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    These Indigenous People Have Gone Viral For Exposing The High Costs Of Groceries On Native Reservations

    "The water is $36."

    Grocery shopping can be a hassle depending on your budget and the varying prices of items at different stores.

    A person standing in front of the refrigerated section of a grocery store

    In many Indigenous communities, everything is worse. Basic items like water or fruit — that would typically only cost a few dollars — are priced at $20 or $30.

    A grocery store produce section

    Recently, Shina Nova (@shinanova), an Inuk woman, made a video to educate her followers on the high-priced items at grocery stores in Indigenous communities.


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    Strawberries for more than $14.

    Ketchup for $16.

    Peanut butter for $11.

    These are just a few examples of the high-priced goods that have plagued Indigenous communities for years.

    And according to Vice, the cost of actually shipping the food to some of these communities rose by 400% during COVID, which only continues to raise the prices of the items sold in store.

    A 12-pack of Dr. Pepper cans retailing for $22.69

    "Since COVID happened, there's really been nothing going on in terms of help," Jericho Anderson (@whateverjericho) told BuzzFeed. The 21-year-old grew up in Kasabonika Lake, an Oji-Cree First Nations band government in Ontario, Canada.

    Jericho wearing traditional garb

    Jericho said he felt "shielded" growing up, and it wasn't until high school that he became aware of the many issues Indigenous people face living on a reservation.

    Then, one day, he decided to do something about it. He started posting on his TikTok to try and educate others about different aspects of life on a reservation. In one video, Jericho delves deeper into his frustrations about overpriced groceries in his community, like the fact that "healthy alternatives" are way more expensive.

    Bottled water in Jericho's community is sold for $36.49. But still, Jericho said he believes he grew up "lucky" because, unlike many other reservations, Kasabonika Lake residents had access to clean tap water.

    "Many people live paycheck to paycheck," Jericho said. "Minimum wage here in Ontario is the same on the reservation too. It's $14 all across Ontario, so we're paying high[er] prices with the same [minimum] wage."

    Although Jericho does receive any number of ignorant comments on his posts, he also said "a lot of people want to help."

    If you are interested in learning more about how to help Indigenous communities, please check out these resources: NDN Collective, Center for World Indigenous Studies, IllumiNative, Climate Justice Alliance, and others.