Illunnata campaign shines light on food insecurity in the North 

PSAC members and their communities are invited to show Canadians what northern food insecurity looks like by taking part in PSAC’s new campaign, Illunnata, which means “all of us” in Inuktitut. Because all of us deserve food security.  

We're asking members and their communities to submit photos showing what food insecurity looks like in the North — grocery store price signs, sticker tags of food prices, grocery receipts, examples of what $100 can buy. Show the rest of Canada what food insecurity looks like for you. 

After collecting stories from Inuit Nunangat and northern communities across Canada and consulting community members and organizations, our goal is to turn this awareness into action by amplifying the work of our partner organizations, including Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. ITK has developed a food security strategy to end hunger and advance Inuit food sovereignty by securing a sustainable food system that ensures access to affordable, nutritious, safe and culturally preferred foods. Illunnata aims to add more voices to their calls to action. 

“Food insecurity in Inuit Nunangat and northern communities across Canada has reached a crisis point, and COVID-19 has only made it worse,” said Chris Aylward, PSAC national president. “To achieve real change, we need more Canadians to see the realities of northern food insecurity and to take action — and with Illunnata, we’re doing just that.” 

The causes of northern food insecurity are numerous and complex, but the high cost of food is a major factor. A box of rice (1.4 kg) in Toronto costs $6.99, but the same box in Iqaluit costs $10.19 (after the $6.27 subsidy). A carton of juice (1.75 L) costs $4.49 in Toronto, but three times as much in Iqaluit ($12.79 after a $1.94 subsidy). The Nutrition North food subsidy program itself has been highly criticized as incomplete, unsustainable, and ineffective to support Inuit self-determination. 

The Illunnata campaign started after delegates at the 2018 PSAC National Convention passed a resolution calling for a campaign to lobby public authorities to redesign the Nutrition North Canada Program to provide greater access to traditional and country foods and make food more affordable in grocery stores across northern communities. 

Hungry for justice? Take action now at (available in English, French, and Inuktitut). 


February 18, 2022