Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut May 04, 2018 - 8:00 am

GN homelessness surveyors to finish up in Gjoa Haven

Surveyors will ask people if they have a permanent place to sleep

The GN is running a survey on hidden homelessness in Gjoa Haven from May 7 to May 18. (FILE PHOTO)
The GN is running a survey on hidden homelessness in Gjoa Haven from May 7 to May 18. (FILE PHOTO)

Gjoa Haven residents can expect surveyors to come knocking at their doors between May 7 and May 18.

A four-community survey of “hidden homelessness” in Nunavut is wrapping up next week in the western Nunavut community of about 1,300.

The same surveys have already been done in Pond Inlet, Clyde River and Arviat.

These communities were chosen for a study of hidden homelessness in the territory based on data from a 2010 Nunavut Housing Corp. report, the population growth in those communities since then, and the number of income assistance cases in those communities in 2016.

The community’s MLA, Tony Akoak, has complained in the legislature about Gjoa Haven’s housing crisis.

Surveyors will visit homes “to speak with people who permanently sleep in the dwelling, and with those who sleep there temporarily, because they have no other place to go,” Tracy Wood, a Family Services spokesperson, said in a news release on April 30.

The surveys are led by a team of researchers from the poverty reduction division of the Government of Nunavut’s Department of Family Services. The housing corporation is also a partner in the project.

The surveys take about 20 minutes each. The team tries each house three times, and survey participants are given $25 gift cards for the local grocery store of their choice, staff told Nunatsiaq News during another survey in March. 

“Information provided is confidential and anonymous, and will be used to help find community-based solutions to Nunavut’s housing crisis,” the release said.
The Nunavut government last surveyed a similar kind of homelessness in 2010, through the housing corporation, when about 1,220 people in the territory were found to live with temporary sleeping arrangements.

To ask questions about the survey, you can call Jennifer Jhingoor at 867-975-5252 or Francine Doucet at 867-975-5210, or send an email to

The surveys are funded through the federal government’s homelessness partnering strategy.

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(19) Comments:

#1. Posted by Why ? on May 04, 2018

This survey will accomplish nothing at all, apart from giving the usual
highly paid freeloaders and accomplished BS artists a freebie trip.
  It never changes, same old speeches.
Birth control, and money management would help a lot, but people have
to do this for themselves.
We all make our choices, a happy life, or a drunk and drug life.

#2. Posted by Inuk Person on May 04, 2018

Those that live in a staff housing are at the mercy of their employers. If they happen to lose their jobs, they won’t have any place to live.

The housing has a long waiting list and it could take years to get accepted for a housing.

Samething with home owners. If they are unable to make payments due to no more job, then their house can be taken by the bank. So, they would be left homeless.

There’s no housing options at all for many communities (except for Housing Corporation/Association). Some communities may have private dwelling businesses.

#3. Posted by Ex Housing Official, Kitikmeot. on May 04, 2018

Many people in this region of Nunavut were able to buy their own
houses and ended up owning them.
Then some people took out large bank loans, using their houses
as collateral.
They never paid back the loans, and lost their homes.
Priorities people, priorities!

#4. Posted by Rental payments please on May 04, 2018

So many people in Nunavut will not pay their rent!
Some folks owe $40,000 or more, and complain about not getting a
new house.
In all communities in Nunavut we have Housing Associations, what
on earth are they doing. Not their job, that’s for sure!!

#5. Posted by Putuguk on May 04, 2018

#2 - there is another option. Leave Inuit Nunangat.

Find opportunity elsewhere where there are more jobs, more housing options, and better access to health care and education.

Besides access to the land and closeness to family, everything else is better in southern Canada.

Look at Filipino people for example. They move half way across the planet, even some leaving children behind, to get a job here in Canada.

Different language, laws, geography, the whole works. They still come, and we are very happy to have them.

The use their income to support their family, enjoy a good standard of living, and also I am sure build up a nest egg for their eventual return to the Philippines.

Why is it possible for Filipinos to do this and not Inuit? Do we live in not live in open communities not Indian Act Reserves?

#6. Posted by 123456789 on May 04, 2018

You hit it right on the spot.

#7. Posted by Jobi on May 05, 2018

#5. Filipinos probably help each other get jobs and housing. Jobs should go to Inuit and northerners first but govts find a way to go around it and hire their friends and family from all over the world and Canada. Sad to watch.

#8. Posted by Yoko Ono on May 06, 2018

37 The day Inuit can work like Filipinos, that might happen. We’re not there yet..

#9. Posted by Good Point #8 on May 06, 2018

They pretend to give us government.
They pretend to give us education.
The only people who benefit are teachers and politicians with their
big wages, and pensions for life, and the people of Nunavut do
nothing about it.
We should hire a PRETEND POPULATION of Filipinos to teach
Inuit a good work ethic.
Us Inuit would benefit greatly.

#10. Posted by Yoko Ono on May 06, 2018

#9 I’m not sure if you are aware but there is a hiring policy in place that heavily favours Inuit over their job competitors. At least for the GN, where these pensions you mention are earned.

What’s stopping you or any other Inuk from taking those jobs?

Is it as Jobi says, everyone is hiring their friends and favouring non-Inuit? That’s a bullshit excuse, but it shows the mentality of too many people, who are unable to take responsibility for their own lives and prosperity.

As for the Filipinos, I agree… there is a lot that could be learned from their work ethic.

#11. Posted by Young One on May 07, 2018

The best thing for young Nunavut people to do is get their qualifications
and try to become school teachers or qualified workers with the
Nunavut government. It is the way to get well paid for your work.
  When I was at college down south, I met Filipino people and I was
impressed by their attitude and work ethic, especially about looking
after yourself and your family.  Do not tolerate spongers and freeloaders.
  With their money management skills they are very smart.
It is up to ourselves, no one else.

#12. Posted by IQ first solutions on May 07, 2018

Can IQ be used to help solve the housing crisis? It is very unlikely that government alone will be able to solve this problem. Are there any creative solutions by Inuit? I am sure there local solutions by Inuit without government support, please listen to them.

#13. Posted by Soothsayer on May 07, 2018

#12 Please, let us know when you have come up with an IQ solution.

Here’s my guess: There are unlikely to be any IQ solutions, because IQ is a laundry list of platitudes that offers no utility for complex economic issues. 

Your turn…

#14. Posted by IQ first solutions on May 07, 2018

#13. Posted by Soothsayer on May 07, 2018
When I say IQ, I meant Inuit ingenuity and know how. I am sure that the local Inuit have local solutions that can alleviate the housing problems. For many years, the solution has been looking towards Ottawa, but that is from the bureaucratic side. It is time for us to hear from the people about their solutions. The Inuit are proud people, there are grassroots solutions. The bureaucracy only wants to hear about problems to go Ottawa, who can’t solve the issue. The bureaucratic are just into it for long-term job security at the expense of real Inuit solutions.

#15. Posted by Snow knife on May 07, 2018

Good Luck, when you build and move into your own igloo!

#16. Posted by Inuk Person on May 07, 2018

#5 Putuguk,
Thank you for the option and a good one too!

Though I could go anywhere in Canada, Nunavut is my home and I wish to stay here.

My family is rooted in our town, I don’t want to uproot them. I’d rather not leave them.

#17. Posted by Soothsayer on May 07, 2018

#14 I didn’t realize IQ had taken on such an expansive form. Let’s do a Gedankenexperiment.

If an Inuk invents a new way to open a beer bottle on the land, is it IQ?

I especially enjoyed your use of words like ‘grassroots’ and your shots at the bureaucracy. We all know they don’t care, right? Clock in, clock out!

Still, all a bit nebulous, with the endorsing ring of cliche.

Give us something concrete? Though I think #15 might be onto something.

#18. Posted by IQ first solutions on May 07, 2018

my final post on this:
I do not want to beat the point, but if you ask Inuit, especially the elders, they want smaller homes, with the basic especially. If you ask the young people, they want smaller homes that they could afford and a government job.
Go out on the land and you will see many beautiful cabins for all seasons – no moulds or anything. Built by Inuit’s ingenuity and IQ. Within the hamlets, the Inuit voices are silent because of bureaucratic red tape.  Bureaucrats in Iqaluit want to have job security and the senior management of NHC want the many trips to Ottawa with their powerpoint presentations.

#19. Posted by Kaye Tikmiut on May 08, 2018

Are you serious?
You talk about beautiful cabins?
Don’t you mean shacks with a small garbage dump on one side and
a small sewage lagoon on the other side?
Go back to Disneyland.
Elders and young people want small houses?Unbelievable.

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