littoral chair research project


Food, Environment, Health and Nutrition of First Nations Children and Youth



FEHNCY is a pan-Canadian research project to better understand the socio-environmental determinants of health of children and youth aged 3 to 19 of First Nations  living on-reserve. This 10-year (2019-2029) interdisciplinary study is carried out in close collaboration with Aboriginal partners at the local, regional and national levels.  It is based on the findings of three studies: the First Nations Food, Nutrition and Environment Study (2008-2018), the First Nations Biomonitoring Initiative (2011-2012) and the First Nations Youth, Environment and Health Pilot Study (2014-2017). Beginning in September 2020, five to twelve First Nations communities will be randomly selected every year in each of the seven Assembly of First Nations regions to participate in the project.

The four components of the study include : 1) Food environments, food security, nutrition and health; 2) Housing conditions, indoor air quality and respiratory health; 3) Exposure to environmental contaminants and the social determinants of physical and mental health; and 4) Community mobilization, sharing and integrated knowledge application activities, and intergenerational capacity building


  1. Guide government policies and recommendations for community programs to improve the health of First Nations children and youth
  2. Assess the influence of food environments, nutrition and food security on health and well-being, quantify environmental contaminants exposure, and examine the relationship between housing conditions, indoor air quality and health
  3. Contribute to intergenerational capacity building in First Nations communities and Assembly of First Nations regions


Our team is responsible for the clinical component of the project, which will be carried out using the FEHNCYMobile, our mobile clinic. We will also participate in various community mobilization activities using visual and performing arts.

Team members involved

Funded by
  • Indigenous Services Canada – First Nations and Inuit Health Branch
  • Health Canada
Principal investigators
  • Laurie Chan and Tom Kovesi (University of Ottawa)
  • Tonio Sadik and Irving Leblanc (Assembly of First Nations)
  • Mélanie Lemire
  • Richard Bélanger
  • Pierre Ayotte and Émilie Bélanger (CHU de Québec – Université Laval Research Centre)
  • Malek Batal and Geneviève Mercille (Université de Montréal)
  • Treena Delormier et Mylène Riva (McGill University )
  • Jiping Zhu (Health Canada)

Visit our website to learn more about FEHNCY



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