The Inuit and their Traditional Foods
The remote Hamlet of Pangnirtung on Baffin Island in Nunavut is home to approximately 1400 Inuit. In 2008, the community was involved in a Traditional Foods Project, including a video. In the video, community members and Elders stress the importance of passing on traditional knowledge as a way for youth to learn survival skills and increase local food security in face of rapid environmental change.
Eighty percent of adults still have traditional or country foods as a main part of their diet, and eat foods like rabbit, ptarmigan, caribou, seal and arctic char. Only forty percent of youth eat traditional or country foods. Many youth in Pangnirtung prefer to purchase foods that are high in carbohydrates, full of sugar and trans fats. Community members, Elders, youth and community health specialists were interviewed to discuss the importance of promoting country food that promotes good health. Health screenings of participating youth and adults helped determine the nutritional value of country foods.