Nunavik’s no “dead-end,” say southern workers at Nunavik orgs

Their letter criticizes La Presse‘s recent coverage of Nunavik

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Nunavik is not a “dead end,” say 11 readers of La Presse from southern Quebec who work for Nunavik organizations, in an open letter to the editors of the French-language daily newspaper.

In their letter published on a Quebec website March 1, they say the series of stories printed in La Presse Feb. 25 in its multi-story feature section on the “Inuit tragedy” is alarmist.

“We’re not challenging the statistics and the real problems that result from social problems among Inuit… no doubt journalists, who are aware of these difficulties, want to administer a shock so there’s some reaction to social problems they have seen. Yet alarmism has repeatedly demonstrated its inability to resolve this problem. Alarmism often has the opposite effect: it numbs, discourages and undermines [people].”

The signatories of the letter say there was absolutely no need to use a murder case as part of a report on the situation of Inuit (see The Inuit tragedy: a northern dead-end)

And they slammed the choice of photographs used in La Presse as in “bad taste.”

These can only feed the distrust of Inuit towards southerners, they say.

While they say some of other La Presse stories tried to show positive programs, “you have to spend more time with the Inuit to explore the richness and creativity of this ancient people.”

“Inuit are proud people with a vital culture. It is especially important to know them a little better, to work with them on improving the living conditions of northern Quebec.”

Nunatsiaq News has printed translated articles from the recent La Presse series. See The Inuit tragedy: a northern dead end, published March 1, The Inuit tragedy: Nunavik drops out, published March 2, and Nunavik: using child care to keep kids in school , published March 3, on Nunatsiaqonline.ca. For reaction to the series, go to a Feb. 29 Nunatsiaqonline.ca story Quebec newspaper articles outrage many Nunavik Inuit and to a March 2 story La Presse responds to complaints about its Nunavik coverage .

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