Pauktuutit calls on feds to deliver more support for Inuit women fleeing violence

‘This funding will save lives,’ says president Rebecca Kudloo

The Qimaavik women’s shelter in Iqaluit is one of only four emergency shelters for women across Nunavut. (File photo)

By Sarah Rogers

The head of a national organization representing Inuit women says she’s looking to Monday’s federal budget to deliver increased support for Inuit women fleeing violence.

That support would ideally include money for the construction and operation of Inuit-specific shelters and transition housing for women and children who need respite from abusive situations at home, according to Rebecca Kudloo, president of Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada.

“New funding … will demonstrate some tangible government action on the June 2019 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry report,” she said.

“This funding will save lives.”

Statistics Canada estimates that Inuit women are 14 times more likely to experience violence than other women in Canada.

There are currently 15 women’s shelters serving the Inuit Nunangat’s 51 communities. As a result, Inuit women and children fleeing violence must often leave their communities and family supports to seek safety.

Earlier this year, the federal government allocated money to building and operating five new Inuit-specific women’s shelters — one in each of the four regions of Inuit Nunangat plus one in Ottawa.

Communities can apply for that funding to build a shelter, but the application process is only set to launch next month. Kudloo said she’d like to see construction of those shelters start in 2022.

In addition to increased money for shelters, Pauktuutit has also asked for money for transitional housing, to offer Inuit women longer-term accommodation until they can find permanent places to live.

Iqaluit is the only Inuit community that offers any kind of transitional housing, but Kudloo said she would like to see it in every region of Inuit Nunangat.

“Transition housing is critical because it will never be safe for some women and children in a shelter to return and be safe in the home or community they have fled,” she said in an email to Nunatsiaq News.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is set to deliver the government’s first budget since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday afternoon.

Pauktuutit has also called for money to address the high cost of living in Inuit communities, specifically food insecurity and the loss of income the organization says Inuit women have seen due to COVID-19.

Kudloo said she hopes to see greater investments in internet connectivity, education and training for women and youth so more Inuit can secure stable and well-paying jobs.

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(2) Comments:

  1. Posted by Focus on violent Inuit men on

    Yes, put the focus on violent Inuit men for starters. It’s incredible the women and children that’s victims. I can remember Inuit women running and many of them older women, grandmothers even. Violence by their sons. It was so horrible to see how we had to intervene. Alcohol played a major role. Today hard drugs plays into it. I wonder how only on 2021, people pick up these needs to help. I lived my life in the north, the violent Inuk male is always been special.

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  2. Posted by eskimo joe on

    I would have think Nunavut women who are fleeing from abusive relationships would be funded far more that Nunavut parks, which on average about 900 visitors per year? if even.

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