Ottawa, GN announce plans to reduce gender-based violence
Two separate announcements detail agreement as well as funding for specific organizations
The federal government and the government of Nunavut announced the signing of two agreements to reduce gender-based violence on Friday.
The announcement, which included close to $17 million to help victims and survivors of gender-based violence, was made in Nunavut’s Legislative Assembly by federal Minister for Women and Gender Equality, Marci Ien, along with Nunavut’s Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, Margaret Nakashuk and Health Minister John Main.
The UN defines gender-based violence as “harmful acts directed at an individual based on their gender.”
“Gender-based violence continues to be a significant barrier to achieving gender equality in Canada. It is one of the most pervasive, deadly, and deeply rooted human rights violations of our time,” Ien’s office said in an official statement released soon after the announcement.
The money will be used to help the GN understand and treat the deep causes of gender-based violence in the territory, Nakashuk said.
Gender-based violence requires a number of solutions, Main said.
“To effectively address gender-based violence, it is imperative we embrace a holistic, multi-level governmental approach” that engages with Inuit organizations.
Included in the $17-million plan is $16.4 million that will be spread over four years to support the creation of a National Action Plan to End Gender-based Violence in Nunavut, the government said.
The action plan will commit money to programs to support victims of gender-based violence and their families. Education programs will also work toward enhancing knowledge and awareness among frontline workers, adults and adolescents, of the root causes of gender-based violence, the warning signs and ways to prevent it.
An additional $500,000 will be allocated to further bolster crisis hotlines in Nunavut. Nunavut is the last of the 13 provinces and territories to reach an agreement on federal support of crisis lines.
The announcement comes a day after Ien announced close to $2 million in funding for four Nunavut organizations also to address gender-based violence.
From that total, Qikiqtani Inuit Association will receive $330,000 to increase its involvement in community leadership.
Another $500,000 will go to the Kitikmeot Friendship Society to enrich and expand its work in education and prevention, which will focus in particular on the 2SLGBTQ+ community.
It will create an advisory group and organize community consultations. “2S” stands for “two-spirit,” a term used exclusively by Indigenous queer individuals.
The Kitikmeot Friendship Society is based in Cambridge Bay and advocates for community welfare and social justice.
The Ilitaqsiniq organization, also known as the Nunavut Literacy Council, will receive $625,000 to increase staff training, recruitment and retention. It also plans to develop a 2SLGBTQ+ “pan-northern partnership network to address gender-based violence.”
Ilitaqsiniq is based in Rankin Inlet and is a culture-informed programming and education organization, with a focus on Nunavummiut and Arctic workplaces.
The federal government is also providing $540,000 in funding to the Nunavummi Disabilities Makinnasuaqtiit Society to promote education on gender-based violence toward disabled Inuit women and girls in the territory.
The non-profit is based in Iqaluit and works as an advocate for Nunavummiut with disabilities.
“Inuit and Indigenous women play vital roles in their communities as leaders, caregivers and organizers — yet we know that they are disproportionately impacted by gender-based violence,” Ien said Thursday.
“Our government will continue to invest in plans and projects led by Inuit and Indigenous women that build capacity from the ground up to help drive transformative, foundational changes.”