(March 18, 2021 – Baker Lake, Nunavut) Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) and the Regional Inuit Organizations (RIAs) allocate $11 million for four new domestic violence shelters.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for shelters built in Nunavut for Inuit, particularly women and children, whom have experienced increased incidences of violence during isolation periods, and Inuit living in overcrowded conditions.
Nunavut Inuit organizations are allocating the new phase of Indigenous Community Support Funding, from Indigenous Services Canada, towards the capital costs for the construction, purchase or renovation of four new shelters to alleviate the stress and risks of domestic violence in the communities of Baker Lake, Gjoa Haven, Pangnirtung and Pond Inlet.
“There is no role for violence in our communities. Together, we must continue to proactively address the social and economic inequities experienced by Inuit.”
-Aluki Kotierk, President, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated
“We are very excited for Qamanittuarmiut, Kivallirmiut, and Nunavummiut alike. It is a great step in the right direction in protecting the most vulnerable, as we work towards our collective goal to end domestic violence.”
-Kono Tattuinee, President, Kivalliq Inuit Association
“Domestic violence is unacceptable in our society, we must help our fellow Inuit woman and children to have a safe place for them to be protected and cared for, by working together in partnership to provide the shelters in the communities is a step in the right direction.“
-Stanley Anablak, President, Kitikmeot Inuit Association
“We choose to invest in change that will improve the lives of Inuit women and children seeking shelter from violence. These new shelters in Pangnirtung and Pond Inlet bring us closer to a healthy Inuit society. We call for continued public action to ensure all Inuit women can access safe shelters in our communities.”
-PJ Akeeagok, President, Qikiqtani Inuit Association
For further information:
Director of Communications Trainee
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated
Tel: (867) 975-4900/Toll-free: 1-888-646-0006
In Nunavut, there are four operating domestic violence shelters located in the communities of Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet, Kugaaruk and Kugluktuk.
NTI worked with the Government of Nunavut Department of Family Services to determine the locations:
- Baker Lake – the community is looking to open a domestic violence shelter and is working on identifying a building to renovate and repurpose.
- Gjoa Haven – the community is in the planning phase of development of a shelter.
- Pangnirtung – the community has been planning for a Domestic Violence Shelter for a number of years now and is the most advanced in terms of project development.
- Pond Inlet – the community is looking to open a domestic violence shelter and has identified a building to renovate and repurpose.
The need for family shelters in Nunavut is staggering. The rate of domestic violence in Nunavut is ten (10) times higher than the rest of Canada. In 2019-20, 683 women and children accessed the services of a domestic violence shelter.
In 2019 Pauktuutit released its Study of Gender-based Violence and Shelter Service Needs across Inuit Nunangat. Statistics captured in this document are discouraging:
- Inuit women experience violence, particularly intimate partner violence, at a rate that is higher than that experienced by any other group of women in Canada.
- In Nunavut, the most populous of the Inuit regions, the crime rate increased by two per cent over the period of 2016-17, while the rate of violent crime remained the highest in the country at more than seven times the national rate (Statistics Canada, 2018). This means that women and girls are far more likely to be killed in Nunavut than in any other jurisdiction in Canada (Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability, 2018:7).
- In Nunavut, women and girls represented nearly two-thirds of police-reported crime victims and 95% of sexual offence victims in 2016.
- For Inuit women and girls, these statistics represent the painful lived reality of those experiencing violence and abuse in their homes and communities.
- In 2014, Nunavut recorded the highest rates of violent victimization among the territories. In that same year, the GN spent $110,296,000 on justice and $317,335,000 on health (Nunavut Department of Finance, 2016).