Tulita grows more food and more food security

Tulita grows more food and more food security

The community of Tulita – which means “where the waters meet” in the local Indigenous language – is a small village located at the junction of the Great Bear River and the Mackenzie River in the Northwest Territories. Canadian Feed The Children has been supporting Tulita’s land stewardship, school food, and local food systems development to boost food security since 2020.

In that time, Tulita’s residents have made significant progress. In 2023, they established three more community gardens, for a total of 35 private gardens, an indoor school garden, and nine greenhouse gardens that allow all-season growing.

interior of greenhouse dome

The interior of a greenhouse dome

These initiatives have created many opportunities for learning, growth, and sustenance. The local school has expanded their gardens for students, school staff, and the broader community. This makes fresh food more available and offers the opportunity to teach students, parents, and Elders about food use, healthy cooking, and food preservation.

Overall, the community now has greater access to fresh vegetables, helping to boost the nutritional value of meals and defray the extremely high cost of produce.

The Tulita community reports that the biggest impact of these activities has been on its Elders. Workshops and gardening have really aided the Elders’ access to fresh food, says Tim Tomczynski, Tulita’s Economic Development Officer. He adds that people are learning food budgeting and that there has been a “successful transfer of agriculture knowledge to the community” with many residents starting and maintaining “successful gardens of their own along with successful composting operations."

Composting and our community garden have been a great addition to our community. Our compost program not only helps the environment, it supplies us the material needed to move a few steps closer to fresh vegetable sustainability.
TIM TOMCZYNSKI, Economic Development Officer, Tulita, NWT

With greater Elder inclusion, harvesting and food gathering trips bring community members of all ages together to ensure cultural teachings and food traditions are passed on to the next generation. As Tim says, “Our program has helped the entire community.”  Thank you for helping to advance food sovereignty for the people of this community.