Media Centre

NTI Speaks Out Against Family Violence in Nunavut

NR 04-40 VIO ENG Family Violence.doc

(December 6, 2004 — Iqaluit, Nunavut) Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. President Paul Kaludjak today spoke out concerning the organization’s commitment to end family violence in Nunavut. This commitment was renewed at NTI’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Rankin Inlet last month.

The levels of family violence in Nunavut are horribly high, and the incidents are escalating in severity. Every single day in this territory, a woman, child or man is the victim of some form of violence. Our murder rate has increased and our courts are full of family members dealing with the aftermath of violence. This is totally unacceptable and NTI plans to work as hard as we can to bring an end to this problem that is eroding the foundation of our society and territory, said Kaludjak.

When our people are subjected to violence, they are afraid to go to work, to go to school, or to even leave their homes. It is impossible to function as a productive and healthy society when we are dealing with this. We must make serious changes now if we are to develop positively as a territory, he said.

NTI’s AGM participants called on the justice system and the RCMP to adopt a zero tolerance policy on family violence. It calls for offenders to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, while also ensuring counseling services are provided for all Nunavummiut impacted by family violence. Annual General Meeting participants also called on NTI staff to communicate the contents of the resolution to end family violence to men in all Nunavut communities.

NTI also told AGM participants they were conducting a feasibility study into the development of a Nunavut-based alcohol and drug treatment facility, as directed in a resolution passed by the NTI Board of Directors last fall. The vast majority of all violent crimes committed in Nunavut are alcohol-related.

NTI’s commitment is being announced today, on Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The National Day was initially established to commemorate the Montreal Massacre, the event which left 14 women students shot to death in Montreal on December 6, 1989.
The day also represents a time to pause and reflect on the phenomenon of violence against women in our society, to think about all the women and girls who live daily with the threat of violence or who have died as a result of deliberate acts of gender-based violence.
This is a time for communities to reflect on concrete actions that can be taken to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women, children and men, said Kaludjak.

For further information:

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