Infants, youth comprise two-thirds of poor in Nunavik: researcher

Of all households, 38 per cent live below the poverty line

By JANE GEORGE

Researcher Gérard Duhaime, standing, talks to Kativik Regional Government councillors May 28 at their meeting in Kangiqsujuaq. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE)


Researcher Gérard Duhaime, standing, talks to Kativik Regional Government councillors May 28 at their meeting in Kangiqsujuaq. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE)

KANGIQSUJUAQ — Nearly four in 10 Nunavik households still live in poverty.

That’s according to continuing research studies on poverty in Nunavik by Gérard Duhaime, a sociologist from Université Laval.

In a May 28 presentation to the Kativik Regional Government meeting in Kangiqsujuaq, Duhaime said 38 per cent of Nunavimmiut live in households subsisting on $22,943, about half the region’s $43,000 median income for a family of four.

To show what he meant by median, Duhaime divided up small cups on a table to show how the median falls in the middle, with half the amount (in this case, of cups) above the median, and half below it.

Infants and youth 15 to 24 make up 65 per cent of Nunavimmiut who live in poverty, that is in households with an income of $22,943 or less, Duhaime said.

Duhaime’s other findings: poverty is much more likely to affect Nunavimmiut who have no high school degree, and those who live in large families, single-parent families and single-income families.

But, while poverty is common in Nunavik, poverty isn’t a “natural phenomenon, like the tides, Duhaime told the KRG councillors.

And it can be reversed, he said.

But there are many dimensions to poverty, so if you want to fight poverty, you have to attack it from several directions, Duhaime said, citing a new KRG-sponsored $285,000 project to keep youth in school as an example.

To study poverty in Nunavik, Duhaime received $250,000 in federal research money.

That project has now ended but Duhaime said he plans to apply for more money to work on an anti-poverty plan, which could include a pilot project in a community to fight poverty.

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