Building on the success of last February’s pilot program, the Inuvialuit Community Economic Development Organization (ICEDO) have prepared a month-long offering of the Country Food Processing Methods course for the entire region.
Four 10-day courses are being held in Inuvik during the month of November, with participants attending from each of the Beaufort Delta’s eight communities. The program is being offered through Aurora College's Department of Continuing Education, with support from ICEDO, Gwich’in Tribal Council and GNWT Departments of Education, Culture and Employment and Industry, Tourism and Investment.
“This program aims to provide participants with the knowledge and skills required to maximize the commercial viability of country foods through in-class and hands-on instruction,” said Jiri Raska, director of Research and Community Economic Development for Inuvialuit Regional Corporation. “It will cover the essentials of primary and value-added processing techniques, regulatory requirements, production and retail economics.”
This current program offering focuses primarily on the value-added processing of char, muskox and moose. Value-added processing makes excellent use of the portions of meat that are often discarded through a variety of flavouring and preservation techniques.
"These methods produce a delicious final product and create nutritious alternatives that have an extended shelf life, making them more affordable and easy to store year-round,” added Raska.
This program is funded through a partnership with Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency under the Community Readiness and Opportunity Planning program and forms part of ICEDO's Country Food Development and Value-added Processing Initiative, one of five key initiatives of the ICEDO 2020 Regional Opportunity Readiness Plan.