Documentary, Feature
Suzanne Crocker
101 min
Suzanne Crocker
RIFF 2020

Suzanne Crocker, an award winning filmmaker and retired family doctor, challenged herself to spend one year feeding her family only food local in Dawson City, Yukon – a remote Northern Canadian community at 64° north, 300 km south of the Arctic Circle – to contribute to the public conversation about food self-sufficiency.

Suzanne Crocker
Suzanne Crocker


Director's statement

This film is my story, told from my point of view, and the story of my community.
Ultimately it is a story about:

  • struggling to create a better world for my kids
  • imposing that struggle on my kids and my kids pushing back
  • requiring community collaboration to eat and live well

I live in Dawson City, Yukon, a Northern Canadian community of 1500 people at 64 degrees North, 300 km south of the Arctic Circle, on the traditional territory of the Tr´ondëk Hwëch´in. Dawson is literally at the end of the road. The nearest Starbucks is 550 km away. We are dependent on a single road that connects us to the south – one road that trucks 97% of our food from thousands of kilometers away.

A few years ago, the only road into the Yukon was cut-off by a landslide. Grocery store shelves began to go bare within 48 hours. That was my wake up call. I started to pay attention to the labels on my food and noticed how far it had travelled. The implications of depending on food from afar gained new meaning. I learned that over 50% of the vitamins in fresh greens are lost within the first 5 days after picking. I questioned how much nutrition was left by the time it reached my plate.

I wondered if we, in Dawson, could produce enough food to feed ourselves.  I decided the best way to research this question would be to try it. I would use myself and my family as guinea pigs. So, much to my family’s disgruntlement, I banished absolutely all grocery store food from our house for one year. First We Eat is the result.