Nunavummiut better off in NWT?

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Premier Paul Okalik got an earful earlier this month when disgruntled Inuit leaders questioned why government services seemed to be more efficient before the creation of Nunavut.

Mary Inuktaluk, the Sanikiluaq representative for the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, told the premier after his presentation to Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.’s annual general meeting, that people are finding their health care and education systems have deteriorated since 1999.

Inuktaluk added that the government based in Yellowknife used to consult more with Inuit communities on legislation and policies, before the handover took place.

“Now that we’re Nunavut, we seem to have more problems than when we were the Northwest Territories,” Inuktaluk said in Inuktitut.

The new government also seems less able to deal with the rise in family violence and mental health needs, according to Dorothy Aglukark, a delegate from the Kivalliq.

“With family violence, we used to do a much better job in the past,” Aglukark said. “We need help. They need mental health workers in the communities.”

Okalik responded that the government was “trying”, and that it couldn’t be held responsible for all of the territory’s problems.

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