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Social services centre needs funding to fulfill dreams


Thank you for publishing Denise Rideout’s story, “City to create social services information centre” (Oct. 11).

As she mentions in her report, a meeting was held on Oct. 5 to discuss the services that could be provided by the Community Tukisiniarvik Centre that will be established next year as part of the City of Iqaluit’s Continuum of Care initiatives.

There was strong support for the centre from the mayor and from the more than 30 people who attended the meeting during the day. Many creative suggestions were offered regarding ways in which the centre could help Iqalungmiut.

Participants were encouraged by the presentation on Tungasuvvingat Inuit, the Inuit community centre in Ottawa, and clearly would like to see the Iqaluit centre develop into something like the Ottawa centre with its wide range of programs and services.

Naturally, we hope that this will happen eventually, but we must begin with the resources available to us and build from there. This being so, we envisage that at the beginning, the centre will be made up of relatively modest programs that provide advice and assistance to Iqalungmiut or refer them to other agencies that can assist them.

It will not be able to provide all of the support, learning and counselling programs available at the Ottawa centre or even all the services suggested by participants at the Oct. 5 meeting. One very useful role of the centre will be to help bring together a number of the support programs and services that already exist in Iqaluit.

If and when solid funding is found, the role of the centre will grow and it will be able to offer some of the other programs and services mentioned in the story. One of my responsibilities is to try to secure this funding. With continued support from city council, the Nitsiik Committee and from Human Resources Development Canada, I am optimistic that this will happen.

I am happy to report that we have funding for the set-up and furnishing of the centre, rent for a suitable building and for staff training and salaries for six months next year. We are working with other agencies in the city to identify and secure a suitable building, and early in 2003 we will be looking for staff.

Elisapi Davidee

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