Overall Goals

The goal of the network is to;

  • advance the Food Security and Self-Sufficiency of Northern Communities;
  • increase training and research in increasing plant low temperature stress resistance.

Main Activities

The Thematic Network on Northern Food Security is divided into two sections; Outreach and Engagement and Academic Programming.

Outreach and Engagement

The Outreach and Engagement section organizes conferences and workshops to increase cooperation and connect different interest groups, discuss challenges and/or barriers in key areas in addition to solutions and opportunities present.

Academic Programming

The Academic Programming section is responsible for organizing courses and programs for students while facilitating student exchange between institutions. The Academic program has been active since 2007, where the first students participated in one of the network’s courses.

Publications

Natcher, David, 2020. Arctic Food Production – Opportunities in the Canadian North for the North. A Canadian Addendum to the Arctic Council SDWG’s The Arctic as a Food Producing Region Report (available upon request). See the Food export map.

Action Canada, 2019. Food Innovation in Canada’s North: A Case for a Social Enterprise Cluster 

Yang, Yang, Jill Hobbs and David C. Natcher, 2020. Assessing Consumer Willingness to Pay for Arctic Food Products. Food Policy, on-line first https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodpol.2020.101846

Greening Canada’s Arctic food system: Local food procurement strategies for combating food insecurity, Angel Chen and David Natcher.

Food Security Governance in the Arctic-Barents Region (2018), Hossain, Kamrul, Raheem, Dele, Cormier, Shaun (eds).

The Network has published a book on Indigenous Youth, Climate Change and Food Culture. This book explores the extraordinary abundance and diversity of the food culture of the indigenous people living in the High North and presents an overview of the culinary world of these people in a single volume. The book can be read and downloaded here

Current and Planned Activities

  • Increase institutional partnership between the TN on Northern Food Security and other UArctic member organizations and the Circumpolar Agriculture Conference.
  • Organize conferences
  • Continuously facilitate student and faculty exchange programs
  • Expression of interest: COLLABORATION IN AN ARCTIC FOODS INNOVATION CLUSTER (AFIC) PROPOSAL. Please read the call here.

Other Projects:

  • Blue Bioeconomy and the Arctic Region - Opportunities and Obstacles
    Communities in the Arctic Region have in common that they have many opportunities in economic growth based on their access to natural resources. Utilization of living marine resources is a major economic factor in coastal communities, often referred to as the Blue Bioeconomy. The goals of the project include:
    1. Focus on opportunities, best practices and obstacles relating to the Blue Bioeconomy in the Arctic.
    2. Make Blue Bioeconomy success stories from the Arctic available to the region as a whole.
    3. Identify and collect information on obstacles to further growth of the Blue Bioeconomy in the Arctic.
  • During the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø in January 2020, the Arctic Council – Sustainable Development Working Group hosted a Side Event: A source for Arctic optimism: The Blue Bioeconomy. See the photos here.
  • A new project supported by the Arctic Council - Sustainable Development Working Group is focusing on The Nexus between Water, Energy, Food (WEF) and Indigenous Livelihoods in the Arctic. This project is focused on the nexus between water (SDG 2)–energy (SDG 6)–food (SDG 7) (WEF), where interactions and interdependencies require cross-sectoral consideration. This research will also advance a novel approach to WEF Nexus research that explicitly includes Indigenous livelihoods into a system where environmental-livelihood interactions are prevalent and sustainable solutions are made possible.  

  • Traditional Animal Foods of Indigenous Peoples in North America, Harriet V. Kuhnlein and Murray M. Humphries: Indigenous Peoples have an implicit understanding of food security and sustainable diets derived from place-based knowledge and livelihoods spanning thousands of years. This web publication has the purpose to describe and to reference the published literature on traditional animal foods known and used by Indigenous Peoples of northern North America. 

  • Program offered on Country Food Processing Methods Focuses on Value-Added Techniques: The Inuvialuit Community Economic Development Organization (ICEDO) has prepared a month-long offering of the Country Food Processing Methods course. Six 10-day courses are being held in Inuvialuit Settlement Region communities from September through December 2017, with participants attending from each of the Beaufort Delta’s eight communities. For more information on these courses and registration, click here.