NUNAVUMMIUT SPEAK OUT TO THEIR FAMILIES
‘Feeding My Family’ Organizers
Three years ago, communities across Nunavut joined together to speak out against the
shockingly high food prices in the north, protesting in front of local grocery stores. This was the
first time such actions had been organized in the remote, fly-in communities of Canada’s
northernmost territory; Feeding My Family (FMF) is the movement that grew out of these
protests. The Facebook site quickly grew to over 20,000 members, and FMF has provided a
forum for Nunavummiut to come together to share personal struggles and expose the impacts of
hunger in the north. Members have been posting photos of the exorbitant food costs in the
north, showing prices as high as $28 for a head of cabbage and $99 for a whole fish.
Nunavut is the home of the Inuit, and its small population has survived from hunting, fishing,
and gathering. Traditional practices are strong and hunting for sustenance remains an important
part of life, but a legacy of colonization (such as the permanent settlements and residential
schools) is that Inuit cannot eat as their ancestors did. Many hunters cannot afford the cost of
hunting equipment, and country foods harvested from the land must now be supplemented with
store-bought foods. There are many statistics on hunger in Nunavut, including estimates that
70% of households are food insecure. But beyond statistics, FMF aims to bring out the voices
behind these numbers, serving as a space for Nunavummiut to speak out about how hunger is
affecting their families.
One member posted, “…saw three kids eating at the dump. [I] told them not to eat at the dump
that there going to get sick. [O]ne kid said… price too high mom can’t really buy good food too
much. Told the kids hop on my honda we’re going my place I will cook something for you to eat
proper food not outdated food from the dump… my heart broke to pieces when I saw them
eating at the dump...”.
The “Feeding My Family” Facebook Group was founded in 2012 by Leesee Papatsie in Iqaluit, Nunavut.