Nunavut government announces new program for Inuit correctional caseworkers

“We want to ensure that the future of our system includes individuals who believe in Inuit societal values as the basis of our justice system”

The Nunavut Department of Justice has partnered with Algonquin College to develop a program that aims to provide the educational foundation and hands-on experience needed for a career within Nunavut’s corrections division. (File photo)

By Dustin Patar

Inuit seeking careers in Nunavut’s corrections system will now have a new path to take thanks to a collaboration between the Department of Justice and Algonquin College.

The two-year correctional caseworker program, which was announced by Justice Minister Jeannie Ehaloak in the legislature on Monday, Feb. 24, aims to provide both an educational foundation and enough hands-on experience for individuals to enter into careers in the corrections division.

“It is important to us to ensure we are recruiting and training individuals who understand that the delivery of justice services is to be approached from a vision of healing and rehabilitation, as opposed to punishment,” said Ehaloak.

“We want to ensure that the future of our system includes individuals who believe in Inuit societal values as the basis of our justice system.”

The community and justice services diploma program begins in May at Algonquin College in Ottawa, followed by on-the-job training in one of Nunavut’s correctional facilities.

All travel expenses, tuition and course fees will be covered while students are attending Algonquin College.

Up to 10 students will be accepted into the program.

Applicants must have a high school diploma or be 19 years of age or older and have a satisfactory criminal records check.

Those interested in applying can send their resumé and a brief summary of their interest in working in corrections to JP Deroy, director of corrections, at JPDeroy@gov.nu.ca or 867-975-6501.

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(7) Comments:

  1. Posted by Weird on

    Weird. Do any of the newfoundlanders or other newcomers require a 2-year diploma to get a job as a corrections worker?

    No?

    Then why do we?

    • Posted by In Reality on

      You don’t either, this is a program for people who want to be professionals.

  2. Posted by All for it on

    I am all for this initiative. Instead of getting hired, receiving little to no training, this is a step in the right direction. If people want to pursue a career in correctional caseworker, taking an actual course will build confidence and help give you a skill set to help deliver programs better. I hope this continues and not just a one time program. Quvianna!

  3. Posted by Long Term Thinking on

    Nobody “needs” a diploma to work in corrections, this program will hopefully give Inuit a boost so that they will become supervisors and managers. Short term goals can be achieved without a diploma but if we are think long term, what we need are Inuit in the higher positions to reflect the Inuit culture within corrections.
    Enough with the Band-Aid solutions, this diploma program is a great start.

    • Posted by Experience speaking on

      I agree that having Inuit in higher positions is a desirable thing, mostly because it reflects the demographic in this region. Still, I think it’s important that we avoid magical thinking on its affects, for example I don’t think this will necessarily lead to any kind of beneficial cultural shift. Like everyone else in the world Inuit need to be trained in good human management skills. I’ve worked for Inuit managers who are just as petty, fearful, insecure and ill-equipped to deal with the complexities of the workplace as anyone else could be. Culture didn’t make them that way anymore than it saved them from these traps of inexperience.

  4. Posted by Tulugaq on

    Good program but still part of the mainstream concept of “justice”. You write “recruiting and training individuals who understand that the delivery of justice services is to be approached from a vision of healing and rehabilitation, as opposed to punishment” is laudable but it’s far from the reality of the actual court system that is based on a Euro-Canadian concept of justice where punishment is the cornerstone of rehabilitation.

    Nunavut had a chance to make significant changes to the court system pre-1999 but chose instead an expanded mainstream court and didn’t include Inuit legal traditions in that system. It’s unfortunate because such opportunities as the creation of a new territory or a new province happen very rarely.

    Healing and rehabilitation should be the cornerstone of a new legal system in Nunavut, based on Inuit culture and traditions, not an afterthought once people are sent to jail which we all know can be very counterproductive in many circumstances. Yet, the mainstream legal system struggles to find another approach and it could get the inspiration from Indigenous legal traditions, but nowadays, law (mainstream) and order are more important in Canada, even though we know that restorative approaches work better.

  5. Posted by Nunavutmiutaq on

    I hear good reports from the program in Rankin Inlet. The elder counsellor Rosemary Angugasak Sandy does a very good job counselling individuals. She knows her culture and customs and is able to speak from an inuk heart with care. She is a good example of good Inuit based counselling with tough love.

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