Media Centre

DISABILITIES CONFERENCE WRAPS UP IN IQALUIT

NR 04-17 DIS ENG Disabilities Conference.doc

(April 23, 2004 — Iqaluit, Nunavut) Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. 2nd Vice-President Raymond Ningeocheak announced today that the three-day Nunavut Disabilities Task Force Meeting in Iqaluit was successful.

As the organizing force behind the initial meeting of the task force, NTI brought together disabled Nunavummiut, as well as representatives from the Government of Nunavut, the Government of Canada and the Regional Inuit Associations. Many Iqaluit residents also attended the meeting.

It was extremely beneficial for us to spend time meeting with Nunavummiut living with disabilities, said Ningeocheak. We heard the many concerns and difficulties our people are dealing with and we set into motion a process for addressing these issues in the near future, he said.

Suggestions from meeting participants were recorded and will be incorporated into the agenda of the next meeting of the task force, scheduled to take place in June 2004.

After the Nunavut Council for People with Disabilities dissolved, disabled Nunavummiut were left without an organization to represent their needs or address their concerns. The NTI Board of Directors recognized this gap in services for beneficiaries and directed staff to begin work to identify long and short term priorities to help remedy this situation, said Ningeocheak.

NTI currently has one full-time employee working to identify Inuit-specific statistics in the area of disabilities.

The land claims organization uses the rights in Article 32 of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement to require the federal and territorial governments to involve Inuit in the development of policies, design and delivery of programs relating to disabilities.

For further information:

Kerry McCluskey
Director of Communications
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated
Tel: (867) 975-4914
Cell: (867) 975-1337