Survey of Food Costs at the Band Level


In an attempt to determine the appropriate division of provincial and federal welfare rates, the Indian Affairs Branch undertook a survey of food costs for First Nations based on Canada's food guide. They found that the scale of assistance was not adequate based on the cost of nutritious food for more than 150 bands across the country.

The lack of necessary assistance for Aboriginal people to purchase sufficient nutritious food was contributing to high infant mortality rates, as well as higher rates of preventable diseases. Without proper access to nutritious food, children's development in all areas of life can be hindered and they will be more susceptible to disease. This also makes recovering from disease and sickness more difficult, without proper nutrition the body cannot heal itself or cope with the illness - leading to higher mortality rates. The lack of funding in providing Indigenous peoples services, such as rations or aid, is commonly seen throughout Canadian history making occurrences like this far from an anomaly.

NAC, RG-10,Vol. 6925, File 1/29-1, Part 9, Roberts, draft document to file, request to Treasury Board for Adoption of provincial or local municipal welfare rates and regulations for Indians, no date.