Nov 20th, 2018 – Food Insecurity through Indigenous Perspectives

We are excited for this upcoming webinar which will overview food insecurity through Indigenous perspectives.

Karen Fediuk and  Suzanne Johnson will discuss: 

  • A review some of the relevant food security and nutrition research undertaken with First Nations Peoples.
  • Some of the core aspects that influence food security/insecurity through an Indigenous lens.
  • New studies on food security in community

Melanie Kurrein will talk about:

  • The latest research on household food insecurity and discussing how household food insecurity is framed in Canada.
  • Updates on food insecurity literature at PHSA
  • She will look at how the current discourse of household food insecurity may/may not apply to the Indigenous context and will ask some questions that are yet to be answered. 
  • Melanie will open the dialogue by providing the latest research on household food insecurity (HFI) and discussing how HFI is framed in Canada.
  • She will look at how the current discourse of HFI may/may not apply to the Indigenous context and will ask some questions that are yet to be answered.


Thank you for everyone’s interest and participation, this session’s Video is now available for viewing!

Date: Tuesday, November 20th, 2018 (PST
Time: 10 a.m. to 11:30 am
Where: Videoconference OR internet webinar.
View system requirements


Meet Our Presenters:

Megan Dark, RD CDE

Indigenous Health Dietitian & Certified Diabetes Educator

Megan is an indigenous health dietitian for the six member nations of the Tŝilhqot’in Nation in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region west of Williams Lake. The Tŝilhqot’in Nation is one of the first tribal organizations to bring on a staff dietitian to help address the food and nutrition challenges faced in this remote region of BC. Megan is grateful to be able to work with the Tŝilhqot’in to address the health inequities experienced by Indigenous people. Primarily she works to promote the health and wellbeing of elders, youth and adults through nutrition education and counseling, teaching food skills like cooking, preserving and gardening, supporting agriculture initiatives, and facilitating projects aimed at wild food and medicine knowledge transfer throughout the nation. At home, Megan is burgeoning farmer who raises goats, chickens, pigs and produce on a beautiful patch of earth in the foothills of the Cariboo Mountains. She dreams of a fair and just foodshed where every egg, steak and vegetable comes from a local food economy based in regenerative agriculture.



Karen Fediuk

I am a Registered Dietitian and I graduated from McGill University with a Master of Science in Human Nutrition in 2000. From 1998-2000, I had the privilege of being supervised by Dr. Harriet Kuhnlein, Dr. Olivier Receveur and Dr. Laurie Chan at the Centre of Indigenous Peoples Nutrition and Environment (CINE). For the last 18 years, I have continued to work primarily with Indigenous communities on traditional food systems research. Since 2007, I have worked on the First Nations, Food, Nutrition and Environment Study, a 10-year project collecting dietary and chemical contaminant data in 100 First Nations communities across Canada ( I am also a senior researcher at the Firelight Group, a consulting group that works with Indigenous communities in the areas of culture, health, socio-economics, ecology and governance (


Melanie Kurrein

Melanie Kurrein is the Provincial Manager of Food Security with the Population and Public Health Team with the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA). She is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in socio-cultural studies of food and has worked in food security for over 17 years at both local (health authority) and provincial levels. In her current position as the Provincial Manager of Food Security, Melanie works closely with the regional health authorities, the First Nations Health Authority and the Ministry of Health to facilitate provincial collaboration and coordination of activities to inform food security policy and initiatives across the province. In her spare time Melanie loves to be outdoors, to spend time with her family and she loves most things to do with food including cooking, gardening and eating!


Suzanne Johnson, BSc. RD

Syilx / Okanagan Nation

Suzanne Johnson is a community health dietitian currently pursuing a master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies. Suzanne feels blessed to have been raised in a food active family and health minded community (Penticton Indian Band).  This along with her professional training in dietetics and extensive experience working with First Nations health and nutrition through community, regional and provincial level health authorities has gifted her with a unique area of knowledge that allows her to support individuals to a greater level of independence as they strive to live the good life.

As a mother, her work is motivated by the desire to see Indigenous people live self-determining lives and to enhance the determinants of health such as food security and food sovereignty for our future generations.  Her main research focus is to understand how Indigenous foods and the restoration of Indigenous food systems impacts the wellbeing of Indigenous people. Indigenous collective wellbeing is dependent on the health of Indigenous food systems which is dependent on the health of the land and water.







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