Media Centre

NTI delivers on its commitment to social well-being

NR 03-08 SUI ENG Suicide Prevention.doc

(May 16, 2003– Iqaluit, Nunavut) President Cathy Towtongie announced today that Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, the Inuit land claims organization, has provided significant direct and indirect financial support to suicide prevention in Nunavut as part of its commitment to Inuit social well-being.

NTI is very concerned about the high rate of suicide attempts and completions in Nunavut, said Towtongie. Our Inuit ancestors valued life, despite the hardships of their environment. We must call a halt to the wish for death when things get difficult. We must say to our own people that this is not our way, we survive it all!

NTI is a Funding Partner for the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention conference now underway in Iqaluit. In addition to the $50,000 provided to the Kamatsiaqtut Nunavut Help Line organization responsible for organizing the CASP conference, NTI provided $75,000 to the three Regional Inuit Associations to assist with delegate travel to the conference.

In addition to its direct support for the CASP conference, NTI has also:
Produced three 28-minute-long videos of training workshops dealing with Suicide Prevention, Intervention and Post-vention, with copies to be shared with each Nunavut Community and the Government of Nunavut
Produced and broadcast Public Service Announcements featuring Nunavummiut whose lives have been affected by suicide, with the goal of encouraging people to mobilize and preserve life, and
Provided in-kind support to the conference through reprinting resource materials, and supplying interpreting-translating services and speakers.

NTI is proud to be part of the network of caring volunteers and organizations who have made the CASP conference possible, Towtongie said. This conference has brought us together to share, to learn, to grieve and to grow. We intend to use our PSAs and training videos for many purposes in the months to come, building on the momentum generated by the CASP conference.

The CASP conference is designed to equip participants with real-life skills to recognize someone at risk, to intervene and to provide community support in times of loss. More than 600 participants from across Canada and overseas are sharing and learning through presentations, discussions and informal conversations.

For further information:

Nancy Campbell
Director of Communications
Tel: (867) 975-4900
Fax: (867) 975-4943 Caroline Anawak
Executive Assistant to the President