CC-IFS3 Principal Investigator Named Minister of Health for Peru


CC-IFS3 Principal Investigator, Dr. Patricia Garcia, was named the Minister of Health for Peru on July 28, 2016.  

Dr. Garcia’s health priorities as the new Minister of Health are outlined in an article recently published in the Lancet.  The article opens by setting the Peruvian health stage, outlining health-related challenges, including environmental health challenges, including food availability and safety in the Amazon.  Then, the article outlines Dr. Garcia’s priorities as the new Minister, including an emphasis on women in the Amazonian, as well as using innovative app technologies to promote health, which nicely reflect her role in the CC-IFS3 program.  The article can be accessed here.

Dr. Garcia was the former Chair of Peru’s National Institute of Health, as well as the Dean of the School of Public Health.

We are excited to work with Dr. Garcia in her new role.  We look forward to the contributions she will make to the intersectoral CC-IFSprogram, as she transitions from a program academic-investigator to a Principal Knowledge User.

Congratulations Patty!


Food is Belonging

This video depicts the importance of traditional food systems to the Inuit people of Iqaluit. Fishing and hunting amid the ice are community activities that strengthen support networks and provide a natural, safe, and healthy diet.

This video was filmed, produced and edited by Dylan Clark (November 2015)

Jennifer Corriero, Executive Director, TakingITGlobal
Jamie Bell, Arctic College
Dr. Andrea Breen, University of Guelph
Deb Viel, Supervisor of Public Health, GN Health
Keith Collier, Hamlet of Arviat
Charmaine Koomak, Arviat Film Society
Samuel Pauppa, Arviat Film Society
Ethan Tassiuk, Arviat Film Society
Ruth Kaviok, Arviat Film Society
Bridgette Brittney Alikasua
Celina Alikashuaq
Lois Suluk (Arviat TV)
Patricia Kablutsiaq (JAHS Student)

Special Guests Include:
Dr. Zacharias Kunuk, O.C., Isuma TV;
Tamar Mukjunik, NAC Office Administration Program;
Byron White, Nunavut Teacher Education Program/URegina (Arviat);
Stephen Snowball, Nunavut Teacher Education Program/URegina (Hall Beach)
Albert Sulurayok, `NAC Adult Educator (Arviat)
Kim Dymond, JAHS Connected North Program

Food is Belonging on Vimeo.

The Rigolet Food Sharing Project

The Rigolet Food Sharing Project was led by Kaitlyn Finner, a master’s student in the Department of Geography at McGill University.

During August, September and November of 2013, community members documented all market and wild foods that passed through their homes. In January of 2014, Kaitlyn and community research assistant Inez Shiwak met with community members to hear their reflections on the food inventory forms and process.

From May 2013 to May 2014, community members participated in photo card interviews and four sets of food inventories to assist the research team in characterizing Rigolet’s food system. During February 2015, Kaitlyn Finner and community-based researchers Inez Shiwak and Lisa Palliser-Bennett met with community members in Rigolet, Nunatsivut to hear their perspectives on food inventories and phone card interviews that were conducted over the course of the year. The research team worked to better characterize Rigolet’s food system, and understand how participatory methods can be further adapted for future food-related research in Rigolet and other interested communities.

Kaitlyn spent spent February of 2016 in Rigolet, Nunatsiavut sharing the findings of her Masters research with residents of the Labrador community. Findings of this project were shared with the community through pamphlets delivered to households and at an open house held on February 25th

The project in numbers:
16 Weeks of food inventories
27 Households
48 Participants
72 Photo cards
1,051 Wild food entries
14,969 Store food items

Despite stormy weather over 50 residents stopped by for a bowl of soup, and to hear more and discuss the project! In summary, this research engaged the community to identify the current state of its food system and helped to form the groundwork for the IFS3 program.


Knowledge Sharing Workshops in Iqaluit, Nunavut

Team members from the Arctic team were in Iqaluit on Monday April 25th, 2016 to host a workshop with participating community members and partners at the Nunavut Research Institute to share knowledge and insights gained throughout the 5 years of the Indigenous Health Adaptations to Climate Change project. Team members present included Dr. James Ford, Dr. Victoria Edge, Dr. Sherilee Harper, Dr. Ashlee Cunsolo Willox, Ms. Anna Bunce, Ms. Mya Sherman and Ms. Jolène Labbé.

Workshop participants were given a wealth of materials produced from the project, including copies of scientific papers, reports, results booklets, posters, and presentations.

We look forward to future collaborations in the community as follow-up projects begin to take shape!

Climate Change IFS3 Meeting in Montreal

From March 8th to March 9th 2016, members of the CCIFS3 team convened in Montreal for productive, insightful, and fun meetings with colleagues from Canada, Uganda and South Africa to begin planning for the Climate Change and Indigenous Food Systems, Indigenous Food Security, and Indigenous Food Safety (Climate Change IFS3) project. Dr. James Ford, Dr. Lea Berrang-Ford, Dr. Sherilee Harper, Dr. Shuaib Lwasa, Dr. Mark New, Mr. Didacus Namanya, and Ms. Michelle Maillet were all at the table at the McGill Faculty Club in this first meeting of the proposal development stage.

The team worked on developing a project proposal for phase two of researching Indigenous health adaptations to climate change, planning for another five years of work as phase one comes to an end this year. Canadian team members will soon head to Peru to meet with the team there and work on finalizing the proposal later this spring. Keep an eye out for more news on plans for phase two of the project as the team continues to build the proposal.

Canadian Inuit

Inuit Food Systems, Security, and Safety

The Inuit are the predominant Indigenous group inhabiting Canada’s Arctic. Many of their cultural practices, including food collection and preparation, are reliant upon ice coverage, which makes this group particularly vulnerable to climate change

Country foods (e.g. fish, caribou, marine mammals) are vital to the Inuit food system. The acts of harvesting, preparing, sharing, and consuming country food are foundational to many Inuit cultural values. Health benefits of country food include high nutrition value, and associations with mental wellness, cultural continuity, increased physical activity, and decreased obesity. Consumption of retail foods has increased, despite the high cost, long shipping distance, and often poor nutritional content. Inuit food insecurity is the highest in Canada. Food safety is an increasing challenge; we found the highest rates of self-reported enteric illness in the world among Canadian Inuit, with unique retail and country food risk factors.

Climate Change & Food:

The Arctic is experiencing the most dramatic climate change globally, with impacts on the migration patterns and abundance of wildlife species important in local diet, as well as impacts on the safety of country food preparation and increased retail store shipment delays.  Our research found that Inuit men reported experiencing loss of identity and purpose due to climate change reducing the ability to hunt. 2 Inuit women reported significantly higher levels of stress and anxiety than men, particularly related to loved-ones safety in unstable ice conditions.

Relevant Publications

Harper, S.L., Edge, V.L., Ford, J., Thomas, M.K., IHACC Research Group, Rigolet Inuit Community Government, and McEwen, S.A. (2015). Lived experience of acute gastrointestinal illness in Rigolet, Nunatsiavut: “Just suffer through it”. Social Science & Medicine, 126: 86-98.

Petrasek MacDonald, J., Cunsolo Willox, A., Ford, J., Baikie, M., Shiwak, I., Wood, M., the IMHACC Team, and the Rigolet Inuit Community Government (2015). Youth-Identified Protective factors in a Changing Climate: Perspectives from Inuit Youth in Nunatsiavut, Labrador. Social Science and Medicine, 133-141. DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.07.017

Petrasek MacDonald, J., Ford, J., Cunsolo Willox, A., Konek Productions, ‘My Word’: Storytelling & Digital Media Lab, Mitchell, C., and the Rigolet Inuit Community Government. (2015). Youth-Led Participatory Video as a Strategy to Enhance Inuit Youth Adaptive Capacities for Dealing with Climate Change. Arctic, 68(4), 486-499.

Harper, S.L., Edge, V.L., Ford, J., Cunsolo Willox, A., Wood, M., Thomas, K., IHACC Research Group, Rigolet Inuit Community Government, McEwen, S.A. (2015). Climate-Sensitive Health Priorities in Nunatsiavut, Canada. Revisions submitted, BMC Public Health,15:605.

Ostapchuk, J., Harpers, S., Cunsolo Willox, A., Edge, V., and the Rigolet Inuit Community Government. (2015). Climate Change Impacts on Inuit Health: Community Perceptions from Elders and Seniors in Rigolet, Nunatsiavut, Canada. International Journal of Indigenous Health, 9(2).

Ford, J., Cunsolo-Willox, A., Chatwood, S., Furgal, C., Harper, S., Mauro, I., and Pearce, T. (2014).Adapting to the effects of climate change on Inuit health. American Journal of Public Health, 104(S3): e9-e17.

Petrasek MacDonald, J,. Ford, J., Cunsolo-Willox, A., and Ross, N. (2013). A review of protective factors and causal mechanisms that enhance the mental health of Indigenous Circumpolar youth. International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 72.

Cunsolo Willox, A., Harper, S., Ford, J.D., Edge, V., Landman, K., Houle, K., Blake, S. and Wolfrey, C. (2013). Climate Change and Mental Health:  An Exploratory Case Study from Rigolet, Nunatsiavut, Labrador. Climatic Change.  DOI 10.1007/s10584-013-0875-4. Click here for paper.

Ford, J. (2012) Ford responds: Letter in response to Macpherson and Akpinar-Elci comment on Ford’s “Indigenous Health and Climate Change”. American Journal of Public Health, 103(1).

Ford, J. (2012). Indigenous health and climate change. American Journal of Public Health, 102(7): 1260-1266.

Ford J, and Pearce T (2012) Climate change vulnerability and adaptation research focusing on the Inuit subsistence sector in Canada: Directions for future research. The Canadian Geographer, 56(2): 275-287.

Ford J, Bolton KC, Shirley J, Pearce T, Tremblay M, and Westlake M (2012) Research on the Human Dimensions of Climate Change in Nunavut, Nunavik, and Nunatsiavut: A Literature Review and Gap Analysis. Arctic, 65(3): 289-304.

Cunsolo Willox, A., Harper, S., Ford, J., Landman, K., Houle, K., Edge, V., and the Rigolet Inuit Community Government (2012). “From this Place and of this Place”: Climate Change, Health, and Place in Rigolet, Nunatsiavut, Canada. Social Sciences and Medicine, 75(3), 538-547. Click here for paper.

Harper, S.,Edge, V., Cunsolo Willox, A., and the Rigolet Inuit Community Government. (2012). ‘Changing Climate, Changing Health, Changing Stories’ Profile: Using an EcoHealth Approach to Explore Impacts of Climate Change on Inuit Health. EcoHealth, 9(1), 89-101.Click here for paper.

Petrasek MacDonald, J., Harper, S., Cunsolo Willox, A., and the Rigolet Inuit Community Government (2012). A Necessary Voice: Considering Climate Change through the Lived Experience of Inuit Youth in Rigolet, Nunatsiavut, Canada.  Global Environmental Change. Click here for paper.

Ford J, Bolton KC, Shirley J, Pearce T, Tremblay M, and Westlake M (2012) Mapping human dimensions of climate change research in the Canadian Arctic. Ambio, 41(8): 808-822.