Nunatsiaq News
LETTERS: Nunavut August 17, 2012 - 9:12 am

Many suggestions for fixing community social problems


We need to come up with solutions in our individual communities and how we combat the issues of alcohol and drug abuse and the unfortunate events that are products of that abuse, including misuse of firearms and other terrible unfortunate actions.

Setting up a safety committee is one possible solution that is being considered in one of our communities, but perhaps we can consider other solutions such as, and not limited to:

• Ask the Armed Forces, who run the Canadian Rangers program, to work with their members to set up secure firearms storage.

• Ask each HTO, and some of them have for-profit companies, that the HTO set aside money from their profits to build safe firearms community storage units and not put it in their own pockets for two years.

• Set up community inter-agency committees that deal with many community issues and this would be over and above a “safety committee.” If you look back how the Iqaluit Homeless Shelter was set up in the 1980s, it was as a result of the Iqaluit Inter-Agency Committee; also a positive impact from this committee at the time was the Iqaluit Hospitality Committee, who held events such as feasts and community square dances and music events.

• A family to “adopt an RCMP family” every month to provide each other with support; this could involve different events for each side of the family.

• Say hello and thanks to our social workers and church clergy.

• Regular family walks in each community; a recent example was to address the suicide prevention in a region.

• Ask each organization, committee, governments (federal, territorial, municipal) to add to their agenda a community issue that needs to be addressed and share their ideas with one another.  We need to get away from saying things like, “it is not my responsibility so I won’t touch it”.

• Each capable household to agree to provide meals to homeless shelters and provide a package to the food shelters.

• Volunteer for different non-profit organizations.

• Shovel snow for those households that don’t have capable family members.

• Create a Neighbourhood Watch Program or similar programs such as the “Big Sister and Big Brother programs”.

• Encourage each other to share good news stories with the different media outlets.

• Governments and other authorities cannot deal with these alone; they are as good as we are.

The list can go on and each of us can make a big difference and we can make that difference now. Dwelling on possible solutions and each of us taking a lead on them is better than dwelling on the negatives. 

Remember when you are pointing your finger there are three fingers pointing back at you.  Our individual success stories must be shared.

(Name withheld by request)

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