2 Nunavik women dead in separate Montreal highway incidents

No criminal investigation taking place, SQ spokesperson says

Two women from Nunavik, who were staying at Montreal’s Ullivik lodging facility for Inuit undergoing health care in the south, shown in this file photo, died in two separate incidents over the weekend when they were both hit by vehicles on nearby highways. (File photo)

By Jeff Pelletier - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Two Nunavik women in their 20s have died in separate incidents after being hit by vehicles on Montreal-area highways.

Sûreté du Québec spokesperson Sgt. Stéphane Tremblay said the two incidents are not connected, but the two women were living at the Ullivik lodging facility, where Inuit from Nunavik stay while seeking medical services in Montreal.

Both incidents happened in Dorval, a short distance away from Ullivik, which is located near the Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.

On Friday at around 4:15 a.m., police were called to respond to a woman in a wheelchair who was “seriously injured” after being hit by a vehicle on Highway 520.

The woman, who was identified by police as 22-year-old Mary-Jane Tulugak from Puvirnituq, was taken to hospital where she later died. The driver of the vehicle was also taken to hospital “in shock,” Tremblay said.

The second incident took place less than 24 hours later.

At around 1:20 a.m. on Saturday morning, 26-year-old Nellie Niviaxie from Umiujaq was pronounced dead at the scene after being struck by “several” vehicles on Highway 20, Tremblay said.

SQ collision investigators are looking into what happened in both incidents, Tremblay said, but no charges are expected to be laid.

“There’s no criminal investigation on the drivers who hit in both cases,” Tremblay said.

Tremblay also said that police are looking into why the two women were on dangerous highways, in areas where pedestrians are not supposed to walk.

Nunatsiaq News called Ullivik to get information about the two incidents. An on-call manager referred questions to the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services, which has not yet responded to a request for comment.

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(19) Comments:

  1. Posted by Sadly , don’t look good, AGAIN. on

    The vulnerability of patients at ullvik. The situation has been out of control for a long time at ullvik. The behaviours of patients coming from Nunavik to get medical services is out of control. It’s dangerously crippling to some many, who are literally delusional about having the access to alcohol 24/7, which in most communities of Nunavik alcohol is very hard to get,, and so inconvenient to get, expensive on top of that. Alcohol is not always handled well , and in Nunavik it’s very deadly outcomes, more than anywhere in the country. Many patients at ullvik is there because of alcohol related accidents in the first place, and then you have patients out all night long, missing appointments and flights back up north. That 4 people killed in last number of years, 3 in recent months. Nunavik is slipping into a spiral of issues, due substance abuse, it’s hard to see the culture survive the devastation, the death rate from alcohol is staggering, yet no one is addressing the real issues. It’s crazy.

  2. Posted by Name Withheld on

    The leaders need to take the initiative and ensure that we have the facilities to help those in crisis with mental health and addiction.

    The problem is, they become a different person when they get elected and all the promises they made disappear with the wind.

    • Posted by Hack in the Sack on

      Incentive structures push politicians to embellish reality partly because their constituents insist on being given solutions for every imaginable problem even where few solutions, especially simple ones, exist. Not to blame it all on the ‘victims’ (of the lies, so to speak), but they tend to balance what they can get away with saying (what won’t eventually hurt them in the polls) with what can be gained.

      In reality governments are constrained by limited resources, a fact constituents willfully ignore, and by ignoring collude in their own deception. Granted, governments often ignore this fact as well, and run huge deficits – another deception that will eventually crash down on us all.

  3. Posted by Who’s at ullvik? on

    Ullvik patients are not an elderly population that’s seeking medical services. Yes, there are elders coming from Nunavik to be seen by specialists, but most people are much younger. What we are seeing mostly as time runs towards the future are patients with alcohol and drug related issues coming in large numbers to Ullvik. That includes cancer related illness with chronic alcohol use, plus other medical illness that are alcohol induced, lots of accident injuries. The patients that I just described are therefore seeking a way to take advantage of the availability of the drugs and alcohol. Ullvik needs to clean up the act, and put up a security fence where anyone comes for hospital has to be inside that fence and only out for appointments, otherwise let people be free to use whatever they want. But protect the patients that care about their life and are at ullvik for better health. Focus on keeping people at ullvik safe from all interference, even if that interference is other patients who go out all night. If it’s against some kind of humanity to not do too much to stop the abuse of alcohol, at least protect the innocent ones.

    • Posted by Guy on

      We are not animals like you see us and we’re not all alcoholic either we know that there are some issues in our region but we don’t have services that we need like any other place

      • Posted by DUMBFOUNDED!! on

        Social Services, Department Youth Protection, Nunavik Police Services, Anglican Church, Pentecostal Church, Alcoholics Anonymous, Town Municipalities, C.L.S.C. Nurses are all available to those seeking psychological help. NRBHSS is supposedly has psychologists and or psychotherapist and or the Kativik Regional Government supposedly has Inuit case workers to travel to any or all 14 Nunavik communities. Makivik Corporation, Kativik Regional Government, Avataq Culture, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Pauktuutit, and or ITK should all organize another group and or organization if they really cared about the Inuits well-being. Just a Thought.

        • Posted by Utchuaname on

          Obviously you have not accessed these resources in the north, or you would know the long wait periods and wait lists if you’re lucky enough to get in.

        • Posted by Do you force people on

          You can have all the money in the world; all the services available; you can even have God and his picture hanging over your table. But until you find a motivation within, it’s all useless. And you can have the shittiest life imaginable. And that would be the hardest. But no one can live your life. If you think someone or some doctor , nurse psychologist or social worker, or government fund or apology is going to keep you healthy without you being a participant, you are in for a rough ride thru this life, if you survive it. People are what they decide to be.

      • Posted by In a group of WE. on

        I’m not sure about how people interpret comments, and it’s not my job to teach kindergarten either. But when truth is made in a comment, it has a way to hit the nerve, and the commentor can then feel a sense of accomplishment. That’s not to say you lose, I win thing. No, it’s more awareness might have a chance to become of it. People that take offence to truth are as good to the comment too, as it shows a big part of the problem. Lots of work needed to get thru to the “ we “didn’t do it people.

      • Posted by To Guy on

        Guy, what’s your view on people from ullvik being out all night, and then getting hit by traffic on a highway?

    • Posted by Lucky on

      Do you work at Ullivik? If you do, didn’t your supervisor make you sign a confidentiality paper?? For you to agree not to say confidential informations such as what purposes are Inuit people are in the facility and whatever they’re there for medical reasons not to say such things as cancer and other medical reasons. You’re way out of line, you mentioned all Inuit have alcohol and drug problems and that’s why they have cancers or accidents. You should be fired!!

  4. Posted by Loud on

    To: who’s at Ullivik. What’s your point here?? Yes, you’re right about one thing, young people over populated Nunavik and more and more problems are happening in the region not in the country. Not only we Inuit youngsters do have problems with alcohol and drugs but all the world, were you born yesterday?? It’s not like Africa or other countries with many problems. Ullivik is out of place, it’s in the industrial area and it’s right in front of the highway which is dangerous area for drunkards. It needs fence, not to keep Inuit as caged animals. We’re no animals. We’re humans like you.

  5. Posted by Keeping people in dangerous situation on

    It’s easy to see from some of the comments that there’s no insight into solutions for the state of affairs at ullivik or Nunavik for that matter. This commenting presents only a sample, but samples are often useful to gauge enough for what people are thinking as a whole. Where do people get justification for being out all night drinking and crossing highways as patients at ullivik? Is it from a traumatic past, that justifies this behaviour? Where do you lose your individual sense and reasoning based on your past experience, is it only as you come to ullivik for medical treatments. Like it’s ok, and someone else fault, now that you are at ullivik, so go out and drink, walk the highway or ride in your wheel chair at 4 in the morning. People will discuss you after you get killed, blaming it on something, other than you, but you will not have a chance to use your own decisions anymore , you’ll be dead. For the sake of being human, smarten up people , you are responsible for you own behaviour in situations like that.

  6. Posted by Ullvik becomes Nunavik on

    Ullvik is synonymous with Nunavik and it don’t look very good. This is so unfair to the Inuit of Nunavik. Too many Inuit are behaving in a way as to ruin the image of Nunavik. It’s now a threat to all Inuit who go to Montreal to be seen in this horrible image. Something has to be done for the safety and we’ll being of all Inuit. Even Nunavut can be affected by these unacceptable behaviours of patients and their escorts out of control to alcohol and drugs in the big city. Death and destruction. Inuit are now victims of drug dealers and people who see all Inuit as easy targets.

  7. Posted by Target on

    To: Ullivik becomes Nunavik. Inuit are now victims of drug dealers and people who see all Inuit as easy target. I’m 40 something years old and I am a parent as Inuit woman. I don’t behave in such way as Inuit woman and not every Inuit behave this way. Young Inuit people are just curious and experiencing drug and alcohol just as I used to like most of you people did. Not all Inuit are victims. You’re just framing Inuit because we’re from isolated region and we’re good for nothing. In other countries, there are crazier people in this world that you actually never visited, maybe because you’re just as ignorant person! Not just Inuit people are behaving and losing control here in your country. You’re just as bad in your image, blaming and looking to point fingers when you just look at yourself.

    • Posted by Can’t you read on

      Can’t you read and understand what you’re reading. You are so far off in interpreting the discussion here. Many Inuit ard not all Inuit , but you appear to think so. And you mention, it’s young people experimenting, what ? Don’t comment if you can’t read and understand the discussion.

      • Posted by Target on

        Can’t you read. I can read and I understand every word people are saying about how horrible image we Inuit people bring to the city and how we look bad for our precious land of Nunavik. To my understanding, people seem to look Inuit as threats to the city and how bad image we bring and how we’re out of control with addictions. But I don’t understand the person who made comments as Ullivik becomes Nunavik, what is your point? Now, you’re saying,”Inuit are now victims of drug dealers and people who see all Inuit as targets” Are we all targets to drug dealers? Now, you’re saying we’re all targe

        ts but me as a parent I’m not, are you?? You see, she’s talking like we’re all victims of drug dealers and I’m trying to point out she sounds pretty scared like we’re just out of control. We’re all not bad people and we’re trying to figure out how to live with others in the city and we’re all make mistakes like you.

        • Posted by Please Target think on

          Target? Yes you. You seen to not understand what the concerned comments are pointing out. Get away from your personal defence for a moment and consider how fellow Inuit are innocently being targeted because of behaviour of the ones that abuse while in south for medical. Our Nunavik population is very small, and any behaviour that’s out there in the news is sadly interpreted as a Nunavik thing due to our small numbers. This may not make sense to behave well for the sake of Nunavik, but it’s the reality. Plus these unacceptable behaviours we are seeing appears to not have any incentive to stop. Therefore I say stop these behaviours for the sake of all Inuit that has a small population. It’s a realistic thing that’s happening to Nunavik image. People shouldn’t judge all Inuit based on some Inuit behaviours, but they do, when the behaviours are so often with such horrific consequences.

  8. Posted by Ok, if I go to ullvik. on

    If I go to ullvik, what is to be expected from me, and from ullvik? I arrive at Montreal, picked up by the driver and transported to ullvik. There I get a room, with information about my appointments, time and what is the preparations. I eat, interacting with other Nunavik Inuit. I go out for shopping, restaurant, whatever. When I get back to ullvik from being out, I get my things searched. Why? Because too many people have abused carry alcohol in their rooms and causing problems. Ok, I go out to a bar, I get back smelling of alcohol, I’m asked to leave. Why? Too many people smelling of booze haven’t behave well in the past. Plus I’m at ullvik, patients are sick and there for being sick. Alcohol is not acceptable in a place like that. Not just ullvik, but anywhere else that houses patients. So your see, I’m not going to drink , while I’m at ullvik, but I can tell you straight out, I’ll still get searched and will be watched by the staff, because too many Inuit have abused the system with alcohol. It may not be because of my behaviour. It may very well be the behaviours documented by others. So if you don’t behave well, I’m a victim of your bad behaviour.

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