Welcome to First Nations Food, Nutrition & Environment Study (FNFNES)

2021-10-21: The FNFNES is pleased to announce the release of the Key Findings and Recommendations for Decision-makers of the First Nations Food, Nutrition and Environment Study (FNFNES)

The FNFNES partners urge decision-makers to use the key findings and recommendations, being released the week after World Food Day, to inform policies and programs to address First Nations food insecurity and sovereignty. The six primary recommendations are:
1. Support initiatives promoting First Nations rights, sovereignty, self-determination, values and culture.
2. Prioritize protecting the environment, First Nations lands, waters and territories.
3. Build capacity to eliminate barriers to proper nutrition, reducing food insecurity.
4. Improve partnerships, collaboration and communication between First Nations and all levels of government, as well as partnerships between First   Nations to support sharing information about food, nutrition and the environment.
5. Support continuing research, education and public awareness.
6. Create a First Nations-led joint national task force or committee to plan how to implement these recommendations.

Also see the final Summary of Findings and Recommendations for eight Assembly of First Nations regions 2008-2018 

2021-06-28- The FNFNES team is excited to release a 14-article special issue of the Canadian Journal of Public Health dedicated exclusively to the methodology and findings from the First Nations Food, Nutrition, and Environment Study. 

See Foreword by Former National Chief Perry Bellegarde. In his Invited CommentaryDr. Evan Adams, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Public Health for Indigenous Services Canada discusses the significance of this reserach partnership.

The FNFNES COMPREHENSIVE FINAL REPORT and Key Findings and recommendations for policy makers will be available soon. The draft report is available for download here.

Also, check out the newly released FNFNES Final Report for Eight Assembly of First Nations Regions: Comprehensive Technical Report – Supplemental Data. This supplemental report presents data on the consumption rate of traditional food and the concentrations of essential elements, toxic elements and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP) measured in the collected traditional food samples by region and ecozone. 

Study overview 

Over the past 40 years, Canada has conducted Health and Nutrition Surveys and Total Diet Studies among the general Canadian population to better understand changes in diets and to assess the environmental safety of store-bought foods. Prior to FNFNES, First Nations people living on-reserve had not been included.

Built on collaborative research with 92 First Nations across the country, the FNFNES highlights that traditional foods remain foundational to First Nations’ health and well-being, and that the quality of traditional food is superior to store bought food. However, due to environmental degradation, socioeconomic, systemic and regulatory barriers, many First Nations face three to five times the rate of food insecurity than the Canadian population overall. Families with children are affected to an even greater degree.

Using an ecozone sampling framework, the FNFNES aims to gather information from 100 randomly selected First Nation communities across Canada about: 

  • Current traditional and store bought food use 
  • Food security 
  • Nutrient values and environmental chemical hazards in traditional foods
  • Heavy metals and pharmaceutical metabolites in drinking and surface water

Has your community participated in the FNFNES? Check out the Regional Timelines section of the Document Download page to see when FNFNES was in your region. 

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Survey

DRINKING water

Tap water will be sampled for trace metals

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SURFACE water

Surface water will be sampled for pharmaceuticals.

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TRADITIONAL Food

Traditional food samples will be collected based on information collected from dietary questionnaires

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MERCURY in hair

Hair will be collected from participants, packaged, stapled in a plastic bag, and sent for laboratory analysis for mercury (Total and MeHg)

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HOUSEHOLD interviews

Household interviews include food frequency and food security questionnaires, 24-hr diet recall, and social/health/lifestyle questionnaires

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