Programs Addressing Food Security for First Nations Peoples: A Scoping Review

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Access to food is a right that every individual must have to ensure a standard of living that is sufficient for maintaining good health and wellbeing. This review, developed and implemented by a team of First Nations and non-First Nations peoples, aimed to scope the literature on programs addressing food security for First Nations peoples in Australia, Aotearoa/New Zealand, Canada, and the United States of America. Collectively, First Nations groups share continued traumas, disadvantages, and devastation brought upon them as a result of British colonisation. Despite the impacts of colonial conquest, the resilience of First Nations peoples continues through the fight for self-determination, sovereignty, equity, and equality. Three databases and grey literature were searched from 2010. Two reviewers completed screening, data extraction, and critical appraisal. Nine food security programs were included in this review. Five were from the United States of America and four from Canada, with no program from Australia or Aotearoa/New Zealand meeting the inclusion criteria. The programs that appear to be most suitable for addressing food security for First Nations peoples were participatory in design, had community governance, integrated cultural knowledge and food systems to increase the accessibility and availability of cultural foods, incorporated educational components, and utilized collaborations among various agencies. Findings showed that while it is important to address short-term emergency food relief, the aim should be sustainable food security through a longer-term system and policy change underpinned by co-designed research and evaluation.

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