NEWS

Feeding My Family to hold boycott of North West Company stores Saturday

01/31/2015 07:00 EST | Updated 04/02/2015 05:59 EDT
Leesee Papatsie, organizer of the Facebook group Feeding My Family, says supporters in the three territories as well as Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick are expected to boycott North West Company stores on Saturday.

Earlier this month, the food security group called for customers to stay away from North West Company stores for a day on Jan. 31 to protest high food prices in remote communities.

The North West Company owns the Northern, NorthMart, Quickstop and Giant Tiger retail chains in Canada, along with Alaska's AC Value Centers and Cost-U-Less stores in the South Pacific and Caribbean.  

"We're making a stand together," says Papatsie.

The call sparked a great deal of debate. Some have criticized her choice of target, saying the blame for high costs can also be levelled at many other groups, including the federal government, other grocery stores and Inuit organizations.

Papatsie says the group chose to target the North West Company for its long history in the North as a remnant of the Hudson Bay Company.

"They've been here the longest and they're located everywhere. People want to do those others, please do," she said.  

The movement has even gone international with people pledging to boycott the Alaska arm of the company.

"They've sold food at 300 to 500 per cent markups for decades," says Tim Aqukkasuk Argetsinger, an Inupiaq activist.

The boycott is expected to last all day Saturday.

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