Western Inuit organization to distribute $5.8M in COVID-19 relief

Kitikmeot Inuit Association receives additional federal funding for families, elders, artist and sewers

The Kitikmeot Inuit Association has additional money to help people in western Nunavut during the second wave of COVID-19. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

The Kitikmeot Inuit Association has ramped up its support of Inuit in western Nunavut during the second wave of COVID-19 by allocating the $5.8 million it recently received from the federal Indigenous Community Support Funding program to help the most vulnerable in the region.

The new programs will offer a monthly meat pack to families, $300 a month to elders and grants of up to $1,000 so local carvers, artists and sewers can purchase supplies.

While KIA offices will remain closed to the public from Nov. 18 to Dec. 2 as part of the territory-wide lockdown, the organization will continue distributing temporary COVID-19 assistance programs in the region, the KIA said in a Nov. 17 news release.

The KIA announced Nov. 17 it had received more federal funding to offer Kitikmeot resident beneficiaries relief to help them with food during the second wave of the pandemic in Nunavut. It comes from a $33.8 million pot administered by Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.

Beneficiary families will be eligible to receive a monthly voucher for a meat pack from their local Co-op store. The arrangement aims to ensure families have stable food supplies while helping Co-op stores during this difficult period, KIA president Stanley Anablak said.

“Approved applicants will be able to get a voucher locally to take to their Co-op store in exchange for a meat pack,” Anablak said.

The funding will allow KIA to assist more than 1,600 families a month from December to March.

The KIA said it could not provide any other figures about the amount of money that will be spent on the meal vouchers because it is still finalizing the details with the Arctic Co-operatives in Winnipeg.

The KIA plans to finalize the process for people to apply for the assistance before Dec. 1.

Part of the COVID 19 relief funding includes an elders benefit supplement from Indigenous Services Canada.

“In many households the elders are the ones that ensure food is available on a daily basis to family members that reside with them,” Anablak said in a recent release.

The KIA plans to assist 521 elders, 60 years of age and over, including those who live outside Nunavut, with a monthly cash payment of $300 from November to March.

No application is required and where possible all funds will be directly deposited, the KIA said.

The new program for elders builds on the previous $22.5 million elders supplement program started in the spring. It provided elders who are Kitikmeot beneficiaries and over 60 with a cash payment of $500 per month to buy more healthy foods.

The KIA board also has approved a top-up of the Nunavut Sivumut program aimed at carvers, artists and sewers to help them get the required tools or materials produce carvings, arts and crafts for sale to the general public.

“Our [Nunavut Sivumut] program is always one of the first programs we offer each year that runs out of dedicated funding. Many of our residents earn a modest income through the sales of arts and crafts. That income allows them to keep supporting themselves and their families. This top up will allow more of our beneficiaries a chance to do that,” Anablak said.

This program, topped up by $200,000 from Indigenous Services Canada, will be made available to lower-income Kitlkmeot-based beneficiaries at $1,000 per application from November to March.

NTI announces new COVID-19 programs

NTI received $33.8 million in Indigenous Community Support Funding, a federal COVID-19 response program. It allocated the following funds to:

  • NTI—$7.7 million
  • Qikiqtani Inuit Association—$10.4 million
  • Kivalliq Inuit Association—$7.3 million
  • Kitikmeot Inuit Association—$5.9 million
  • Urban Inuit—$2.5 million

NTI’s new measures under the Indigenous Community Support Fund include:

  • $1.69 million to support children with Inuktut learning packages focused on literacy and numeracy.
  • $1 million for existing and new shelters, domestic violence shelters and transition homes to support physical distancing.
  • $500,000 to expand Nunavut’s testing capacity, such as training for Inuit.
  • $500,000 to supply every Nunavut Inuit household with a thermometer.
  • $500,000 for Nunavut Inuit sewers to make face masks.
  • $500,000 to provide food, cleaning supplies and learning resources for any individual diagnosed with coronavirus, and their family, to support their 14-day self-isolation.
  • $250,000 to work with hamlets and the Government of Nunavut to support reliable water and sewer infrastructure.
  • $200,000 wage subsidy for early childhood educators, in partnership with the GN, for 2020 mandatory closures.

Earlier this year, NTI also allocated $22.5 million from the Indigenous Community Support Fund among Nunavut’s Inuit associations and urban Inuit.

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(7) Comments:

  1. Posted by Sue on

    Kitikmeot Inuit Association has been ignoring the Beneficiaries living outside the Territory. Their staff should read the Land Claims agreement. It seems one staff member decides for the organization to deny requests for funding from the Beneficiaries living outside the Region.

    • Posted by Grace Voisey Clark on

      I am an elder from the community of Whale Cove .NWT born in NWT
      Am long time board member of MIA and also on research program of Qanuinngitsisrutiksait volunteer whenever needed to help Inuit from the North
      Any more info you can contact me email included
      Thank you

    • Posted by waiting patiently on

      You lucky ubanites ! hope you get your long awaited financial help , I’m sure there trying but have limited capacity to get to everyone just like that, takes a bit of time for them to catch up , does not mean they are ignoring city folks , I am sure the people that live off the land may or may not even get the help they need due to there current locations, so stand firm and wait for this money to be dolled out to all urban beneficiary’s .

  2. Posted by Allen Ahegona on

    Thanks for the information. Koana for KIA to be there for their people. I think that you should include with this information on this page,
    the phone numbers for their local KIA offices, and when and where people can go pick up the Monthly Vouchers for the Meat Packs. Because there are people that do not have Internet or they don’t get mail from KIA. when i went to the co-op they said i have to go to the KIA office to apply for this Monthly Voucher.

  3. Posted by westerner on

    Once again the organization steps up , I am hoping that the Kitikmeot never gets a positive case of the novel coronavirus that’s seem to get out of control once it hits an isolated community causing a territory wide lockdown.
    We Inuit as beneficiaries in the central arctic need to follow the health guidelines put forth before us as in the first wave this past spring so we can overcome this disease and keep it at bay and keep it from spreading into our communities,
    We Inuit are taken care of by our Inuit designated organizations and aren’t starving or thirsty and everyone almost has a roof over them and we are in the warm , imagine if it were still igloos ? with what everyone has nowadays we are getting SOFT and complain about our social status online , our grandparents never did complain once when they were facing hardships and lost many loved ones when the tuberculosis epidemic went through every region in their times so lets get this covid out once and for all by following the rules , we are not dumb ass kids anymore and should set an example . STAY HOME AND KEEP YOUR DOORS LOCKED .

  4. Posted by Inuk Beneficiary on

    We as Beneficiaries are included in the needs of these so called Inuit Organizations, Such as KIA/NTI. When They apply from the Federal Government for funding we are used as a number to gain more monies and yet we are denied any benefits that we have every rights to have. It is in the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement that a beneficiary does not need to live in their respective communities, this rule is being made in the house of KIA and is not part of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, nothing can be changed once a beneficiary always a beneficiary. What happen to Inuit values in these so called ( Leaders ) They’re supposed to be there for each other and help one another during this trying time. They should do everything they can to help promote safety to their fellow Inuit Living in urban cities and settlements. Here is the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, ( Nunavut Land Claims Agreement # 35 ) states “A beneficiary of the Agreement does not need to live in the Nunavut Settlement Area” .

  5. Posted by KIA Beneficiaries on

    KIA is totally ignorant for the beneficiaries living off the land.
    The Bucks allocated will never see the light of day except 25% of it
    The rest of the 75% will be for the Grey’s Bay corridor for the road to nowhere
    They can use their $18.00 thermometers up their you know what. We as beneficiaries of the Kitikmeot are left out. Only pork chops they can give monthly. What a shame

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