DREAM-GLOBAL: Planning and Implementing a Food Procurement Policy for Healthy Nutrition

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Gwich'in Settlement Area

Tags: social sciences, traditional food, community engagement, health awareness, nutrition

Principal Investigator: Campbell, Norman (1)
Licence Number: 15317
Organization: University of Calgary
Licensed Year(s): 2013
Issued: Aug 08, 2013
Project Team: Nancy Perkins (Research Co-ordinator , Sunnybrook Health Sciences Ctr), Diane Hua (Project Manager , Sunnybrook Health Sciences Ctr ), Sheldon Tobe (Investigator, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Ctr)

Objective(s): To introduce a healthier food program to Aklavik by working with community partners.

Project Description: The primary goal of the project is to introduce a healthier food program to Aklavik by working with community partners. The DREAM-GLOBAL research team, Aklavik Community Corporation, local health committee, as well as other partners will develop a plan to support programs and policies that will increase the awareness and availability of healthy foods and especially traditional foods, wherever possible. The role of the team will be to support the community activities.

The Northern and Stanton stores have very generously provided their inventory lists to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, who will provide an analysis of the nutritional content for the foods as well as recommend alternative options based on factors such as cost and availability. The most popular food choices (determined by the community, such as a “top 10” list) will be targeted for the food swap/’store makeover’ initiative. Alternative choices suggested will try to provide a healthier, lower sodium alternative at a similar price point.

Partnerships with store managers and community stakeholders will help prioritize and promote a small set of healthier food options through such activities as taste tests, food demonstrations, cooking demonstrations, etc. Community residents will help determine what foods to change and in what order they will be introduced.

The community of Aklavik, including organizations such as the health committee, school, local grocery stores, health centre and others will be directly involved in Dream-Global. The purpose of Dream-Global is to help support a northern community to develop and implement a program that supports healthier food options. Healthier foods may include an increase in traditional foods or changes in the types of foods imported from the south.

Consultations with the community as well as other regional, territorial and national organizations in regard to this project have all been very positive. A small working group was established November 25, 2012 in order to begin discussing the project and arranging a visit to Aklavik to meet with the community, present the project and determine interest in involvement. The project team met with between 15 – 20 community representatives, such as store managers, the school principal, health centre staff, community leaders, physicians and dietitian from Inuvik and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region.

Due to the focus on community involvement and support, there was support, as well as input and recommendations, for this project. Local involvement will mean direct partnerships with food retailers, schools and many other organizations.

The research team consulted with numerous community members and leaders during a recent site visit. Consensus from the community visit indicated that that interim updates are important, therefore, updates will be provided to the community every 3 months via monitoring and information reports provided to the leadership, who will then share them with the community. The reports will include monitoring data on food purchasing patterns, shelf placement, progress on implementation, food options, etc. Community members will be invited to provide feedback and changes will be incorporated into project modifications on an on-going basis.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from August 7, 2013 to December 31, 2013.