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During the conception of "The Impact of COVID-19 on Food Access in Indigenous Communities in the Arctic and U.S. Southwest: A Comparative Landscape Analysis" study (NSF-OPP Award # 2035161), the Indigenous Research Advisory Committee strongly emphasized the importance of sharing results with tribal communities and to non-academic audiences. The Alaska Food Policy Council's 2022 Alaska Food Conference and Festival brings together Native and non-Native practitioners who focus on food. These practitioners work on a variety of scales, from on-the-ground community engagement to the federal and state level food access policies. It seemed like the right audience to share the study’s results for Alaska Natives.
NNI research analyst Mary Beth Jäger (Citizen Potawatomi) and her colleague Noor Johnson, from the University of Colorado-Boulder, presented the study’s results. They highlighted how Alaska Native communities and organizations responded to COVID-19 to provide greater access to food, as well as how barriers and challenges made it more difficult to access food under pandemic restrictions. Even though the presentation happened at the end of the conference, the audience was engaged and shared stories that reinforced study findings.