I have always been fascinated by different cultures. Perhaps that is inherited by many Canadians as we grow-up in such a diverse and multicultural country. As a dietitian, I tend to look at food though a health and nutrition lens, but I also understand that food is so much more than that, it is deeply entrenched in our culture and identity.
Since moving to my new home in Inuvik, Northwest Territories last fall, I have been exposed to the distinct and rich cultures and food traditions of the Inuvialuit, Gwich’in and Dene in this corner of the Western Arctic. I learned quickly that I needed to become familiar with the food traditions of the North in order to be effective in my work as the Regional Dietitian. Little did I know about the huge variety of “country foods” that are still eaten on a daily basis including caribou, musk ox, whale, seal, berries (akpiks, blueberries, currents, cranberries, etc), geese, arctic char, ducks, arctic hare, and much more. Most of which I had never tried before moving to the North. continue reading