Knowledge Resources & Publications


Webinar – Indigenous Peoples, food safety and security and climate change in Canada

March 2022


According to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change unprecedented, intensified, rapid, and widespread climate change is affecting all regions of the globe. In order to understand how warming temperatures will impact the health and well-being of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples and the ecosystems upon which they live and depend, the National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health (NCCIH) is hosting a webinar titled Indigenous Peoples, Food Safety and Security and Climate Change in Canada.

Webinar presenters highlight adaptations related to food security within two regions of northern Canada –the Northwest Territories and Subarctic Ontario - where climate change is being felt acutely by Indigenous populations. Mr. Paul Cressman, Program Development Officer for the Tłı̨chǫ Government, shares the work underway related to the Tłı̨chǫ Dǫtaàts’eedı (Tłı̨chǫ Sharing Food Amongst the People) initiative. Dr. Meaghan Wilton, project coordinator for the Fort Albany Community Garden Program, explores gardening opportunities and strategies to address food insecurity as an adaption to a warming climate.


Dr. Meaghan Wilton is an Agroecosystem and Food Security Researcher in the Department of Physical and Environment Sciences at University of Toronto. Meaghan grew up on a mixed crop-livestock farm in Southern Ontario, situated in the Saukiing Anishnaabekiing – Saugeen Ojibway Territory. She continued her passion for agriculture and environmental studies through post-secondary education and gaining international research experience in temperate, subtropical, and subarctic regions. Since 2013, she has collaborated with First Nation communities to create northern gardening projects that are community-centred and focus on climate change adaptation.

Paul Cressman, Program Development Officer for the Tłı̨chǫ Government in the Northwest Territories, has worked to support communities to develop a wide variety of engagement and capacity building programs. Paul’s work focusses primarily on cultural learning programs but has also ventured into the world of environmental monitoring, culturally appropriate outdoor safety certification, and economic development.

Paul graduated with an Honour’s Bachelor of Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism from Lakehead University in 2003. He moved to the Northwest Territories in 2007 with a 6-month plan, and moved to Ottawa 11 years later where he now lives with his wife and two children.

Paul has worked full time for the Tłı̨chǫ Government since 2015. He feels honoured and humbled to be able to work for and with the Tłı̨chǫ people. Schedules, budgets, logistics, risk management plans, funding applications, and report writing – Paul spends a lot of time doing the boring work that helps other people get out on the land, pass on cultural skills and knowledge and have fun.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how climate change is threatening traditional food sources within Indigenous populations in northern regions of Canada;
  • Explore the challenges and creative opportunities for food security adaptations to climate change underway within Indigenous contexts; and
  • Share how community-driven food security adaptations to climate change can have the added benefit of promoting Indigenous knowledge between generations, enhancing community support networks, strengthening cultural resilience, and fostering collective health and well-being.

Suggested Reading

Wilton, M.J., Karagatzides, J.D., & Tsuji, L.J.S. Fertilizing bush beans with locally made compost in a remote subarctic community. Agrosyst. Geosci. Environ. 2020,3, e20109.

Actium Composting. A web resource that includes articles written by Dr. Wilton on using the Actium composter in the subarctic community of Fort Albany First Nation.

National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health. (2022). Climate Change and Indigenous People’s Health in Canada. In P. Berry & R. Schnitter (Eds.) Health of Canadians in a Changing Climate: Advancing our Knowledge for Action. Ottawa, ON: Government of Canada.

Berry, P., & Schnitter, R. (Eds.). (2022). Health of Canadians in a Changing Climate: Advancing our Knowledge for Action. Ottawa, ON: Government of Canada.

Webinar Resources