Canada announces $1.8 million to help abused women, children in Nunavut

Projects aimed at increasing access to justice, combat sexual harassment, helping kids

David Lametti, the federal justice minster, announces $1.8 million for three Nunavut initiatives at a news conference at Nunavut Arctic College in Iqaluit Monday morning. (Photo by Emma Tranter)

By Emma Tranter

Three Nunavut projects will receive a total of $1.8 million in federal funding to help abused children and women and to help fight sexual harassment.

The federal justice minister, David Lametti, announced the funding at a news conference at Nunavut Arctic College’s Nunatta Campus in Iqaluit on Monday.

One of the three projects is the Umingmak Child and Youth Support Centre, a new service, started by the Arctic Children and Youth Foundation, aimed at helping children who have been victims of abuse.

Justice Canada will provide $875,526 over five years to support the centre, which is set to open in September 2019.

The centre, which has been in the works since 2014, will provide a “safe, culturally informed, child-friendly environment” where agencies will deliver their services in collaboration, said Kylie Aglukark, executive board member of ACYF.

“It’s important to be able to give this kind of support to kids, where they can … be interviewed by a police officer not wearing a uniform who has been specially trained to interview children. They can see a doctor if they need to see a doctor, or a nurse, or a social worker,” Lametti said.

Lametti said he has spoken with the Government of Nunavut to see how they can expand the centre’s services to the territory’s other communities.

“It’s a first step.… Once it’s up and running and functioning really well in Iqaluit, we can think of either having a couple of more such CACs in other parts of the territory, but also there may be a way to provide services using Iqaluit as the base,” he said.

“You need to take the first step before you can start walking and before you can start running.”

Another $843,000 over five years will go to a project from the Law Society of Nunavut to help confront sexual harassment in the workplace and gender-based violence.

The project, called “Sexual harassment in the workplace and other harassment related issues in Nunavut,” will increase public awareness of these issues through community workshops.

Law Society of Nunavut Chief Executive Officer Nalini Vaddapalli presents justice minister David Lametti with a gift at an announcement in Iqaluit Monday, July 29. (Photo by Emma Tranter)

It will also deliver public legal information and education and offer free legal advice for individuals who experience harassment or gender-based violence.

The project is part of the law society’s Access to Knowledge Initiative, launched in 2015, which facilitates access to information and increased understanding of rights and available resources for Nunavummiut.

The law society will also receive an additional $111,000 over two years to support another program called “Access to Justice for Family Violence in Nunavut.”

That initiative aims to improve access to legal information and resources for women in the territory.

“The project will also develop a family violence awareness campaign to improve the public’s ability to recognize abusive situations and break the silence around family violence,” the news release said.

Lametti said the announcement is part of the Government of Canada’s 2018 budget, which earmarked $50 million over five years of funding to address sexual harassment.

Of that amount, $25 million is dedicated to organizations to increase their ability to provide legal advice and information to support complainants of sexual harassment. The other $25 million is dedicated to organizations to provide public legal education and information to workers.

“Cultural support in this case, in the Inuit context, is critically important … that they have access to traditional knowledge, traditional help and healing,” Lametti said.

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(11) Comments:

  1. Posted by *sad face on

    So the Government of Canada means to tell me that Inuit women and children are only abused in Nunavut?
    Somebody explain where this money is coming from and why it is only slated for Nunavut Inuit

    • Posted by Write a proposal :) on

      No one said harassment and violence were only problems in Nunavut. That’s a bit of a leap of logic to make. The money is going to Nunavut, because Nunavut organizations took the initiative to submit a funding proposal.

    • Posted by Over and over on

      Complain, complain, complain…. so easy, isn’t it?

    • Posted by Observer on

      I don’t see anywhere in the story where it states only Inuit can access the services.

  2. Posted by Sceptic on

    Calculated by population this is the equivalent of giving Ontario $800,000,000.

    Yes I do understand the costs of travel and translation in Nunavut but I also wonder:

    1. Where was the public call for funding proposals – I may have missed it but a quick google did not turn it up. Why these efforts and these people. What about children with rickets?

    2. The law society has a bad record for failing to hire Inuit or even locally. They had better not turn this into another mass import of hopelessly fresh young southern lawyers and law students ready to “save the Inuit”

    3. Watch where the money goes. Watch where the jobs are. If they are not all in Iqaluit then I will write to commend you.

    • Posted by Federal Funding Opportunities re Family Violence Initiative on

      Here is the link to the Federal Government, Department of Justice Family Violence Initiative


      Funding may be available to organizations that want to conduct pilot projects to develop, test and assess models, strategies and tools to improve the justice system’s response to family violence. Funding may also be provided to support Public Legal Education and Information (PLEI) projects to promote public access to family violence information, promote public awareness of the factors contributing to family violence, and advance public involvement in the responses to family violence.

      All projects must be short term.

      There are numerous federal funding programs, if you simply google. Ideally Nunavut would have a MP that would help communities know what funding is available. This is what most other MPs do. Imagine.

      • Posted by Karen on

        I think it’s difficult for Con supporters to see social programs and funding in place instead of cutting them, they are so used to cuts instead of new programs and funding.

  3. Posted by on

    How about giving the abusers real sentences and keeping their victims safe from them rather than a slap on the wrist over and over till they kill their victims…

    • Posted by callingitlikeiseeit on

      I agree with this comment 100%. I’m not sure what it is going to take for these offenders (and a lot of repeat offenders) to start receiving legitimate sentences. Unfortunately this is a Canada wide issue. Canada’s “Justice” (and I use that term very loosely) requires some major improvements.

  4. Posted by Colin on

    All crumbs for a good cause are worth having and it’s good to see the Umingmak Child and Youth Support Centre getting $175,000 for each of the next five years.

    For context though Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spent $384,000 on gourmet food and fine wines just for five flights on his government jet. Say it again: three hundred and eighty four thousand dollars—enough to buy a small house even in Nunavut. (Source an MP’s access to information request)

    How did Lametti travel to Iqaluit and how much did it cost to come and make the announcement?

    • Posted by We know about you too Colin. on

      How about we talk about Ottawa. Do you have influence who gets hired in Larga House in Ottawa?. Is there enough Inuit workers in there. Or, is it a family orientated organization and who is in charge of all the meetings in with Patient Services with Larga?. Colin, Have a nice day

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