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Food Literacy in Indigenous Communities in Ontario

Date: May 11th, 2017

Location: Online

Presentation Slides

Food Literacy in Indigenous Communities in Ontario
Wawakapewin First Nations Food Literacy Initiatives
Anishnawbe Mushkiki 

Promoting food literacy enables healthy eating and may help reduce the burden of chronic diseases among Ontario’s Indigenous peoples. Since food and culture are intrinsically linked, community food literacy programming may also promote Indigenous identity, self-esteem, social bonding and other benefits beyond providing good nutrition. In this webinar, you will hear about different kinds of community food literacy programs that are currently operating in Ontario. You will also learn about program content, logistics, barriers, evaluation and recommendations for running your own food literacy program among Indigenous peoples.

Objectives of this webinar:

  • To learn about food literacy programs in Indigenous communities
  • To discuss challenges and barriers to food literacy programming in your community
  • To Identify best practices & enabling factors to increase success in implementing food literacy programming 

Overall goal of Unpacking Food Literacy series

To learn more about food literacy programming happening at the community level across Ontario. To capture promising practices for food literacy delivery, described by community facilitators, for their communities and target populations.


Lynn Roblin, Nutrition Resource Centre 

Lynn is the Senior Policy Consultant for the Nutrition Resource Centre at the Ontario Public Health Association. She focuses on health promotion, food literacy, healthy eating and nutrition policy and program development. Lynn will provide highlights of interviews with facilitators of community food skills programs in several Indigenous communities across Ontario. Information about barriers and facilitators and what worked best for food skills program in Indigenous communities will be shared.

Arlene Meekis-Jung, Special Projects Advisor, Wawakapewin First Nation

Arlene brings a wide variety of experience to her small community of Wawakapewin. Food security is a passion borne of necessity, as she lives in a float plane access only community where freight costs can be as much as $6.50 per pound. Currently, she functions as the Special Projects Advisor and assists her community members with meeting the food security challenges through initiatives such as community gardens, innovative preparation methods for traditional foods and procurement strategies. Arlene has worked in the fields of economic development (specifically tourism and small business entrepreneurship), social services and youth centres. As the Board Chair for the Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund for the past four years, she has talked consistently about economic development as the foundation which we need to build in order to alleviate the social problems in our communities. Food security is an integral piece of that puzzle.


Emma Ueffing, RD CDE, Anishnawbe Mushkiki Community Health and Wellness Clinic

Emma has a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from the University of Prince Edward Island. Through UPEI she completed her Integrated Dietetic Internship with placement on PEI and in Nova Scotia. Shortly after, she moved to Thunder Bay, Ontario, in 2015 where she began working in a Diabetes Management Program at Anishnawbe Mushkiki Aboriginal Health Access Center and obtained a CDE designation. Emma has a joint responsibility for primary care and population health functions. She conducts comprehensive nutritional assessments, education, counseling and the continuous monitoring and evaluation of clients as well as participation in planning, implementation and evaluation of programs and policies.

Kathleen Shaw, Anishnawbe Mushkiki Community Health and Wellness Clinic 

Kathleen graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor of Nutritional Sciences from McGill University, where she also completed her Integrated Dietetic Internship. Her first place of employment was as a community Dietitian with Noojmowin Teg Aboriginal Health Access Centre on Manitoulin Island, Ontario. Family brought her back home to Thunder Bay, Ontario in 2011. She was able to continue her passion of working within Aboriginal health when she joined the team at Anishnawbe Mushkiki. Kathleen works mostly in primary care, with a multi-disciplinary team lead by Nurse Practitioners, where she is involved in the nutritional assessment and management of clientele, but also spreads her reach beyond the clinic doors into program planning, delivery and evaluation.


Aboriginal Food Skills Programming – Background and Key Informant Interviews Summary (Nutrition Resource Centre)

Increasing Indigenous Children’s Access to Traditional Foods in Early Childhood Programs (BC Aboriginal Child Care Society and BC Provincial Health Services Authority)

Cooking Basics for Kids – First Nations Edition (Health Canada)

Cooking with the Good Food Box (Thunder Bay District Health Unit )

Healthy Eating Can Be Fun – Interactive Nutrition Activities for Health Educators Working with Aboriginal Children and Youth (Health Canada)

Nutrition Fact Sheet – Traditional Foods (National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health)


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