Eating Well in Pictou Landing: Pollution and Access are Daily Challenges

For immediate release
May 20, 2014

A new research report reveals that pollution and ecological changes around Pictou Landing First Nation are the most significant community challenge when it comes to eating well. Community members shared photographs and stories to describe their experiences with food and point to their key concerns, which also included physical and economic access to healthy food.

Participants commented on a number of great assets in the community, such as the recent development of community gardens and the knowledge of traditional foods that still exists in the community. Knowledgeable and dedicated school kitchen staff were also praised for their ability to provide nutritious meals to school children despite working on a very tight budget.

However, the challenges to eating well are pervasive and complex. Perceived pollution from Boat Harbour has been an ongoing concern for decades. Many residents are apprehensive of growing and harvesting their own food, as they are worried that pollution may be affecting water, soil, air, seafood, wild game, berries, and medicinal plants. This is compounded by financial barriers to eating well, and the fact that the nearest grocery store is about a twenty minutes away by car.

The project was supported by the Atlantic Aboriginal Health Research Program and several other community partners. The report’s summary, along with a video presentation and the full report can be found at