The major project that I am working on for First Nations Development Institute is the Indian Country Food Price Index. Until now, there has been no data showcasing the price differences experienced by Native American people in the purchase of grocery items. So far our data has showcased on average that tribal members in the lower 48 reservations pay around $7.00 more and tribal nations in Alaska villages pay around $30.00 more for a grocery cart of the same foods compared to the national average. This finding is critical in highlighting the lack of access to healthy foods and food in general in tribal communities. My job will be producing supplemental data to showcase different disease rates and other health disparities in these communities that are related to diet. This will be done to show how the price of food affects the health of people.
A second project that I will be working on an extensive literature review to help First Nations update a previous report they published in 2004, titled: “Time for the Harvest: Native Food Systems in Perspective”. This report is made available on the First Nations web page and can be utilized by tribal nations looking to revitalize and change their current food systems in their communities. This provides a wide array of projects throughout Indian Country that have already occurred and the lessons learned. In addition to updating this report, First Nations is aiming to develop a comprehensive list of literature resources on Native food systems and policies surrounding food systems.