Media Centre

New Initiatives to Prevent, Prepare and Respond to Coronavirus

(November 9, 2020, Iqaluit) The Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. Board of Directors announces new initiatives to prevent, prepare and respond to the coronavirus disease utilizing the Indigenous Community Support Fund.

“On behalf of Inuit, I sincerely thank Minister Marc Miller for recognizing the unique needs of Inuit in preventing, preparing for and responding to the coronavirus disease,” said Acting President James Eetoolook. “The rest of the country can rely on handwashing, physical distancing, and mask wearing and has access to adequate health care. Our work must be and has been very different in Nunavut.”

NTI and the Regional Inuit Associations (RIA) are working together to meet the needs of Nunavut Inuit during this unprecedented time. Regional Inuit Associations focus their efforts on programs for individuals. NTI focus is on systems and includes these new programs:

  • $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; and
  • $200,000 wage subsidy for Early Childhood Educators, in partnership with the Government of Nunavut, for 2020 mandatory closures.

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For more information, please contact:

Malaya Mikijuk
Director of Communications Trainee
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated
Tel: (867) 975-4900 Toll-free: 1-888-646-0006


NTI has received $33,817,500 in Indigenous Community Support Funding, between phase 1 and phase 2. These funds have been allocated by the NTI Board to:

NTI                                                      $7,702,874

Qikiqtani Inuit Association           $10,444,337

Kivalliq Inuit Association               $7,298,900

Kitikmeot Inuit Association          $5,866,389

Urban Inuit                                       $2,505,000


RIAs make their own allocations and announcements. Nunavut Inuit living outside of the settlement area receive services from the Regional Inuit Association (RIA) they are associated.


Nunavut Tunngavik Inc’s Programs and Services

Educational Resources                  $1,690,874

The development of Inuktut educational resources for home and distance learning. Across Canada, COVID-19 is resulting in additional school closures. Nunavut Inuit children have faced significant barriers and impacts in their learning as a result of mandatory school closures. Phased initiatives will begin with literacy kits for families in self-isolation and include additional resources being developed and distributed.


Shelter                                               $1,000,000

For decades, Nunavut has faced a severe housing shortage and staggering rates of overcrowding, which masks an even wider homelessness problem.  This crisis in Nunavut has always underpinned every lagging determinant of health and wellbeing for Inuit, as shelter is a basic requirement of life. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the concern for those living in overcrowded conditions, or within our minimal congregate living establishments has deepened.  A call for proposals will be issued.


Testing                                               $500,000

For several years, NTI has been developing laboratory capacity for testing for trichinella in Nunavut. Building on this expertise, this funding will seed additional coronavirus testing capacity and may include mobile laboratories, equipment, or training for Inuit.


Thermometers                                 $500,000

Across Canada, individuals are encouraged to call their health care provider if they have symptoms of COVID-19, including fever. In Nunavut, when a patient call the Health Centre and provides their temperature, the nurse is required to record it. Thermometers will be provided to each Nunavut Inuit household, with Inuktitut COVID-19 fact sheets and instructions.


Masks                                                $500,000

Sewers in all communities will be enabled to make masks. NTI is working with Nunavut retailers to provide kits with material and instructions, free of charge to sewers.


Isolation Kits                                    $500,000

Individuals with COVID-19 symptoms, and their family members, should self-isolate and monitor their symptoms for 14 days. NTI is working with retailers, hunters and trappers organizations, and the Nunavut Rangers to support an individual and their family to stay home. Consent forms have been provided to the Health Centres and Rapid Response Team. Individuals opt into receiving the kits and provide information, such as the number of individuals in the household and the grades of children.


Water and Sewer                            $250,000

NTI is working with hamlets and the Government of Nunavut to address the most urgent concerns for daily water and sewer delivery.


Daycares                                           $200,000

Working with the Government of Nunavut, wage subsidies were provided for the first five weeks of mandatory closures. These subsidies recognized that parents cannot participate in the wage economy without childcare, and Nunavut cannot afford to lose the daycares it has.


Water and sewer delivery to hamlets, $1,250,000, announced March 25, 2020.

Food security to hamlets, $1,000,000, announced March 25, 2020.

Remaining funds cover administration.


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