Health, Health Promotion, Environmental Health
- Aboriginal Health, Remote and Northern Health
- Food Security, Food Systems, Nutrition in Children and Youth
- Knowledge Exchange (Knowledge Transfer, Knowledge Translation)
- Program Evaluation
Prevalence and Perceptions of Food Insecurity and Coping Strategies in
Fort Albany First Nation, Ontario
My PhD research focused on food insecurity in remote First Nations communities. Food insecurity has been described as an urgent and pervasive public health issue for Aboriginal people in Canada. However, National health surveys have generally excluded a large portion of the Aboriginal population (First Nations living on‐reserve and Inuit), resulting in limited data on food insecurity in these individuals and communities. In addition, scales for measuring food insecurity have not been validated in Canadian Aboriginal populations. Food security challenges faced by Aboriginal people living in remote communities are unique; few studies have examined food insecurity in this population.
In response, the overall objective of my dissertation was to examine various aspects of food insecurity in the remote, on-reserve First Nations community of Fort Albany, Ontario. This research used both quantitative and qualitative methodology to evaluate the prevalence of food insecurity, the perceptions of and coping strategies for food insecurity, and two local programs that have the potential to affect food security: the school nutrition program and a greenhouse/gardening project. The final piece involved the development of and feedback on a supplemental component to the current Household Food Security Survey Module (HFSSM).
The knowledge gained from my dissertation can inform strategies and program planning activities and help to advocate for policies at the local, provincial and federal levels to assess, build and strengthen community food security, specifically in remote Aboriginal communities. This research builds on other diet‐related research with similar target groups, has direct relevance to those working with Fort Albany and other remote communities, and results will be used as pilot work to direct modifications to the HFSSM.
Another area of research interest is the development of tools to assess knowledge exchange between knowledge producers (e.g. researchers) and knowledge users (e.g. practitioners). My publication on this topic, Developing a Tool to Measure Knowledge Exchange Outcomes, has received attention from a wide variety of organizations, including groups outside of Canada (e.g., Australia), who are interested in adapting and using the tool.