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Subjects: NTA, CFG

Minister Vandal announces an investment of over $90,000 through CanNor to support innovation in the agri-food sector of the Northwest Territories


Funding for the Territorial Agri-Food Association and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation support innovative solutions to strengthen Northern food systems

YELLOWKNIFE, NT, Feb. 15, 2023 /CNW/ - Everyone deserves access to affordable, fresh food, no matter where they live. That's why the government of Canada is making strategic investments to offset the high costs of labour, transportation, and socio-economic challenges that impact the ability of northerners and Indigenous peoples to grow, harvest and buy local food.

Today, on Canada's Agriculture Day, the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, PrairiesCan and CanNor, and Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament, Northwest Territories, announced an investment of $92,405 to support two agri-food related projects in the Northwest Territories. These projects focus on different aspects of Northern food systems and make use of innovative, community driven solutions. 

The Territorial Agri-Food Association is a grassroots organization that advocates for and promotes food production in NWT, and contributes to diverse employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for NWT's residents. The Association's project aims to improve knowledge sharing and collaboration between small- and medium-sized agricultural businesses to help address food insecurity issues faced by remote Northern communities in NWT. This includes planning a conference to build on this initiative.

The Inuvialuit Regional Corporation's (IRC) project focuses on creating a strategy to expand the operational capacity and production at its meat processing facility. The Inuvialuit Community Economic Development Organization (ICEDO), in close partnership with the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, manages the Beaufort Delta Reindeer Herd and operates the community-owned meat processing plant to provide Inuvialuit with traditional foods.

CanNor supports NWT's food production sector to help the territory's people and communities have better access to food and services year-round.

Quotes

"This investment is another example of our government's continued work with Northern and Indigenous partners to overcome longstanding challenges with Northern food systems. The partners we are supporting today work hard to promote food security through innovation, collaboration, and the use of local resources. By working together and responding to local priorities, we are helping find innovative, Northern solutions to address food security issues across the North and Arctic."  

? The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, PrairiesCan and CanNor

"On Canada's Agriculture Day, let's raise our forks to celebrate the resilience and commitment of our farmers. The investments announced today will improve food security in Northern regions by enabling communities to source local foods, including traditional foods, through innovative and practical solutions."

? The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

"Indigenous and Northern communities understand northern food systems and how to address food security issues in their own communities. Locally led, community-driven and culturally relevant initiatives play a crucial role in strengthening availability and access to food sources. As well, bringing together members of NWT's emerging agriculture food sector helps foster knowledge sharing and collaboration that will ultimately help improve food security and facilitate the growth of micro- and small businesses."

? Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament, Northwest Territories

"The availability of healthy, nutritious, affordable food is a fundamental requirement for a good quality of life and a strong, healthy territory. Our government has made it a priority to address food security for our residents, while also growing an important emerging sector of our economy. The Government of the Northwest Territories believes a resilient northern food system includes a local agri-food industry that is culturally relevant, complements traditional food practices and reduces reliance on imported market foods."

? The Honourable Caroline Wawzonek, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment (GNWT)

"Inuvialuit have been stewards of the land since time immemorial. Food security in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region is a key priority for IRC, and we are appreciative of the contributions and attention received from the federal government in support of our local initiatives. This support will allow Inuvialuit to further the reach of our country food processing plant and to enhance the already thriving food security work ICEDO has undertaken. IRC will use the funding to help ensure that Inuvialuit harvesters, processing plant operators, reindeer herders and all Beneficiaries have better access to food security today and long into the future."

? Duane Smith, Chair & CEC, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation 

"Our NWT agri-food entrepreneurs are resilient ?  through Covid, major environmental events and our challenging climate and soils ? and still committed to ensuring food sustainability, security and sovereignty. This conference is a chance for key connections to be made, information to be shared and innovation to be explored."

? Janet Dean, Executive Director Territorial Agrifood Association

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SOURCE Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)



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