NTI pledges help for residential school survivors



IQALUIT — Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. has pledged $120,000 to find ways of helping Inuit beneficiaries abused at government-run residential schools.

NTI’s board recently announced plans to set up a steering committee to decide how NTI should help survivors and how the money should be spent, said Annie Quirke, NTI’s new policy analyst on social issues.

“NTI wants to look at assisting beneficiaries who have gone through abuse during their time in residential school,” Quirke said.

Quirke said the soon-to-be formed steering committee will recommend steps NTI should take to help residential school survivors.

“This money is so that we can continue assisting the committee to continue their work,” Quirke said.

Quirke did not want to prejudge the work of the steering committee, but she said they may choose to search for money for long-term healing programs, and that they may also consider litigation.

“It’s for the committee to decide and make plans of how they’d like to proceed. It may mean going to court — we don’t know — it may mean finding resources for long-term healing,” she said.

Quirke will head up the committee, which will include survivors of abuse and representatives from the Nunavut Social Development Council.

This week Quirke will begin her search for potential committee members. She expects the committee will include former residents of Turquetil Hall in Chesterfield Inlet who have already tried to tackle the issue. She is not sure how many people will sit on the committee.

The steering committee will follow up on research already completed by Marius Tungilik for NTI. In his report, Tungilik advised NTI that healing work, such as that undertaken by the survivors of the Chesterfield Inlet school, should continue, Quirke said.

Once a steering committee is formed, it will set out a work plan.

The steering committee will eventually make recommendations to NTI’s board of directors on how to help survivors. There is no deadline for their recommendations.

That final recommendation may require more money to implement, Quirke said.

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