Space for queer Inuit youth in Ottawa returns for new sessions

Tungasuvvingat Inuit’s Arsaniq drop-in space open for 2 January sessions

The Arsaniq drop-in centre, a program by Tungasuvvingat Inuit for Inuit youth in Ottawa who identify as 2SLGBTQ+, will return for sessions on Jan. 20 and 27. Pictured here are organizers and supporters celebrating the opening of the program in November. From left: Anika d’Argencourt, Reese Lucassie, Katia d’Argencourt, Chris Church (sitting), Mikka Komatsiutikiak, Aly Schamerhorn and Jennifer Chafe. (Photo by Madalyn Howitt)

By Madalyn Howitt

A new drop-in program for queer Inuit youth in Ottawa is returning for new sessions this month.

Arsaniq is a program by Ontario-based organization Tungasuvvingat Inuit designed for youth who identify as 2SLGBTQ+. The 2S stands for “two-spirit,” a term that’s specific to queer Indigenous identities.

Tungasuvvingat Inuit announced the return of the program Jan. 11 on its Twitter page.

The first session will take place on Jan. 20 for people ages 12 to 18 years old, and on Jan. 27 for participants 19 to 25 years old. Sessions run from 3 to 5 p.m.

The space focuses on social activities, positive mental health, skill-building and connecting youth to resources and other 2SLGBTQ+ people in the community, the organization said.

“This drop in at Tungasuvvingat Inuit is a place to be yourself, and re-create this part of our society, where queer identities are not only accepted, but celebrated,” said program creator Mikka Komaksiutksak.

“Every Inuk should feel comfortable in their identity, regardless of sexual orientation.”

The new sessions will take place at 1071 Richmond Rd. in Ottawa. Snacks and bus tickets will be provided to attendees.

People interested in registering or learning more information about the program can email mkomaksiutiksak@tungasuvvinagtinuit.ca or aschamerhorn@tiontario.ca.

Tungasuvvingat Inuit spokesperson Joël Lamoureux said the organization plans to continue the program into the new year.

The program, which Tungasuvvingat Inuit says is the first of its kind catering to queer, urban Inuit youth, had its grand opening in November with cultural activities and a country food feast.

Program organizer Jennifer Chafe told Nunatsiaq News the space is meant to serve as a place “where people can just be themselves.”

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(7) Comments:

  1. Posted by Northern Inuit on

    Love is love.

    don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.

    religion, politics and love. let people decide for themselves and don’t push your views on anyone else.

    simple.

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    • Posted by Mindlessness on

      This is a case of eating your own medicine. Or still not knowing what your medicine taste like yet. Be careful what you promote.

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      • Posted by John K on

        What medicine are they eating? What are they promoting besides love and acceptance?

        16
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      • Posted by Northern Inuit on

        um, we have Family who are gay. it’s their choice, not ours. we love them because they are Family.

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  2. Posted by ALEXANDER on

    This is cool BUT would be great if they actually do it. Since this launched they canceled their drop ins LmAo I give this like a month before things get canceled here am there again as everything else usually does.

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