Aims: The promotion of healthy living and chronic disease prevention are predicated on the ability of individuals and communities to make healthy choices. Having access to nutritious affordable food is one of the conditions required to make such choices possible but one that is too often not available, especially to families in remote regions of Canada. The present paper reviews food security issues as they pertain to indigenous communities, particularly in northern Manitoba, and describes community and government approaches to tackling food insecurity.
Method: A narrative review was formed drawing on international literature and Canadian research and practice.
Results: Strategies such as those described above have the potential to significantly enhance access to affordable, nutritious food in Northern Communities thereby improving food security, healthy living and preventing chronic disease.
Conclusions: Community-based action combined with structural changes and a supportive policy environment hold out the prospect of changing the conditions of food access that underlie the ultimate success of healthy living and chronic disease prevention efforts. While there appears to be a growing interest in local food production and the reintroduction of traditional foods to the diet, an important key to successful change is the engagement of youth, whose food habits and preferences have been heavily influenced by mainstream commercial food culture.