The high costs of food in Nunavut have become prohibitive

Seven in 10 Inuit preschoolers in Nunavut live in homes without enough to eat. Median income for non-aboriginals in Nunavut is $86,600 a year; for the Inuit, it is $19,900. Despite chronic poverty and unemployment, families are expected to pay more to put food on their plates than other Canadians. A survey by the Nunavut government last year found food in the territory cost anywhere from 20 per cent more (for eggs) to 287 per cent more (for celery) than the rest of Canada.

“I want the Inuit to stand as one,” Ms. Papatsie says, “against the high cost of food.”

While the government provides a subsidy under the Nutrition North program for 103 remote communities, retailers don’t get any help with the high cost of labour, building and maintenance, electricity and fuel costs, all of which push prices up.