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// Films // A Right to Eat

A Right to Eat

Janelle Wookey & Jeremie Wookey / Canada / 2015 / 49 ' / Cree - English / S.T. English

Credits

Janelle Wookey & Jeremie Wookey
Christopher Paetkau & Trevor Gill
Janelle Wookey & Jeremie Wookey
Trina Halkett

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A deeply intimate look at the frightening realities of food insecurity as faced by two of Canada’s most isolated northern First Nation communities.

Synopsis

Northern Manitoba: With a jug of milk ringing in at over $14 in some of the provinces lowest income communities, it’s not difficult to imagine how grocery bills can account for up to 80% of the household budget or why Diabetes rates have hit 50% in some regions of the north. Local studies have shown that food insecurity rates in northern Manitoba are coming in between 70% and 80%. That’s approximately eight times the national average. Poor diets and restricted access to fresh, healthy foods are having a devastating impact on peoples mental and physical health.

In the wake of increasing media attention to the issue and growing public awareness, food security support programs have seen encouraging success in Manitoba. Special programs funded under the Northern Healthy Food Initiative are helping community members dig deep into their ancestral roots to re-ignite a hereditary skill for raising their own food from the land through gardening, farming, fishing and hunting.

In Cross Lake First Nation, the new Chicken Club is seeing almost 3000 lbs of fresh, locally- raised chicken meat being distributed through the community each year. In Barren Lands First Nation, community-run fields of potatoes, onions, lettuce and tomatoes are saving families thousands of dollars in inflated grocery bills.

Both communities are enjoying a renewed sense of connection and camaraderie. Participants have a greater sense of pride over what they feed their families and meaningful dialogue between elders and young people is having an extremely positive social effect.

A RIGHT TO EAT follows two families in their fight to put healthy food on the table. A deeply intimate look at the frightening realities of food insecurity as faced by two of Canada’s most isolated northern First Nation communities and their courageous battle against hunger, disease and dependency.

 

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