Food Share in the Nisga’a Nation

by British Columbia
Categories: Blog, COVID-19

Food Share in the Nisga’a Nation

Throughout this past year the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our everyday lives. One place that struggled with the impact of new restrictions was Gitwinksihlkw, a Nisga’a Village in Northern B.C.  During this time the Gitwinksihlkw Corps saw an increase in need in their community where many households are home to multiple families that often rely on one income. It was no longer possible to travel to local mining camps for work, and the nearest grocery store is in Terrace, a one-and-a-half hour drive away. With limited work opportunities, travel restrictions, and the pandemic continuing throughout the cold winter months (where temperatures can drop thirty-below) they saw food insecurity rise throughout the villages. Where food services at the Gitwinksihlkw Corps were once serving 15-30 families a week they now reach up to 350.

When Damian Azak, Director at Gitwinksihlkw Corps, first came into the role in 2013 he started taking small shipments of food to offer to those in need. A year later they created their own dedicated Food Share room and became the only food security program in the valley.

“It is a blessing to be able to serve”

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit their community Damian’s team found the Agricultural Canada Fund. Combined with support from the Vancouver Foundation, Hecht Foundation, and United Way they were able to purchase food, an upright freezer, and a cargo van that allowed their volunteers to deliver hampers to nearby villages.

Damian is extremely thankful for the support they’ve received over the past year and credits his dedicated volunteers, the organizations and donors who helped provide funding, and God for allowing them to continue to serve and give hope in the Nisga’a Nation.


Watch for the full story in this year’s B.C. Annual Report …