Food :: Canada’s Food Guide for First Nations, Inuit and M?tis

The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health, and the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for M?tis and Non-Status Indians, launched the first ever national food guide for First Nations, Inuit and M?tis – ?Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide – First Nations Inuit and M?tis.?

?This is the first time that Canada’s Food Guide has been tailored nationally to reflect the unique values, traditions and food choices of Aboriginal populations,? said Minister Clement. ?As a complement to the new 2007 version of Canada’s Food Guide, this tailored food guide includes traditional food from the land and sea, and provides the best, most current information for eating well and living healthy.?

?This new food guide for First Nations, Inuit and M?tis is yet another example of how Canada’s New Government is addressing the specific needs of Canada’s Aboriginal people,? said Minister Prentice. ?This guide will be a valuable tool that will assist Aboriginal communities and Northerners in making informed healthy choices, while respecting their traditional way of life,? added Minister Prentice.

Canada’s Food Guide has been one of Canadians’ most trusted sources of information for 65 years. Over the past three years, Health Canada has consulted approximately 7000 stakeholders including dietitians, scientists, physicians and public health personnel, in order to develop the new version of Canada’s Food Guide released on February 5, 2007. National Aboriginal Organizations and intermediaries, such as nutrition professionals, confirmed their support for a nationally tailored First Nations, Inuit and M?tis food guide and have been engaged at all stages of its development. In fact, more than 400 people were consulted over the past two years.

?We are happy to see that Canada’s Food Guide has been tailored to meet the needs and considerations of Canada’s First Nations,? said National Chief Phil Fontaine of the Assembly of First Nations. ?This new tailored guide is a positive step towards improving the health of First Nations peoples but we must continue to work with the government to improve access to affordable, healthy food, especially in remote and northern communities,? added National Chief Fontaine.

?We are pleased to see ‘country food’ being recognized in the Canada Food Guide as an essential element of a nutritious diet for Inuit,? commented Mary Simon, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. ?Country food for Inuit includes caribou, Arctic Char, seal, whale, walrus, muskox, ptarmigan, and many other plants, animals, and fish. This Food Guide will be a useful tool to educate Inuit youth across the Arctic and in the South.?

?On behalf of the M?tis National Council, I would like to thank Health Canada for their clear recognition of and commitment to the health and well being of the M?tis through the publication of ?Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide – First Nations, Inuit and M?tis,? said Mr. Dale LeClair, Chief Administrative Officer, M?tis National Council. ?The M?tis National Council shares Health Canada’s commitment to good health and we will continue to work together to improve and maintain the health of the M?tis nation.?

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