Inuk toddler denied daycare access because parents are non-Inuit

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

I would like to stress my concerns regarding the admittance policies of the Tumikuluit Saipaaqivik daycare.

My husband and I are in the process of adopting a 21-month-old Inuk child and we are non-Inuit. We are not eligible to enroll or even put our child on the wait list for the daycare because we are not Inuit. I could see if he had to do homework and we were unable to help him but this is daycare and he is not even two.

One condition of adopting an Inuk child is that we provide access to his culture, which we would gladly do, regardless of the condition or not. The best option we felt would be the Tumikuluit Saipaaqivik daycare because of their programs and the fact that they are based on the Inuit language.

I have emailed Kakivak, the daycare directly and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. with either no response or a response passing the responsibility to someone else.

My child is a 100 per cent Inuk who has not chosen his path in life. His natural parents chose not to raise him, so how is it fair to him that he not be allowed to attend an Inuit daycare? Why should he suffer for his birth parents’ choices? My husband and I are giving him a better life and not allowing him to become a statistic in the foster care system.

Without some kind of help, the conditions for the adoptions will not be met and this child could remain in the foster care system.

We are trying to prevent him from being a statistic. We want a better and brighter future for him. We need something to be done to help make his future brighter and to keep him in touch with his language, his culture and his history.

He has been a part of our family for over five months and has become our son in every sense except the legal aspect, which we are still waiting for. Please help to give him a well-rounded foundation in his life.

How can a company discriminate against how they accept children into a daycare by their adopted parent’s race? Right now my child is still considered in the custody of social services and they have even tried to put him on the wait list for the daycare and were unable to.

What do we have to do to get him accepted to go to the daycare? He should not be held accountable for the decisions of his biological parents.

He has a right to be able to learn about his culture and history. He is going to grow up and become the best person he can be because of the opportunities he is being given starting right now.

We are trying to do that for him but we need your help to do that, we want him to know about his ancestry, learn Inuktitut, have a love for country food and respect the land he comes from here in Nunavut. What better way for him to start learning about all of this than at the Tumikuluit Saipaaqivik daycare?

I feel sad for the people who actually make these decisions and don’t have the guts to reply to an email. All we want is an explanation as to why our child can’t attend a daycare that he should have every right to attend.

There needs to be some accountability somewhere. Who sets the guidelines and acceptance polices? I have been told there is a board of directors but so far I have not been able to find out who is on the board or who is the head of the board.

I did ask in my email to the day care, but that email went unanswered.

Going this route is basically my last resort, I have had no luck going directly to the day care, Kakivak or NTI so I thought I might have some luck with the media.

I have not sent this letter or any other letter to any other media. I would prefer to remain anonymous due to the fact that my child is a ward of social services still, nor would I like our family to be named in public because his birth parents do not know he is with us or being adopted by us.

Thank you for your time and help with this important matter.

(Name by withheld by request)
Iqaluit

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