COVID-19 closes Inuit organization offices in Nunavut
Essential programs continue
Inuit organizations in Nunavut have closed their offices to help avoid the spread of COVID-19 in the territory.
Those that have announced closures online include:
Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. has closed all offices “until further notice,” although essential staff members continue to work from home.
A scheduled Kugaaruk board of directors meeting was cancelled “with the evolving situation with COVID-19 for health and safety,” said NTI.
NTI said regular NTI email addresses remain functional.
For NTI-administered programs, NTI shared the following numbers on Wednesday, March 18:
• Enrollment 1-888-236-5400
• NHSP 1-888-236-5400
• Scholarships 1-888-236-5400
• Elders’ Pension 1-888-236-5400
And for general inquiries, 1-888-646-0006
The Qikiqtani Inuit Association has suspended non-essential programs and has implemented work-from-home procedures in light of COVID-19.
“In our continued efforts to prioritize the health and well-being of our employees and communities and assist in limiting the spread of COVID-19, the Qikiqtani Inuit Association is escalating our prevention and mitigation measures by implementing work-from-home procedures and suspending non-essential program delivery until further notice.”
As of Wednesday, March 18, QIA staff members (except those who are required to come to the office to access systems or perform essential services) are instructed to work from home until March 31.
All non-essential programs such as the Qikiqtani Cultural Activities Program, the Qikiqtani Skills and Training for Employment Partnership, Grants and Contributions and the Ilagiiktunut Nunalinnullu Pivalliajutisait Kiinaujat program will be suspended.
“As conditions continue to change rapidly, we will be revisiting and reassessing these decisions regularly to support staff and community health,” the QIA said.
The QIA has also suspended its compassionate bereavement program until further notice. This decision was made in response to instructions from public health authorities to stop all non-essential travel in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 throughout Nunavut, the QIA said.
The Kitikmeot Inuit Association says that “due to the COVID 19 pandemic please be advised that the KIA executive committee has declared that all KIA offices in the Kitikmeot region are closed to the public until April 3, unless conditions change.”
All KIA programs are also on hold during this period, including access to the bereavement and compassionate travel program.
The Nunavut Wildlife Management Board says that “effective immediately and until further notice: The NWMB office (in Iqaluit) will be closed to the public.”
Kakivak Association says “we are closely monitoring information regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and taking appropriate actions to ensure that clients receive essential services while preventing or minimizing the spread of COVID-19.”
The Kakivak office in Iqaluit will be closed to the public “until further notice” as a precautionary measure. All meetings with clients, partners and contractors will be held by phone or rescheduled.
Kakivak said it is taking steps to ensure that client services and funding will not be interrupted.
All students supported by Kakivak will continue to receive funding as normal, regardless of the status of the college, university or other training facility.
Childcare funding will continue regardless of attendance or the operational status of the daycare centre, Kakivak said, while services for business clients will continue.
However, some delays and rescheduling of projects can be expected, Kakivak said.
The Kivalliq Inuit Association says that, “Upon the advice of Public Health Officials to practice social distancing in order to limit the spread of COVID-19, the offices of the KivIA are closed under further notice. Kivalliq beneficiaries will continue to be able to access the bereavement and compassionate care program at 1-867-645-6832, the student scholarships program at 1-867-645-6830 and for other inquiries, 1-645-5725 or 1-800-220-6581.