Indigenous Foods and Nutrition Food Sovereignty/Food Security

The information provided by National Indigenous Diabetes Association (“NIDA”) through (the “Site”) or on NIDA’s social media is for informational purposes only.

Information on the Site or social media is not medical or professional advice.

NIDA makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, regarding the adequacy, validity, or completeness of any information.

The information on the Site is for educational purposes of traditional uses and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

Statements on this Site have not been evaluated by Health Canada, and are not intended to be a substitute for medical or professional advice. NIDA shall incur no liability as a result of use of the information on the Site.

Indigenous Foods

Red Lake Nation Foods
15550 Chippewa Ave. Redby, MN 56670
Ph: 888-225-2108 Email:


Food and Nutrition

ADI Success Stories – Ontario Compilation
Beaverhouse First Nation Photo Essay
Chippewas of Nawash Food Security Photo Essay
Chippewas of Rama ADI Food Security Photo Essay
Community Garden Handbook
Keto for Beginners
Food Security Temagami First Nation
Fort Albany Food Market
Garden River Food Security Photo Essay
Harvesting in Eagle Lake
Namaygoosisgagun First Nation
MAHN Program
Mnaamodzawin Food Security Photo Essay
Mohawk of the Bay Qunite Photo Essay
Sandy Lake: A Poeple’s Tradition: Learning to Grow
Shawanaga First Nation Healing Centre’s Food Security Program
Thessalon Food Security
Wahgoshig First Nation Community Garden Photo Journal
Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide First Nations, Inuit and Metis – Health Canada (English)
Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide – First Nations, Inuit and Metis – Presentation for Educators 
Healthy Food Guidelines for First Nations Communities – First Nations Health Council (English)
Investing in Healthy Breakfast in Communities: Toolkit to healthy Breakfast Programming – NADA (English)
Sodium and Diabetes Info Sheet – NADA (English)
Safe Food Handling for Immunocompromised Individuals – Health Canada (English)
Food Procurement Food Skills Food Insecurity Fact Sheets – PROOF (English)
Addressing Food Security Mohawks of Akwesasne
Community Kitchens and Good Food Boxes
Transforming Healthy Eating Services in the BC First Nations Health Authority
Cultural Safety in Nutrition Education and Programming
Generational Investigation of Traditional Food Knowledge among First Nations Communities
Moving the NAN Food Strategy Forward
Strengthening the Capacity of Health Promotion Professionals
First Nations of North and South America Food Contributions
Living a Traditional Diet

Food Security First Nations and Inuit Background Paper by Elaine Power
This unpublished background paper on food security was prepared by Dr. Elaine Power, Queen’s University, in 2007, and is still very relevant today. It presents an overview of food security in the First Nations and Inuit context, including unique considerations. Dr. Power proposes that “cultural food security” is another level of First Nations and Inuit food security, beyond individual, household and community food security.

Aboriginal Food Security in Northern Canada: an Assessment of the State of Knowledge
Aboriginal Food Security in Northern Canada: An Assessment of the State of Knowledge, a report released in March 2014 by the Council of Canadian Academies, provides a comprehensive overview of the food security situation in the north but is also applicable to Aboriginal populations in other areas of Canada.

Evaluating Outcomes of Community Food Actions: A Guide
Measurement & Analysis Companion Document
Appendix A – Evaluation Planning Worksheets
The purpose of this Guide is to provide people involved in Community Food Actions (CFAs) with practical tools, resources, and strategies to evaluate outcomes. More specifically, this Guide is focused on CFAs that are aiming to reduce barriers to food access (either through policy and systems change work and/or through addressing the needs of individuals). You may also wish to visit the website for additional information at

Ten-year study which assesses food consumption, nutrient intake, overweight and obesity, food security status, and environmental contaminants exposure through water and traditional foods. For more information visit their website at

Income-Related Food Insecurity in Canada
This publication includes information about food insecurity prevalence and severity for Aboriginal people aged 19-50 years old living off-reserve in the 10 provinces in 2004. For more information visit their website

How Big Is One Serving Diabetes Care Sheet – NADA (English)

Diabetes Prevention This resource promotes the message of healthy eating. As a Haudenosaunee cultural message the Three Sisters are the Corn, Beans and Squash are the main foods that taught food as medicine for all our people throughout their cycle of life. Grow, hunt, fish and gather our foods with great respect to have a healthy body, mind and spirit.

Diabetes & Healthy Eating This hand-out shows aspects of healthy eating such as meal planning, carbohydrates and calories counting and portion sizes.

Grocery List This is a resource developed by the Heart & Stroke Foundation that provides tips in a grocery store in terms of healthier food choices. Please use this list when you go grocery shopping.

Healthy Eating Poster This poster is developed by the Six Nations Health Services to raise awareness and consumption of natural and healthy foods.

Nutrition Resource This resource, developed by the Vancouver Island Health Authority, raises awareness of good nutrition and includes an easy way to read food labels in stores.

Nutrition Tips for Those with Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease is a resource provided by the Northern Saskatchewan Health Services. It is great resource for people with diabetes who need to prevent and manage kidney disease. It contains excellent nutrition tips people can use daily to better their kidney health.

Tree of Life Food Guide This resource promotes traditional foods based on the Haudenosaunee cultural teachings to teach the importance of food as medicine.

Traditional Food Factsheets This resource provides information traditional food use, traditional harvesting, recipes and nutrition messages

What’s on Your Plate is a resource that is being used by nutritionists in British Columbia to increase awareness of everyday foods versus sometimes foods. This is a great resource to use and share with community members.

The following materials formed a food security workshop that was given at NADA’s Community Diabetes Prevention Worker Continuing Education Forum in 2011. They may be used and/or adapted for other audiences, and provide a great start for thinking about how communities might begin to address food security issues, for example through community planning and initiatives that help improve healthy food access and availability.

Food Security Presentation view the speaker notes by pointing a cursor to the icon in the right upper corner.

Promising practice handout
Food security facilitator’s manual
Our food in Hopedale
Conceptual model

Nuu-Chah-Nulth Wellness
Nuu-Chah-Nulth Wellness Channel aims to share wellness videos with community members to embrace the Nuu-Chah-Nulth way of health through connection and the sharing of knowledge.

Nuu-Chah-Nulth Resources 

Food Sovereignty / Food Security

GIFTS FROM OUR RELATIONS INDIGENOUS ORIGINAL FOODS GUIDE- The National Indigenous Diabetes Association (NIDA) presents this resource booklet entitled “Gifts from our Relations”, which consists of commonly consumed traditional foods (plants/animals) that are Indigenous to our lands.

Through this resource, NIDA honours 18 foods that are important to various Indigenous Peoples throughout Turtle Island. Though our diets have changed significantly, the benefits of eating original foods remain the same. They are highly nutritious, which keeps us strong and healthy, and the hunting, fishing, trapping, and gathering of original food keeps us physically active and spiritually grounded. These are all parts of living a healthy life. Our personal health is something we have the power to change. It is the condition we keep our bodies in, and results directly from what we eat and how active we are.

The purpose is to create an easy-to-read, visual resource with practical information that anyone can use for nutritional information on these foods and plants. Overall, it will foster discussions around original food consumption as a means of reducing the incidence and prevalence of type 2 diabetes in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities, as well as providing information for those living with diabetes and looking to self-manage through diet. This information can also be useful for Registered Dietitians to provide to clients. The goal is to promote consumption of original foods for improved diabetes management and to strengthen cultural identity among First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.

Original Foods Guide

CADEAUX DENOS RELATIONS GUIDE DES ALIMENTS AUTOCHTONES D’ORIGINE- L’Association nationale autochtone du diabète présente cette brochure de ressources intitulée Cadeaux de nos relations, qui traite d’aliments traditionnels (plantes ou animaux) communément consommés et qui sont indigènes à nos territoires.

Dans la présente ressource, l’Association nationale autochtone du diabète met à l’honneur 18 aliments qui sont importants pour divers peuples autochtones de l’Île de la Tortue. Même si notre alimentation a beaucoup changé, les bienfaits pour la santé des aliments d’origine demeurent les mêmes. Ce sont des aliments très nutritifs qui maintiennent notre vitalité et notre santé, et les activités de chasse, de pêche, de piégeage et de cueillette qui leur sont associées nous maintiennent physiquement actifs et bien enracinés sur le plan spirituel. Tout cela fait partie d’un mode de vie sain. Notre santé personnelle est quelque chose que nous avons le pouvoir de changer. C’est l’état dans lequel nous maintenons notre corps et qui découle directement de ce que nous mangeons et de notre degré d’activité.

L’objectif est de produire une ressource visuelle facile à lire contenant de l’information pratique que tout le monde peut utiliser pour trouver des données nutritionnelles sur ces aliments et ces plantes. De manière générale, elle favorisera le débat sur la consommation d’aliments d’origine comme moyen de réduire l’incidence et la prévalence du diabète de type 2 dans les communautés des Premières Nations, inuites et métisses, et elle fournira de l’information aux diabétiques qui souhaitent gérer leur maladie par l’alimentation. Les diététistes pourront eux aussi y trouver de l’information utile à leurs clients. Le but est d’encourager la consommation d’aliments d’origine pour améliorer la gestion du diabète et renforcer l’identité culturelle des communautés des Premières Nations, inuites et métisses.


Article – “Undermined at every turn: the lie of the failed native farm on the Prairies:

Food Sovereignty Assessment Tool, 2nd Edition

How Sweet Is It? Calories and Teaspoons of Sugar in 12 Ounces of Each Beverage

Native Foods and Health Fact Sheets

Native Infusion: Rethink Your Drink – A Guide to Ancestral Beverages:

NIZHÓNÍGO ÍÍNÁ – Cooking with Navajo Traditional Foods

Oneida Cookbook – Traditional and Healthy Foods for Our Community

Seeds of Native Health – created and funded by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) is a major philanthropic effort to improve the nutrition of Native Americans across the country

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National Indigenous Diabetes Association Inc.
202-160 Provencher Blvd
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
R2H 0G3

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