Nunavut’s head-counters are counting on Nunavummiut

Surveyors from Nunavummit Kiglisiniartiit, the Nunavut bureau of statistics, may be coming to your home soon as part of a community-by-community survey.



Nunavummiut can expect surveyors to come knocking on their doors next month, as surveyors working for the Nunavut bureau of statistics, or Nunavummit Kiglisiniartiit, conduct the territory’s first survey.

The bureau is gearing up for a door-to-door survey in all 26 communities to ask residents about everything from employment history to their knowledge of Inuktitut to how often they use the Internet.

Once the information is collected, it will be passed on to government departments and Nunavut organizations that require the data to write policies and develop projects.

Jack Hicks, the director of statistics with the Nunavut government, said the beauty of this survey is that it will provide a community-by-community picture of Nunavut.

Unlike the Statistics Canada census, which gives an overall summary of the territory, this survey will provide detailed information on individual Nunavut communities.

“We will be able to tell people the unemployment rate in Pond Inlet, or how many people use the Internet in Clyde River,” he explained.

The basis for the survey comes from questions set out in the labour-force surveys that the Northwest Territories government used to conduct. Other questions regarding education, housing, language use and Internet use have been tacked on to make this survey more comprehensive.

Hicks said the information will be tremendously useful to the Nunavut government. The section on housing, which asks about homelessness and overcrowding, was designed to collect data for the Nunavut Housing Corporation.

Hicks said if the housing corporation wants to ask the federal government for more social housing funding, it will have figures to illustrate the housing crisis in Nunavut.

“Government and other organization and social agencies all need accurate data to plan as effectively as possible,” Hicks said.

About 40 surveyors will head out to the communities beginning in February to talk to residents who are 15 years and older. Inuktitut, English and French-speaking surveyors will be available so that people can answer the questions in their preferred language.

Hicks said all responses to the survey will be kept confidential.

Nunavummit Kiglisiniartiit is planning to conduct this sort of survey every two years. The former NWT surveys were done every five years, but Hicks said Nunavut is growing so fast that it felt data should be collected more frequently.

The bureau also wants to ensure it tracks the first decade or so of Nunavut’s existence.

The surveying is expected to wrap up in late March, and Nunavut Kiglisiniartiit plans to release the results sometime in the summer.

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