City seeks Indigenous-led partners in food

The purchasing model developed by the City of Thunder Bay has built-in criteria that considers more than just price, assigning value to diversity, inclusion, social justice and sustainability.  Including wild-harvested local foods in their food purchasing is one of the ways they hope to support Indigenous-led business, and while their spend went from $2,200 in 2019 to $9,700 in 2020, they feel there’s an opportunity to do more.

“Buying directly from harvesters remains a major challenge, primarily because we are still seeking to make connections in what is still a largely untapped and under-developed market,” says Dan Munshaw, Manager of Supply Management.

Currently, Pioneer Ridge Long-Term Care Home includes ingredients in its menu cycle like Lake Trout, harvested by the Goodman family from Lake Nipigon, Artic Char from Naujaat’s community fishers and Walleye from Lake of the Woods First Nation, along with wild rice from regional harvesters.