In 2011, the CBHSSJB worked in collaboration with the Montreal Diet Dispensary on the Nutritious Food Basket project. The goal of this project was to establish the cost and availability of basic nutritious foods in the stores of Eeyou Istchee and nearby urban centers in which Eeyouch people regularly purchase foods.
Following this project, we concluded that availability of basic nutritious foods is limited in certain communities and that the cost of the Nutritious Food Basket is higher in Eeyou Istchee than in any other studied region of Quebec.
In order to improve the situation, the CBHSSJB is seeking the collaboration of different stakeholders, including the store managers of the region and the political leaders.
In fall 2014, most store managers of the region were met with to discuss the issue of access to nutritious foods in Eeyou Istchee and find potential solutions. These meetings allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of the issue and to identify multiple concrete and realistic solutions that can both help improve availability and affordability of nutritious foods in our region.
In August 2015, a presentation was made at the Cree Nation Government’s annual general assembly. Following this presentation, the CNG adopted a resolution (CNG Resolution #2015-10), in which it:
- recognizes the issue of access to nutritious foods in Eeyou Istchee,
- agrees to support the CBHSSJB in its efforts to improve access to nutritious foods, and
- agrees to form a joint CNG-CBHSSJB committee to address the issue.
Since then, the CBHSSJB has worked with the CNG to develop a Framework for Action to Improve Access to Nutritious Food in Eeyou Istchee, This Framework for Action aims to improve access to nutritious food and acknowledges the essential role that it plays in the promotion of health, food security and prevention of chronic diseases. It was adopted by the CNG through a resolution on January 24th, 2017.
The CNG and CBHSSJB are calling upon their departments, councils, committees and working groups, Band Offices, development corporations, local and regional businesses and associations, Cree School Board, schools, daycares, other Cree entities as well as suppliers and transportation companies to actively contribute to the improvement of access to affordable nutritious food in their own sectors of intervention and activities.
For more information about this project, please consult the following documents: