Colonization is a ‘book,’ not a ‘chapter’ in Indigenous history, says Nunavut MP

Qaqqaq says foster care is the ‘new residential school system’

Nunavut MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq, seen here in a House of Commons session in May, said, “foster care is the new residential school system,” during a June 3 session, prompting a discussion in the House about the system, and the Liberals’ commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action. (Screenshot from ParlVU)

By David Venn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation’s discovery of the remains of 215 children in a mass grave at a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C., should not be regarded as a closed chapter in Canadian history, says Nunavut member of Parliament Mumilaaq Qaqqaq, but an ongoing reality for Indigenous people.

“Colonization is not a dark chapter in Canadian history. It is a book that the federal institution continues to write,” Qaqqaq said in the House of Commons June 3.

The NDP politician was responding to a May 28 tweet by Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that called the discovery a “painful reminder of that dark and shameful chapter of our country’s history.”

But Qaqqaq said, “We are tired of living in someone else’s story and refuse to continue to have it written for us.”

Qaqqaq spoke specifically about foster care, which she said is the “new residential school system.”

Indigenous children account for more than 50 per cent of those in foster care but make up less than eight per cent of the child population, according to the 2016 Census.

The result, Qaqqaq said, is trauma.

“Just like suicide and death, losing children to foster care is becoming the norm for Inuit families. This is a direct outcome of basic human rights being violated,” she said, recounting stories of friends and family who have found loved ones who died by suicide.

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller pointed to a law that came into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, as an example of the government’s response to the over-representation of Indigenous children in foster care.

The Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families is said to help keep Inuit children with their immediate or extended families, ensure youth services are culturally relevant and that Inuit children who have been sent outside of Inuit Nunangat for special care have contact with their home communities, said Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami president Natan Obed when Bill C-92 was introduced in 2019.

But even Miller has said that the bill is not the whole solution, and called the child and family services system “broken.”

“The number of Indigenous children who have been taken away in care in recent years far exceeds the number who attended residential schools,” he said. “Removing a child from their family or community must be an absolute last resort.”

The bill was in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action, which included a demand that the federal government “enact Aboriginal child-welfare legislation,” according to a 2019 government news release.

Qaqqaq’s comments came a few days after both she, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and a number of parliamentary leaders questioned the Liberals’ commitment to the rest of the TRC’s 94 calls to action, of which Singh said only 12 have been completed.

“The question comes down to why are the calls to action not being implemented. The only answer I can think of is because of a lack of political will,” Singh said. “This is an absolute denial of justice.”

Liberals said that reconciliation is on the way, but it takes time.

Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal said “reconciliation is our government’s number one goal,” adding that the government has, in partnership with Indigenous communities, invested more than $30 billion into educational and health care infrastructure.

“We are on the cusp of transformative change,” Trudeau said.

But Qaqqaq said there continues to be plenty of talk and little action, and that it’ll be 2062 by the time each call to action is achieved, at the current pace.

“Indigenous peoples do not want their shame, guilt or even, to an extent, the thoughts and prayers of non-Indigenous peoples,” she said. “What Indigenous peoples are calling for throughout the country is action.”

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(56) Comments:

  1. Posted by Paradigm Shift on

    To drawn a direct comparison between foster care and residential schools seems like a misrepresentation of reality to me.

    On the surface, at least, the purpose of foster care is to literally care for children whose homes are broken in some way that makes the condition of their lives within them intolerable and unacceptable.

    If we can agree on that, then where does the analogy to residential schools come from? This seems like a very low resolution interpretation of reality.

    What am I missing?

    • Posted by Oh Yeah? on

      I’m sorry but it is not an unrealistic comparison at all. In fact, I have made that exact comparison when speaking about my personal experience. Unless you are an indigenous person who has lived in the foster system, then you are no authority on either. I would add, if you are not indigenous, you are no authority on ANYTHING relevant to our lives. Thank you, Mumilaaq. You nailed it.

      • Posted by Where are the sense makers? on

        Dear Nunatsiaq News.

        I invite you, as the medium through which these messages flow, to acknowledge the many countervailing voices opposed to these interpretations and narratives and open up space in your commentary section to a longer form analysis of these issues, either through your commentary or editorial sections. Perhaps a civilized debate or intentional pieces by those with contrary but informed and interesting opinions.

        We are bombarded here and elsewhere with twitter like cut outs of reality and it should be obvious to anyone that these simply offer too few dimensions to be meaningful or of value in making sense of complex issues

    • Posted by Ian on


    • Posted by Forced South on

      I believe that the comparison comes from the number of Indigenous children going to southern non-indigenous foster homes or hotels. They’re far from home in an environment and culture that they aren’t used to.

      • Posted by Why? on

        Then why is the GN running such a system?

    • Posted by Out Of Touch on

      The comparison is perfectly justified and a reflection of the reality of Indigenous children today. Look up the Jordan’s Principle! In 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) determined the Government of Canada’s approach to services for First Nations children was discriminatory. The tribunal has since revised the Jordan’s Principle numerous times. These programs wouldn’t exist without the tribunals findings. I ask you this, why did Canada need to pass Bill C-92 than?!?

      • Posted by Paradigm Shift on

        I think we need to focus in a little more sharply on the main point here. That is, Mumilaaq has made a direct analogy between the residential school system and the foster care system. I am curious about how, or if, that link exists. What are the qualities of the fostercare system that make them comparable? The implication is that fostercare is a system being used to perpetuate colonialism; that is cultural loss and assimilation. There might be an extent to which that is happening, but are those consequences or intents? What are the alternatives?
        Again, this seems like a low-resolution analysis, which is to say if you squint and look at something from a distance you can see a blurry outline of something that looks a bit like the blurry outline of something else.
        I understand Jordin’s principle and have read up on Bill C-92, but do not see how either (especially the former) support that claim, though I grant you that Bill C-92 lays out a particular framework and ideal set that has not been realized.
        Mumilaaq is doing what she tends to do here, which is to find moral crusades where she casts herself in the archetypal role of the “voice” or defender of “her people” (a concept which, in the real world, seems to have crystalized around her twitter tribe more than it has around Nunavummiut).
        In sum, I agree that this appears to be a facile argument devoid of serious nuance, though it is clearly the type to captivate those eager to see grievance and cosmic injustice wherever they look.

        • Posted by Spoiled Brat on

          Nunavut’s MP is a perfect encapsulation of where Nunavut is at after twenty years: Brash, entitled, lazy, more interested in Twitter followers than actual change and not very well informed.

          Bring on the election and a new MP.

      • Posted by get her out! on

        Qaqqaq has done nothing but complain and take time off. Its time for her to step up and actually solve the problems she so often rants about. If shes not willing to finally DO SOMETHING, then she needs to resign immediatley. Enough is enough.

    • Posted by You’re missing nothing on

      It’s a facile comparison drawn by someone who has demonstrated no ability to express any sort of nuance at all and thinks primarily in Tweet-length snippets.

    • Posted by Kevin N on

      I am a person that lived in Akaitcho Hall. For me it was good, I received a good education and made friends. What was not good was the racism between all of us…. white people, Indian and Inuit. I saw a person lit a fire on a persons head. I jumped across the couch and tacked him…and I got the crap beaten out of me.

      Of all the bad that is Akaitcho Hall, it was the best for me because I received a top grade in high school. Thank you Mr. Feltham, Mr. Klassen and all others that took care of us.

      • Posted by Jeff on

        I went to res school as well. I have ZERO fond memories of the 4 year ordeal. I would elaborate on my grievances but it would fill up many many pages. I have 1 FAVE memory of res school tho… when I graduated from high school & punched my ticket out of res school hell ??

  2. Posted by Children First on

    And yet, it is ok to trap children 0-11 in jail hubs…
    Mrs Qaqqaq, maybe it is time to listen to your constituents. Parents are exhausted. Now is the time to put your influence to good use.

    • Posted by Cheese on

      You’re trying to include the two week Covid isolation hub in a discussion about the horrors of residential school and the broken foster care system and the damage done to generations of indigenous people? Just, wow.

      Just to be clear, my calling the foster care system broken is not meant to take away from the many people who have provided safe, caring homes and refuges for children. It’s terrible that it isn’t always the case that children end up in safe places.

      • Posted by Children First on

        Not at all. My point is that her constituents, at the moment, are clearly reacting to the latest news regarding the jail hubs. And Mrs Qaqqaq is yet again not responding, not event acknowledging, what is happening in her territory. My comment had nothing to do with the horrors of residential schools. It had to do with Mrs Qaqqaq incapacity to deal with current matters.

        • Posted by Cheese on

          Given the news in the last week, I’m pretty sure residential school and the resulting trauma are on the minds of plenty of Nunavummiut too. I don’t even agree with what she said, but the subject of residential schools is not inappropriate. And two weeks in a hotel suite with free high speed internet, cable, meals is not jail. It is a huge inconvenience, but it is not jail. They are only now discovering the long term effects of covid, even for people who have mild symptoms while infected. I’d prefer it if it isn’t brought into the territory and passed on to my children. Since young children cannot be vaccinated at this time, I’m glad the government is taking precautions.
          I’m going to stop this now and let indigenous people have a little time to talk about residential school and foster care now. It is possible for two issues to be important at the same time. I believe there was a story about the hubs the day before this article was printed. I’d be happy to meet you in those comments to carry on the discussion, and address the territorial government that is actually responsible for the decisions about the hub.

  3. Posted by Steelman on

    So the alternative is too keep these children with their own families? Does our MP assume they were removed from those families because they are indigenous and because the government wants to assimilate them? Is that the crux of your argument, Mumilaaq?

  4. Posted by Connect the dots on

    If we are now being told that foster care is the new residential school system, can people wake up and realize that the residential school narrative is written by activists who are manipulating you, just like they are now trying to do with this new spin on foster care? Life was never perfect for kids who didn’t go to residential school, not 100 years ago and not today. Kids of all colours and all social strata all over the world went to residential schools over many centuries, and yes, predators did commit abuse at them, just like predators commit abuse on children in every single community in Nunavut.

    Home life can be really awful for many kids. Most aboriginal kids who are abused are abused by their own family members, or by kids in their peer group. This is true for all people all over the world, it was true in the past, and it is still true today. It’s the reason why we need foster homes, and Nunavut needs more of them, not less.

    Activist don’t really care about kids, or they wouldn’t be trying to focus your attention away from things that are happening right now in Nunavut that makes today’s kids suffer. That’s why they want you to obsess endlessly over residential schools, despite the fact those schools all closed decades ago, the apologies were made, and the settlement payments went out to everybody. Don’t listen to them any more. Today’s kids need you to care about today’s reality. Protect them.

  5. Posted by Here we go again.. on

    Instead of bashing foster parents who literally want to help children who may be stuck in a broken home, why not provide solutions? Why not start with the core problem, which is parents unfit to be parents having half a dozen children by the time they’re 25?

    All she does is further the divide with her NS speak and hate on anything non-indiginous. It would be nice to see her come up with solutions rather than just constant negativity and attitude. Entitled much?

  6. Posted by ds on

    This is not a “mass grave”. It is a graveyard. The most recent burials are over 50 years old; the oldest could be as much as 125 years old. The existence of the graveyard was not a secret. It is on indigenous land. The indigenous owners of the land knew it was there.

    As far as the disproportionate number of indigenous children in foster care is concerned, why have these children been placed in care? Could it be that the conditions in the homes are so abysmal that foster care is the better alternative? Instead of complaining about foster care, address the issues that make homes unfit for children.

    • Posted by Unbiased Sources on

      Hey ds, do you have sources for this information? I believe you, it’s just really hard to find hard news and facts on this.

      • Posted by Janice on

        HI – The school opened in late 1890 and closed as a residential school in 1968, at which point it was no longer under Catholic authority. It continued to operate, under the Federal Government, as a day school for 11 more years. So, it’s unlikely there was any burial there after 1968. Also, there may not have been a burial there for some time before that for various reasons.

        The chief of the local FN on which the school and burial ground sits has confirmed the graves are individual burials.

        Several hundred feet away, across the river, there is another graveyard. It contains the unmarked graves of 245 whites. The graves are unmarked for various reasons. Probably some were always unmarked. Some probably had wooden markers lost to rot or in grass fires. (The area is dessert.) The graveyard was neglected and vandalized, but then restored in 1961. The few stone markers there were are embedded in a concrete slab. The last burial was around 1901. This is not to suggest there is very much in common between the people buried in the Pioneer Cemetery and those buried at the school, except to say, it may be that it is possible the graves were once marked with wooden crosses which likely had inadequate identification, and were eventually lost to grass fires, winter weather, and so on. If that’s the case (that there were markers that are now gone), then it suggests the last burial could have been some time before 1969, because the local FN does not mention remembering markers.

  7. Posted by Hi-qaluit on

    I have been living in the north for over 16 years and have been an Foster Parent for 15. I love my community and wanted to give back the best way I could. We have had many children pass through our home, fell in love with some but cared for them all. As foster parents we open our homes but also our hearts, so when you have had a child live with you for a time, when they leave it feels as if you are losing a family member. It puts a toll on your emotions. We are lucky enough that most of the kids we took in they still come back to see us, we still see them as our sons and daughters. I have emphaye

  8. Posted by Hi-qaluit on

    I have been living in the north for over 16 years and have been an Foster Parent for 15. I love my community and wanted to give back the best way we could. We have had many children pass through our home, fell in love with some but cared for them all. As foster parents we open our homes but also our hearts, so when you have had a child live with you for a time, when they leave it feels as if you are losing a family member. It puts a toll on your emotions. We are lucky enough that most of the kids we took in they still come back to see us, we still see them as our sons and daughters. I have empathy for Qaqqaq but her lack of experience shows her ignorance of the foster care system, it’s purpose and the families who give their time, support and love to each of the kids they take in to their homes. Yes the foster system is not perfect but the the reason for the foster system is even worse. We as a family who have given their love, I angered when we are referred to as the new residential school system. I guess it’s easier to complain about the issue than to have any kind of resolution,

    • Posted by Consistency on

      Maybe now that Qaqqaq is leaving politics she can become a foster parent so she can provide the right kind of love and care for the kids that are left for days alone while their parents are out drinking. Or also just as good she can get an education become a social worker so that she know that only the kids that need to be taken from their parents will be.

      The foster care system is needed because we have parents taht dont take proper care of their childern. What should happen instead of just taking the kids away parents should also be made to take programs to help them get over their addictions and heal from past tramas. But then that would require commitment and effort from the GN and Feds to more then just take kids and forget about them.

  9. Posted by Piled Higher and Deeper on

    Part of the foster care problem is that most Indigenous families do not have the housing space needed to take in foster children.
    First, overcrowding is the normal because there are not enough houses.
    Second, anyone who has space takes in homeless.
    Third, the rules for foster care require that the home have a vacant bedroom, all set up for the child to move into.
    That’s not expected by the child and not the reality for most Indigenous families, see point 2.
    Thus, by default, almost all Indigenous children in need of foster care end up in non-Indigenous households because those are the only ones with the available space.
    And to add insult to injury, those helpful, non-Indigenous families receive about ten times as much money for each foster child that they take in than the parents would receive in Social Assistance if they kept the child.

    • Posted by God of the Gaps on

      A couple questions to help shed light on what you’re saying. Do indigenous foster care workers make the same as their non-indigenous counterparts? Is your point about social assistance vs foster care funding meant to suggest that social welfare is too low, that foster care monies are too high, or that this is a benefit that only non-indigenous foster families enjoy? I’d be appreciative of any links to info on this, especially with regards to this gap.

      • Posted by Lived Experience on

        Foster care rates in Nunavut can be found here
        They range from $58 to $65 per child per day, depending on the comunity.
        Income Assitance benefits are available at

        If you do the subtraction you find out that the family receives $213 per month for a first child, $294 per month for a second child, $271 per month for a thrd child, $250 per month for a fourth child, and so on if they are in zone 1. The amounts are a little higher in the other zones.
        Parents on Income Assistance receive $213 per month to feed a first child, even a teenager.
        If they crack under the strain and give that child to Family Services, the foster parents receive $1740 per month to feed that one child, plus extra for clothing, plus airline tickets for a family vacation, etc.
        Too any parents are faced with a terrible choice. They can watch their child go hungry, or they can give the child to Family Services to become a Foster Child.
        It’s not the same as when children were taken by force to residential school. But in some ways it is worse. Guilty if you do and guilty if you don’t. What a choice for parents to have to make.

        • Posted by Hold up on

          Having a child is not supposed to be some financial benefit. Its absolutely a financial burden and you are supposed to be prepared for that burden. Nunavut and many other places have a real problem with parent preparedness.

          I don’t know if its a complete lack of sexual education at home or school in Nunavut that has caused the lowest fertility rates in Canada by a wide margin. I don’t know if its access to contraceptives to practice safe sex. But there’s a problem. Kids are having kids with zero thoughts to the consequences both financially and on life in general.

          Somehow in Nunavut for some having a child at 17-20 has become a status symbol. Their friends are packing and its cute so time to pack one too with total disregard for that future child’s life just hoping your parents and grandparents will take the burden.

          Children should be educated knowing they need X dollars of excess income per month if they want to have a child, they need to know how to practice safe sex if they are not ready for a child! Nunavut needs to get average parents age up! Its not working right now because the mothers and fathers just are not mature enough, be it financially or mentally. Its a problem!

          Foster parents would not be getting any income at all if people were actually ready to have their child except in very sad and unfortunate circumstances.

          I really don’t think considering upping the rates for having a child is a smart move. I think it only incentives having more children and does not address any of the core issues at hand. Until the underlying problems like alcohol and neglect are figured out providing more money for those activities that lead to those problems seems like a very bad move…

        • Posted by Logophile on

          Thanks for providing that information.

          I’m curious, what is the difference between ‘lived experience’ and ‘personal experience’ or just ‘experience’ in general? Isn’t the term ‘lived’ not just redundant, but a bit obvious?

    • Posted by Mark Christie on

      I have seen many cases where the child welfare regime pays between $50 and $85 per day per child and harass bio parents when they run out of money at the end if the month. This often leads to children being apprehended. And, that is often Inuit children to non-Inuit foster parents. Why should this be happening when a fraction of the cost could be used to support the bio family?

      • Posted by Look after yourself on

        It’s not the job of the “regime” to raise anyone’s kids. This is a modern notion that has taken hold in Nunavut, the conviction that the government owes you money for having children, and it’s hilarious to be angry that foster parents get money to pay the kids’ expenses and bio parents don’t (except they do, that’s why many have the kids in the first place, as income generators). That’s where the real anger comes from at neglected kids being removed from the home as they are not being looked after: they are not generating the income that their parents want from them, and they are jealous that those who are looking after their kids are getting money that they want for themselves, but wouldn’t actually spend on the kids anyway.

        • Posted by Curious Minds on

          Teenages are not having kids because the children are money generators. Teenages are not that stupid.
          Teenagers are having kids because that is the only way to eventually get a house.
          When was the last time a single individual or a childless couple got a home from Housing? Does anyone know anyone who did? Speak up and tell us. Housing Minister, please tell us when Housing gave a house to a single individual or a childless couple. Please, we would really like to know.

  10. Posted by TGC on

    Speaking of last resorts… an orphanage of a sort, call it what you will, well run, managed, located in Nunavut is a very realistic solution to longer term care of children in need of good care, home. The nuclear family model is the working of a modern, relatively speaking, era that is being shown not to function all that well with high divorce seperation instances.

  11. Posted by Think About It on

    As someone who is not Indigenous but has been a Foster parent for years, this conversation is not on a level playing field. The Foster Care system is not about colonization it is about protecting children. Ask an Elder what happened to a child, especially a little girl when the food was scarce and the community could not afford the food to feed her. Or if someone was disabled. It does take a community to raise a child, but in 2021 we as a community are self centered narcissistic individuals concerned about what is in it for us.
    If you need proof take a look and our Inuit Orgs, or the kids running through the towns at all hours of the night, or sleeping in front of Northmart. I can predict that the $30 billion set aside for educational and health care infrastructure will be eaten up by consultants, studies, and information gatherings.
    Lets just say that the system stopped removing children that are being abused, tortured, and starved, and let the community start caring for these children; who would that benefit?
    You would have people like Mumilaaq protesting that it is the governments responsibility to look after its most vulnerable. This young lady was voted in to represent the people of Nunavut, but it seems to me all see has done is highlight was is wrong, which most people already knew.

  12. Posted by articrick on

    Obviously a problem “seeker”, not a problem “solver”.

    • Posted by Ned Flanders on

      Can she leave now? Please.
      Maybe get a summer job on her break?

  13. Posted by Disappointed on

    I’m a foster Parent…. Screw her for “lumping” me in with this group. As foster parents (part of this system) we have to deal with the trauma that these children have faced at home. I still strongly believe that every child that is removed from a parents custody, the parent should be charged with something. I am starting to really, really dislike this MP, she seems to blame everyone else, lump all the groups together and find absolutely no solutions.
    SHUT UP already. If you have a solution fix something you idiot. As a foster parent (one of the few) I find it extremely disheartening to see these types of articles. This is why no one fosters kids who need it anymore. We didn’t kill the 215 kids and we sure as hell are trying to do something as a solution (fostering), but the system (which I am part of) gets painted with this very general brush.
    You may have just lost another foster parent because of your rants MP Qaqqaq.

  14. Posted by Disgusted on

    Kids are being removed from their families because their family has no capacity to provide them with any sort of life that has a chance for success. Be it abuse at home, no ability to provide the child with constructive activities, mental illness, etc. Kids are not being removed because they are happy and have a happy household.

    For the MP to go out of her way to now attack the people that open their homes up to children in an attempt to provide a better life for those children is disgusting. People are not doing it for the trivial amount of money paid by the GN for the daily rate. Its insignificant. Cost is not even a factor the entire goal no matter what skin color of that kid, no matter what background or culture is to solely set them up with the best chance of success and give them a life they previously didnt have. You’re not trying to take away culture. I would never consider that.

    There’s a lot of tremendously hard-working foster parents carving out better lives for children. There’s also some bad apples as with anything in life. Is it acceptable, no and I think all good foster parents condemn those bad apples.

    You constantly call for action but almost have no action steps to offer. You just use buzz words and attack other peoples action steps, saying to slow. Offer something tangible and actionable that would result in less children going into the foster system. Offer actionable advice that reduces broken homes due to alcohol, drugs and violence. We can all accept history has not been kind, but we need an actionable item for the now. How can we now fix broken homes I can guarantee you tossing more money at housing isn’t the magic fix look at the low income areas in the states, that method resulted in some of the worst areas.

    Start offering solutions rather than buzz words MP.

  15. Posted by Horrible on

    Absolutely disgusting comment by Qaqqaq. Comparing the people who provide endless help and support to our most vulnerable kids to some of the most despicable events in our countries history? Shameful. What a slap in the face to those who work so hard to keep these kids safe…

  16. Posted by From the Start on

    Ever hear about the Doctrine of Discovery.
    Ask google about it.

    • Posted by Please expand on

      I’m aware of the doctrine, now tell us how it connects with this issue?

  17. Posted by Northerner on

    Foster Care is a Nation Wide Program for children of all races. Nunavut is just a speck of sand in comparison.

  18. Posted by Wow-Over Board on

    This is ridiculous of the MP and the Minister. Many good people are offering to be Foster parents. I don’t know if it is solely for the money for most but keeping in mind that it does cost money to raise a child.
    My point is this MP is in way over her head and to suggest this is just another showing of her ignorance and her inexperience.
    What I take from this is leave the innocent children with the family and they can figure it out. Many of these children are abused and tortured as much as they would be in a residential school in their own homes. Drive around Iqaluit alone and see how many windows are broken in many of the social housing units and ask yourself how a child copes with this in the home, how scared they are when people are yelling and screaming and beating up the house.
    I come from a family that my grandfather abused everyone of his children, both sexually, mentally and physically, Stories from the children in that family were more of wishing they were dead and wishing that he would just kill them rather than having to suffer the abuse day after day. You wonder why so many kids grow up with hate in their hearts and continue to do the same. There is no help and there is no hope. The only hope is that a foster family could restore some hope in a child and provide enough love to help a child realize there is hope. This is the world, this in not colonialism. Open your eyes child.
    This MP has crossed the line over and over again and she should be ashamed of her suggestion.
    Never once in all her self pity whining has she offered one solution, not once. Miller is just as bad, he needs to realize that it was the federal government who started this, it was the federal government that delivered these kill to living a life of hell, it was the federal government who employed the RCMP who took the kids and the federal government who employed the churches to operated these horrific places. They knew what was happening from day one. They need to accept sole responsibility for the residential schools, when the truth comes out they probably have the records for every incident and probably rubber stamped them all.

  19. Posted by ds on

    Qaqqaq showed excellent judgement when she decided not to run again.
    That Jagmeet Singh and the NDP were prepared to keep her on is disturbing.

  20. Posted by More naivety and foolishness on

    Foster care in 2021 is akin to residential schools? Are you kidding. I’m sorry too many parents can’t care for their children. As a foster parent, anyone would see that in Nunavut is basically takes attempted murder for Family Services to actually aim for permanent apprehension of a child. Parents are given housing, jobs, treatment, and liberal access. If you haven’t been a foster parent, you don’t know any better. If anything, more children need to be permanently removed and protected from abusive neglectful parents and families.

  21. Posted by Valhalla on

    One question that comes to mind for me is what motivates someone like Mumilaaq, who has so little education or experience in the world to make these kind of huge sweeping claims about the fostercare system with such certainty?

    To call it the “new residential schools” is not frivolous, but it is to say that the system is designed to remove indigenous children from their homes with the purpose of assimilating them into southern culture.

    She goes on to say that placing children in foster homes causes them trauma. I’m sure it does, but this an incomplete picture without acknowledgement of the trauma experienced by those children in their homes. On this point Mumilaaq falls silent. Why?

    To me the removal of children from abusive and dysfunctional homes can be likened to harm reduction. It is, hopefully, the best among a short list of unfortunate options. As a young teen of 14 I was removed from my home, and the pain has never left me. Yet, I cannot imagine my life had I stayed in my home either. The family who took me in was very loving and much happier than my own.
    Ideally, those children removed from Inuit homes could be placed in other Inuit homes. I doubt anyone would dispute that or wish to see it any other way. Yet, only on the paper where Bill’s and Legislation are scribbled can such utopian visions be so perfectly rendered… in the real world things are complicated; filled with broken and moving parts.

    Undoubtedly, there are many cases where the match between the caregiver and the child is a disaster. To raise a damaged, traumatized child from another family and another culture is a Herculean task.

    To listen to a politician like Mumilaaq, with no obvious experience or knowledge on the issue mimicking vapid social justice rhetoric must be discouraging to those who have dedicated their lives to helping these children. This is a labour of love that can’t be reduced to financial interests, to take in a child is to transform your own life as well as theirs.

  22. Posted by The Poison Pill Pays Off on

    I have a hypothesis that Nunatsiaq runs stories about Mumilaaq at certain intervals because each draws in lots of views and clicks. It’s good for their ‘site visits’ and the numbers they tout to potential buyers of advertising space.

    Now, we can’t really blame them for this, it’s a game they have no choice but to play, monetary reasons in this case are existential.

    That said, we should at least be aware of it.

    Also note, Mumilaaq is part of this game too. Being provocative excites attention and attention makes life appear more meaningful. In a way she is driving our discourse, and that must be a thrill for her (deserved or not, and for me I say not, but so it is).

  23. Posted by Colin on

    Yes, there’s a problem with foster care and also with the hell-hole prisons where there are more Indigenous inmates than there ever were students at peak enrolllment in residential schools.

    Instead of delivering an implementation plan for next generations, the TRC and MMIWG commissioners “sold Indigenous youth down the river”—so fat cats can profit forever from real misery and grievances.

    Commissioners Murray Sinclair and Marion Buller (and Nunavut’s Qajaq Robinson) never even hinted that next generations should get the education and skills training, and opportunity for a rewarding career, that they had in their own childhood and youth.

    Those who are employed in a rewarding career seldom commit suicide or disappear; they seldom become serious addicts or street people; and they seldom go to jail. And their children don’t need foster care.

  24. Posted by Arnold McGillicuddy on

    1. Close all the mines and prohibit any non Inuit-owned business from operating in Nunavut (including the Northern). Shut them all down or send them packing.

    2. If we politely asked or simply evicted all southern people and they left Nunavut that would mean a lot more houses and infrastructure for just for Inuit.

    3. Canada currently provides about $1.7B to the Government of Nunavut (or about $45,000 per person whereas Ontario receives about $1,500 per person in federal funding). Let’s make that $30B to start, but the Government of Canada should pay whatever Nunavut says they need, above and beyond that $30B and for as long as Nunavut wants. The rest of the 35,000,000 people in Canada need to provide for whatever Inuit want and should stop asking any questions.

    !!! All problems solved in three easy steps !!!

    That is what my leaders seem to be going for (Aluki & Mummilaq). Very quick to point out problems so I can’t wait to see what they’ll do to resolve them!

  25. Posted by Pinocchio & little red riding hood band wagon Education on

    Take a LOOK HOW EDUCATION system in Nunavut is flawed, and how curriculum’s are taught regardless of student’s Education! The equivalency in Nunavut in other jurisdiction in Canada example Nunavut Gr. 10 in south it is Gr. 7 or 8 level; which system is certainly broken, and NOT reconsidered for CLOSE monitoring.

    Teachers hired teaching academic’s in most case scenario is certainly NOT student’s EDUCATION when actual core basic’s should be taught i.e. English Grammar, Math, or Science. These basic’s that is relevant to POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION for students to have opportunity to succeed in programs! But with current curriculum taught in Classes it certainly does NOT apply!

    • Posted by What curriculum? on

      Anyone is able to go onto the GN website and take a look at the curriculum for Nunavut students. It’s publicly available information and I highly advise everyone to read it. check through each grade and take note that some grades have missing gaps in their curriculum, where no guidance is provided for teachers. Now consider that teaching positions go unfilled by qualified individuals every single year all across this territory. Those positions still get filled. By those unqualified to teach. By those that don’t know how to make a lesson plan to follow a curriculum, let alone create the curriculum as well!

      Anyone who wants to see education in this territory improve needs to take a look at this publically available information and start emailing positions of government that Nunavut children deserve a PROPER Nunavut curriculum. And not some Hodge Podge mix.

      I am a southerner and I would LOVE to see a well designed curriculum made by the Inuit for the Inuit. If you “hate” us so bad and want us to leave, teach your children to be teachers.

      • Posted by What is Quality EDUCATION??? on

        None certainly mention on southerner nor designed made by Inuit for Inuit. This certainly proves you calendar programs taught in classes (considered credit courses) is NOT relevant to post-secondary programs (College or University). How can a student LEARN fundamentals of education with clear picture;
        – English Grammar (how to read & write proper English)
        – Mathematics
        – Science
        – Social Studies

        These are fundamental basics that should be taught in Classes on each subject, and NOT flawed mixture of credit programs that is certainly NOT relevant to students education, as well said! And not some Hodge Podge mix! Perhaps prelube mix???

      • Posted by Survey Education Rates & Fundamental Programs! on

        The Department of Education should consider conducting a survey on Education as follows:

        – What is the rates of Grade 12 graduates enrollment in College or University?
        – What is the percentage of Nunavut students graduation or drop-out rates?
        – What are the Calendar Programs delivered in Classes K to Gr. 12?
        – Is cultural programs delivered on full-time scale basis in classes Monday to Friday?
        – What are Academic programs delivered in classes to students Education?
        – Is fundamental core basics delivered in classes relevant to Post-Secondary Institution’s?
        – Is English Grammar, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies delivered as required, as part of Academic Learning Lesson’s?

        Is this supposed to be fundamental core basics to deliver Academic Programs in Classes, as mandatory lesson’s for students to LEARN???

  26. Posted by articrick on

    She knows how to stir the ujuq pot,lol

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