîwâskahikan, Canada.