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Food Security Status of Indigenous Peoples in Canada According to the 4 Pillars of Food Security: A Scoping Review
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Food insecurity is a significant public health problem for Indigenous peoples in Canada. A comprehensive literature review is needed to organize the evidence according to the 4 pillars of food security (i.e., availability, access, utilization, and stability) and identify gaps in the published literature on this topic. Therefore, in this scoping review we aimed to summarize the published research discussing any of the 4 pillars of food security among Indigenous peoples in Canada. We conducted a literature search of the following databases: Ovid Medline, EMBASE, Web of Science (Web of Knowledge), and CINAHL, as well as the Indigenous Studies Portal (up to June 19, 2021). Population-based studies of any design were included, except for review-style articles. Articles published in languages other than English were also excluded. Of the 4687 studies identified by the database searches, 91 met our inclusion criteria. Evidence from these studies indicates that all dimensions of food security among Indigenous peoples in Canada have been impacted. Lack of availability of both traditional and market foods is highlighted among Inuit and First Nation communities. Economic disadvantages, high food prices, and lack of access to transportation are major factors affecting the accessibility pillar of food security. Major factors affecting the utilization pillar of food security are the loss of traditional knowledge and skills, lack of knowledge on market foods, low quality of market foods, and food safety issues. Climate change has affected all 4 pillars of food security among Indigenous peoples. These findings suggest that resolving food insecurity issues among Indigenous peoples in Canada, especially those living in remote communities, requires a culturally specific integrated approach targeting food availability, food cost, food knowledge, food safety, and food quality.