Canada and Nunavut Work Together to Get Children and Youth Eating Healthy and Staying Active

Iqaluit, Nunavut –(Dec. 12, 2008) – The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health and the Honourable Eva Aariak, Premier of Nunavut, today announced an initiative that will encourage youth in Nunavut to eat healthy, and stay active by dancing to hip hop.

Through this initiative, teenagers will continue to attend hip hop workshops that will not just keep them active, the workshops will also give youth a sense of control and hope in their lives, with the ultimate goal of creating strong young leaders in Canada’s North. The workshops will also teach youth how to eat healthy, as well as be aware of health issues that face Nunavut.”Protecting and promoting the health and safety of Canadians, particularly our children, is of paramount importance to our Government,” said Minister Aglukkaq. “It’s important to show children how to eat well and be active while they are young to help them develop lifelong healthy habits.”

The Government of Canada is also working with the Government of Nunavut to distribute information kits promoting physical activity and healthy eating to 41 schools across the territory.

“With this bilateral agreement we are able to take an integrated holistic community based approach to healthy living by combining Inuit culture and modern pop culture of today,” said Nunavut’s Minister of Health and Social Services, Keith Peterson. “Through our social and public health workers, we are engaging youth through hip-hop, and more specifically supporting workshops that teach our youth about healthy eating, leadership, wellness, healthy minds and empowerment.”

“We are bringing together Elders, youth, our language and our culture through physical activity,” said Nunavut’s Minister of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth, Louis Tapardjuk. “This initiative will greatly assist in providing Nunavummiut with more opportunities to participate in programs such as the Hip Hop workshop that encourages active living.”

In the fall, the Government of Nunavut supported two five-day workshops in Arctic Bay and Pond Inlet as part of this initiative. In March 2009, an Arctic Hip Hop Leadership Summit will be held in the Baffin region. Additional workshops are being planned in other regions.

The Government of Canada is working with all provincial and territorial governments to support physical activity and healthy eating opportunities. This will reduce health disparities by investing in projects aimed at children and youth, those in isolated, remote and rural areas and Aboriginal communities.

This initiative will help to meet Pan-Canadian children and youth physical activity targets that were set by federal, provincial and territorial governments in May 2008. For more information on initiatives that promote healthy living, please visit the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Web site at

For more information, please contact

Office of the Minister of Health
Press Secretary
Josee Bellemare

Public Health Agency of Canada
Philippe Brideau
Media Relations

Department of Health and Social Services,
Government of Nunavut
Yasmina Pepa
Director of Communications

Department of Culture, Language,
Elders and Youth, Government of Nunavut
Napatchie Kolola
Communication Manager

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