New IHACC paper looking at food insecurity in Iqaluit, Nunavut published in International Journal of Circumpolar Health

by Michelle

Guo, Y., Berrang-Ford, L., Ford, J., Lardeau, MP., Edge, V., Patterson K., the IHACC Research Team, and Harper, S. (2015). Seasonal prevalence and determinants of food insecurity in Iqaluit, Nunavut. International Journal of Circumpolar Health.

Background. Food insecurity is an ongoing problem in the Canadian Arctic. Although most studies have focused on smaller communities, little is known about food insecurity in larger centres.

Objectives. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of food insecurity during 2 different seasons in Iqaluit, the territorial capital of Nunavut, as well as identify associated risk factors.

Design. A modified United States Department of Agriculture Food Security Survey was applied to 532 randomly selected households in September 2012 and 523 in May 2013. Chi-square tests and multivariable logistic regression were used to examine potential associations between food security and 9 risk factors identified in the literature.

Results. In September 2012, 28.7% of surveyed households in Iqaluit were food insecure, a rate 3 times higher than the national average, but lower than smaller Inuit communities in Nunavut. Prevalence of food insecurity in September 2012 was not significantly different in May 2013 (27.2%). When aggregating results from Inuit households from both seasons (May and September), food insecurity was associated with poor quality housing and reliance on income support (p<0.01). Unemployment and younger age of the person in charge of food preparation were also significantly associated with food insecurity. In contrast to previous research among Arctic communities, gender and consumption of country food were not positively associated with food security. These results are consistent with research describing high food insecurity across the Canadian Arctic. Conclusion. The factors associated with food insecurity in Iqaluit differed from those identified in smaller communities, suggesting that experiences with, and processes of, food insecurity may differ between small communities and larger commercial centres. These results suggest that country food consumption, traditional knowledge and sharing networks may play a less important role in larger Inuit communities.

Anna Bunce presented at the Canadian Anthropological Society (CASCA) annual meeting at University Laval

by Michelle

Anna Bunce presented her work at the Canadian Anthropological Society (CASCA) annual meeting at University Laval in Quebec City last Wednesday. Her talk, titled “Inuit Women’s Berry Picking: Lessons on Gender, Procurement, Well-­Being and the Environment/La cueillette de petits fruits chez les femmes inuites: leçons sur le genre, l’approvisionnement, le bien-­être et l’environnement” explored the relationships Inuit women have with berry picking across Canada’s north based on the findings of her own research along with that of Drs. Martha Dowsley (Lakehead University), and Scott Heyes (University of Canberra). Why has berry picking persisted among Inuit women? What role does berry picking play in the lives and identities of Inuit women? These questions were explored in the Re-Conception of Landscapes Session on May 13th.

Apex River, Iqaluit. Photo by Anna Bunce

Apex River, Iqaluit. Photo by Anna Bunce

Kate Bishop-Williams at the Yale University Global Health Conference on March 28th

by Michelle

On Saturday March 28th, Kate Bishop-Williams presented her research entitled Seasonal changes in prevalence of acute gastrointestinal illness and concurrent respiratory symptoms in Rigolet, Nunatsiavut, Canada at the Yale University Global Health Innovations Conference in New Haven, Connecticut. Kate’s abstract was selected as one of only 65 student posters from hundreds of submissions from across the United States and around the world.

Kate also had the opportunity to meet with former IHACC student researcher Joe Lewnard while at Yale University, and discuss experiences from past and present in Uganda.