All in-person data collection for FEHNCY is currently on hold to comply with the physical and social distancing recommendations issued by the provincial and federal governments. The FEHNCY team will be conducting remote only data collection in the Winter and Spring of 2021 and will continue modifying the project methods, timeline, and protocols in collaboration with First Nation partners to adapt to the current circumstances. The mobile clinic component has been postponed until further notice.


A national study on the HEALTH of First Nations children and youth

FEHNCY is a research study that will look at the nutrition, health and environment of First Nations children and youth aged 3-19 years across Canada in communities through partnerships and community participation.


The results from the study will inform government policy and community program recommendations with the goal of improving the health of First Nations children.  The study will contribute to capacity building within First Nations communities and Assembly of First Nations (AFN) regions.

When will the study happen?


2020 – 2030

Communities will be
randomly selected
region by region
beginning fall 2020.

What activities will take place in your community?

Food and Nutrition Food and Nutrition
Housing Conditions Housing Conditions
Mobile Clinic Mobile Clinic
Community Engagement and Mobilization Community Engagement and Mobilization

Food and Nutrition

  • Group discussions with children and youth aged 6 to 19
  • Interviews with local food system experts (including traditional food harvesters, social workers, policymakers, store managers, and school/daycare administrators and teachers)
  • Assessment of availability, cost and quality of foods in local stores
  • Questionnaire (for 100 children and youth aged 3 to 19) to ask about;
    • Traditional and store-bought food intake
    • Access to food
    • Food security
    • Physical and sedentary activities

Housing Conditions

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this component is modified until further notice.


To study possible links between children’s health and exposure to potential contaminants in their homes, the following will be conducted in 100 households:

  • Inspection for housing conditions, mould and water damage.
  • Household dust collection to measure substances that are harmful to lung health.
  • Indoor air quality assessment using up to 3 types of monitors:
    1. An indoor air quality (IAQ) monitor will measure levels of chemicals that can affect lung health such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, as well as relative humidity and the temperature in the home.
    2. A radon detector will measure this radioactive gas that can accumulate to high levels in homes and increase the risk of lung cancer, especially in smokers.
    3. A volatile organic compound (VOC) monitor will measure levels of gases released from household products such as paint, disinfectants and air fresheners.

Learn more about Housing Conditions and Indoor Air Quality.

Mobile Clinic

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this component is postponed until further notice.


To measure children’s health and nutritional status as well as their exposure to environmental contaminants, the following will be measured or collected from 100 children and youth aged 3 to 19 by trained personnel:

  • Height, weight and waist circumference
  • Body composition
  • Blood pressure
  • Lung function
  • Hair sample
  • Blood sample
  • Urine sample

A questionnaire will also ask about:

  • Health and lifestyle: questions about the child’s general health, lifestyle, chronic illnesses, and injuries.
  • Mental health and substance use (if desired by community leadership).

Learn more about The Mobile Clinic.

Community Engagement and Mobilization

Community engagement and mobilization will focus on developing activities to engage community members and youth, valuing Indigenous knowledge, and developing strong relationships with First Nations communities.

Promoting cultural safety and respectful partnerships with Indigenous communities and families is a key part of the FEHNCY study.

Learn more about Community Engagement and Mobilization.

03. Household Surveys

100 households with children/youth aged 3-19 years old will be randomly selected to be surveyed. From these households, one child will be randomly selected to participate. Some questions will be posed to their parent/caregiver, and others will be posed to the child/youth.

04. Mobile Clinics

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Main Study


  1. How healthy are First Nations children in Canada?
  2. Are First Nations children living in healthy environments?

What will the study measure?

Who will be doing the research?

Community members will be hired and trained as community researchers.

The Results

Each First Nation will receive a report with community-specific results, and a copy of their community’s data. The FEHNCY team will return to share results, and a workshop on how to use your data will be held in your community. A regional report will present overall results of nutrition, health and environmental well-being of children and youth in your region.