Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. seeks to delay Inuit health survey

NTI wants more time ‘to build capacity’

The board of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. discusses changes in the timing of the National Inuit Health Survey, slated to start later this year. The NTI board of directors meeting continues Thursday in Baker Lake. (Screen shot from NTI livestream)

By Jane George

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. wants to delay the start of the National Inuit Health Survey in Nunavut.

The health survey would be managed by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, in partnership with local Inuit organizations, such as NTI, throughout Inuit Nunangat.

“The Inuit health survey remains a priority,” said Tina DeCouto, NTI’s director of social and cultural development department, Wednesday during the organization’s board meeting in Baker Lake.

But COVID-19 has made it harder to do the organizational work needed, she said.

NTI had planned to start conducting the survey in Nunavut later this year.

DeCouto said work towards the survey has advanced in many areas, such as content development, decisions on data storage, software, data security privacy and ethics.

But NTI still has to hire and train in Nunavut to prepare for data collection and make plans for data collection in Nunavut communities.

Meeting the planned start date now depends on the readiness in each region, including Nunavut, and the evolving COVID-19 situation, DeCouto said in her report to the board.

After a discussion on DeCouto’s report, NTI board members passed a resolution seeking a delay the survey until 2023.

DeCouto said the final decision about whether or not to delay the survey would made in consensus with the Inuit regional organizations, such as ITK.

The survey was funded by a 2018 federal budget allocation of $82 million over 10 years, with about $6 million a year after that to continue the survey.

The first two years saw Ottawa distribute this money to ITK, but funds will now flow directly to NTI, DeCouto said.

She did not say why that had changed.

ITK launched the survey at its annual general meeting in Rankin Inlet in 2019.

It’s not the first such survey among Inuit: a 2007-08 survey, called Qanuippitali?, was conducted across Nunavut from aboard the Coast Guard’s research vessel, the Amundsen.

A similar Inuit health survey was also done from the Amundsen in Nunavik in 2004, and again in 2017.

The National Inuit Health Survey would involve surveyors based in the communities or travelling into the communities.

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(9) Comments:

  1. Posted by NTI, your assignments are overdue… on

    While you’re at it, how about releasing another Annual Report on the State of Inuit Culture and Society? NTI’s website notes that “The annual report is an annual obligation of Article 32.3.4 of the Nunavut Agreement. As required by NLCA Article 32, the report will be tabled in the Nunavut Legislative Assembly and the House of Commons.” — but the last one to be released dates from 2014-15.

    • Posted by Failed Organization on

      Thanks for bringing this up! There are other cases of incompetence and abnegation of responsibility by NTI as well, consider how the Social Development Council (also enshrined in the NLCA) has been dismantled and all its obligations basically ignored.

      No accountability, this is a huge problem and no one is saying a thing! Why? We need a citizens group to sue NTI, that’s the only language they seem to speak these days.

    • Posted by NTI, your assignments are overdue… on

      The early ones were kinda useless, but the last few were actually thoughtful and well-researched pieces of work. But the point is that the preparation and tabling of these annual reports is NTI’s only obligation under Article 32, and the organization has failed to fulfill that obligation.

  2. Posted by Jamesie on

    We can only blame the CEO. One of the perks of being at the top.

  3. Posted by Puzzled on

    Why re-create the wheel? Why not use the results of a previous study, i.e. Qanuipitaali? and use that as a baseline?

    • Posted by articrick on

      Why waste valuable resources on real issues? Easier to start on a new 6m canvas and at the end to throw it out with very little fanfare?

  4. Posted by Govern Your Survey on

    I like how this article about NTI taking 5 years (will probably be longer) to get a survey done because they don’t have the “capacity”, which is a fancy word for saying you’re not getting much done and want to hire more people, is out on the same day as an article about NTI wanting to start its own Inuit self-government.


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