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July 18, 2012  Northern News Services Online. Labour Views. Mary Lou Cherwaty, Guest columnist.  According to the United Nations report titled Combating Poverty and Inequality: "The data suggest that although social transfers have reduced poverty in all high-income democracies, countries classified as social democratic (with high levels of unionization, centralized bargaining, strong party-union ties, and pacts) have been more effective in reducing poverty." Unions do make a positive difference in people's lives! In my first column of this year, I stated that, "It looks like 2012 could be a banner year for the Northwest Territories." This was in reference to the Government of the Northwest Territories' commitment to developing an anti-poverty strategy for our territory. Well, I am pleased to announce that at the end of last month, I had the opportunity to attend a round-table on poverty in Hay River with 27 other participants from across the NWT. Participants represent municipal and territorial governments, aboriginal governments, labour, non-governmental organizations, and persons who have experienced poverty. After three days of intense discussions, we collectively reached consensus on a draft vision and strategic priorities. Keeping in mind our theme of a "poverty-free NWT," work also started on establishing guiding principles and overarching goals and objectives. The group analyzed the results of the 2011 report titled What We Heard from Northerners about Poverty, the 2010 report from the No Place for Poverty workshop; as well as the strategies that exist in six provinces and Nunavut......
 

Posted by Valoree Walker – 9/27/12; 8:29:48 AM – Permalink –   –

YELLOWKNIFE (June 18, 2012) – In partnership with the 30 members of the No Place for Poverty Coalition, the GNWT has formed an Antipoverty Steering Committee to lead in the development of a Northwest Territories antipoverty strategy. Building on the work to date, including the No Place for Poverty workshop and What We Heard from Northerners about Poverty report, the Committee was formed from a cross-section of groups and organizations to ensure ongoing collaboration takes place with communities, non-government organizations, business, labour, and people living in poverty in the NWT. “Poverty affects many people and communities as a whole; different communities have distinct needs and may need unique ways to address them,” says Glen Abernethy, Chair, Ministers’ Social Envelope Committee.  “With the steering committee’s representation and our commitment to partner with groups and organizations, we are confident that we can create a strategy to reduce poverty in the NWT.”.....

Posted by Valoree Walker – 6/20/12; 3:31:35 PM – Permalink –   –

Alaska Dispatch. May 31, 2012 article by Heather Exner-Pirot | Eye on the Arctic.   Recently, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, issued a somewhat scathing statement of Canada's ability to provide food security to all of it residents, especially aboriginal and northern ones. Nunavut MP and federal Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq rejected the Rapporteur's findings, calling De Schutter "an ill-informed and patronizing academic." Mary Simon, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, had a different perspective, saying that the assessment was especially important for "us Inuit living in the Arctic." (Ouch.)  Of course it won’t be of surprise to those Canadians paying even cursory attention to national affairs that aboriginal and northern peoples face significant food insecurity. Obesity and diabetes rates are high and climbing, country foods are playing a smaller part in local diets, and perishable goods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables are usually expensive and of poor quality.

Are greenhouses the answer? One significant opportunity that has yet to be seized is the development of northern greenhouses that can grow fresh produce locally. There doesn’t appear to be a single, economically viable greenhouse producing food commercially in any of the three territories, or throughout the provincial north. Greenhouses in Inuvik, Iqaluit and Kujuuaq have been notable for their community spirit but not for their commercial success. Other greenhouses, such as in Whitehorse and Devon Island, have been funded by research dollars. Read full article at http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/greenhouses-can-help-food-security-canadas-vulnerable-north

Posted by Valoree Walker – 6/12/12; 8:04:30 AM – Permalink –   –

CBC News.  May 24, 2012  Report finds governments more likely to act on poverty when they have public support.  A new report on poverty in Yukon is calling for action from the territorial government. However, poverty activists are also calling for Yukoners to adjust their attitudes. The report, called 'Poverty Amongst Plenty', makes five recommendations including the development of a poverty reduction strategy, creating a secretariat to implement it and monitoring outcomes. It also calls for the government to provide housing options and lobby the federal government to fund housing initiatives. The report's author, Nick Falvo, said housing is a better investment than jails or shelters. "Interestingly though, affordable housing with or without social work support per person, per night is more cost effective." However, research shows governments tend to criminalize poverty. For instance, last year a tent city sprung up in Whitehorse to protest the lack of affordable housing in Yukon. During the last legislative sitting the government passed legislation making that kind of protest illegal.... Read more at http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/story/2012/05/24/north-poverty-report-whitehorse.html

Posted by Valoree Walker – 6/4/12; 1:25:04 PM – Permalink –   –

IQALUIT, Nunavut (February 24, 2012) –The Makimaniq Plan: A Shared Approach to Poverty Reduction was released today as part of a long-term Poverty Reduction Action Plan for Nunavut. Nunavut’s Minister of Economic Development and Transportation (EDT), Peter Taptuna, and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI) Vice President, Jack Anawak, released the plan. “This plan emerged directly from our communities, and from the vision and ideas of hundreds of dedicated Nunavummiut who participated in last year’s public engagement process,” said Minister Taptuna. “The Makimaniq Plan shows us the action we must take to support self-reliance in our communities, to strengthen the relationships between government and Inuit organizations, and to address the root causes of poverty.”

Posted by Valoree Walker – 4/30/12; 8:44:22 AM – Permalink –   –

March 14, 2012, Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories News Release,Yellowknife.  Alcohol and drug treatment and an anti-poverty strategy are the two top priorities of the Standing Committee on Social Programs in the 17th Assembly. "Addictions and poverty are the biggest problems we've got in the Northwest Territories, and there is no one who is not touched by them" said committee chair Alfred Moses. "We are determined to make concrete progress. The government has been coating on these issues for too long. Now that an Alcohol and Drug Treatment Strategy is being developed, we have good reason to think the current cabinet will be on side."

Addictions and poverty are integral to many of the challenges identified by the Standing Committee on Social Programs including low incomes and unemployment, school attendance and low educational achievement, poor health outcomes, inadequate housing, as well as crime and rehabilitation The standing committee’s five members met in Hay River from February 29 to March 2 for an intensive planning session and visits to local facilities, including the South Mackenzie Correctional Centre, Nats’eejee K’eh Treatment Centre, H.H. Williams Hospital, and the Family Support Centre. The committee is responsible for the regular MLAs’ oversight of the Departments of Health and Social Services; Education, Culture and Employment; Justice; and the NWT Housing Corporation (NWTHC). “We were very impressed by the good work being done in the facilities we visited,” Moses said. “We really appreciated the dedication and frankness of the staff everywhere we went.”
The committee believes there is a solid foundation for government departments to cooperate and collaborate on services with broader impact. “To make headway on our priorities we need Education, Justice, Housing, and Health to work together,” added committee member Wendy Bisaro. “For example, Corrections might need an alcohol treatment program in one of its facilities, and that would involve the health department at the very least.”
.......

Posted by Valoree Walker – 3/19/12; 8:14:47 AM – Permalink –   –

CBC News March 2, 2012  Artist-run centre that markets Inuit work cannot pay its bills.  The Ottawa-based Inuit Art Foundation plans to close its doors at the end of the month, saying it can't bring in enough money to sustain its rising costs. The charitable foundation formed in 1985 to promote and market Inuit art worldwide is run by a volunteer board of artists. It is selling off its art and emptying its offices at the end of the month. Inuit paintings and sculptures in the Inuit Art Foundation shop have red slashes across the price tags, and in their office, the walls are being stripped of artwork.......

The foundation has received contributions from the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development since 1985, with annual contributions of $458,000 since 2005. The ministry said while funding did not change in 2010-11 or 2011-12, the foundation's costs have risen. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development spokesperson Geneviève Guibert said the ministry was not consulted on the decision and said it didn't learn of the decision to dismantle the foundation until Thursday morning......

Posted by Valoree Walker – 3/15/12; 3:06:24 PM – Permalink –   –

BC Government Online news source  March 5, 2012  Victoria - Changes to the Business Corporations Act would allow for a new hybrid type of company - the community contribution company - that combines socially beneficial purposes with a restricted ability to distribute profits to shareholders. This new type of hybrid corporation responds to an emerging demand for socially focused investment options and can help foster social enterprise investments.  The changes were introduced in the legislature today as part of Bill 23, Finance Statutes Amendment Act, 2012.   Community contribution companies would be structured to combine both benefits to the community and limited investor returns within the context of a traditional for-profit company. They would be incorporated with the flexibility and certainty of regular companies, but under legislation that ensures they primarily benefit the community. These companies would allow an alternative business model not currently available through a regular business, whose primary focus is making money for shareholders or a non-profit society.

These companies would be subject to a higher degree of accountability than an ordinary company and required to publish an annual report detailing their social spending. Restrictions on corporate reorganizations would ensure that payout restrictions cannot be circumvented. On dissolution, the company would be subject to an "asset lock" - capping dividends on the company shares to ensure that profits are either retained by the company or directed to the community benefit....full report at http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2012/03/bc-introduces-act-allowing-social-enterprise-companies.html

Posted by Valoree Walker – 3/8/12; 9:13:49 AM – Permalink –   –

Yukon Government News Release  March 6, 2012. WHITEHORSE—Minister responsible for the Women’s Directorate Elaine Taylor and Premier Darrell Pasloski announced today that the Yukon government has committed a total of $4.5 million, subject to legislative approval, for the construction of a second stage housing facility in Whitehorse.
“The Yukon government is pleased to partner with the Yukon Women’s Transition Home on this important project that will offer secure and affordable housing for women and children who are fleeing abuse,” Taylor said. “We are both committed to the prevention of violence against women through the provision of infrastructure and relevant information, programs and services that support and encourage the self-determination of women.” ... Read full news release at http://www.gov.yk.ca/news/12-035.html

Posted by Valoree Walker – 3/7/12; 1:45:56 PM – Permalink –   –

Kivalliq News online  February 29, 2012. Arviat - Arviat's Sila Rainbow group was presented with a $3,000 cheque earlier this month for the recycling efforts of its members. Sila Rainbow is a volunteer, nonprofit organization that focuses on supporting youth in the community by promoting a variety of causes such as healthy living and antibullying strategies. The group focused on recycling as a way of fundraising and collected enough aluminium recyclables to fill two sea cans. Arctic Cooperatives Limited launched its aluminium can recycling project on behalf of member Coops in Nunavut this past spring. Since its inception, the project has shown how a community can achieve a cleaner environment and reduce consumption of a nonrenewable resource.

Posted by Valoree Walker – 3/6/12; 1:38:30 PM – Permalink –   –

iPolitics Insight  Wed, Feb 29, 2012, 5:01 am by Don Lenihan
The Makimaniq Plan: A Shared Approach to Poverty Reduction is the result of a remarkable, year-long process that engaged some 800 of Nunavut’s 33,000 people, across the territory. In Monday’s column, we saw how, for Inuit, poverty reduction requires healing through empowerment.

The Makimaniq Plan recognizes that this, in turn, requires real community engagement. It is at the community level that individuals and families are most likely to mobilize in ways that will begin to rebuild self-reliance and a sense of ownership of the issues.

The Plan calls for the creation of a new kind of collaborative organization to lead community engagement: the Nunavut Roundtable on Poverty Reduction. Members will include the Government of Nunavut, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI) — the official steward of Inuit interests in the territory — communities, community organizations and businesses.

If this doesn’t sound especially innovative, here is the show-stopper: Premier Eva Aariak has promised that “this Government will introduce legislation for the implementation of the long-term Poverty Reduction Action Plan with the collaboration of our partners.” (my emphasis)

In other words, the legislation appears to aim at ensuring government’s participation in the Roundtable will be as a full and genuine partner.

read full article at http://www.ipolitics.ca/2012/02/29/don-lenihan-making-democracy-work-could-nunavut-take-the-lead/

Posted by Valoree Walker – 3/1/12; 9:19:01 AM – Permalink –   –

iPolitics Insight Mon, Feb 27, 2012, 5:02 am by Don Lenihan  

…Inuit have the right…to participate in the development of social and cultural policies, and in the design of social and cultural programs and services, including their method of delivery, within the Nunavut Settlement Area. So the promise was that Inuit could have “Inuit government within a public government.” A decade later, however, many Inuit feel this promise is unfulfilled.

In 2009, a major review of the government’s performance surveyed 2,100 people from 25 communities and found that:
Often people described governance in Nunavut as a vision not yet realized and, at times, a vision derailed. Without doubt, the expectations most people had of Nunavut at its inception have not yet been met.
Premier Eva Aariak has staked her government’s credibility on turning this around. A major step was the Poverty Reduction Process, a year-long initiative that directly engaged some 800 people in 22 communities across the territory.
This was much more than a government “consultation.” It engaged communities in a searching discussion of how poverty is affecting their families, friends, neighborhoods and workplaces, and how they can work together to solve this.
....Today, poverty and powerlessness are a permanent presence for many Inuit. If the participants were clear that self-respect, self-reliance and community participation are critical conditions of well-being, they were equally clear that healing is connected to a sense of empowerment.
But many Inuit do not feel empowered. On the contrary, they feel trapped in their own land, their communities, even their homes.In practice, this means real action on housing, food security, education and economic development must do more than alleviate these needs. It must do so in a way that addresses the more fundamental question of dependence by promoting empowerment. It must lead to healing.
see full article at http://www.ipolitics.ca/2012/02/27/don-lenihan-memo-to-the-prime-minister-overcoming-poverty-in-nunavut/

Posted by Valoree Walker – 3/1/12; 9:10:38 AM – Permalink –   –

Nunatsiaq News online Nunavik  February 13, 2012 - 12:47 pm  SARAH ROGERS

Kuujjuaq conference highlights importance of traditional economy Nunavik organizations, companies using traditional skills in a modern economy. Inukjuak's Unaaq Men's Association, pictured here, works to create jobs, produce low-cost services, promote traditional heritage and support local youth, researchers at a Feb. 6 Kuujjuaq conference heard. Communities across both Nunavut and Nunavik face a number of social and economic challenges. But a network of researchers from across Canada says the social economy - that is, how residents and local organizations interact with economic development - can offer tools to help these communities cope. "What we often forget is the traditional economy, which is very important to social well-being," said Thierry Rodon, who holds Laval university's research chair on northern development. Rodon is a part of a group called the "Social Economy Research Network of Northern Canada," which, over the past five years, has collaborated with universities, northern colleges, community organizations and students to examine northern Canada's social economy. The network met in Kuujjuaq Feb. 6 to Feb. 7, where Rodon presented some of his latest research on the role of Inuit organizations in Nunavut and Nunavik and how they encourage economic development among beneficiaries. While traditional economy plays an important role in Inuit communities, Rodon said it is often overshadowed by the need to create modern industry to meet the demands of Northern populations. "The North has been modernizing for a long time," he said, "but it's been difficult to keep up with the demands of the territories." In some cases, birthright organizations have combined the two and these are among the "success stories" that Rodon - and other presenters - helped to highlight at the Kuujjuaq symposium. Rodon pointed to well-established Inuit-run businesses such as Pangnirtung Fisheries Ltd. and Nunavik Creations, the Makivik Corp. subsidiary that employs Nunavimmiut seamstresses to produce traditional clothing and outerwear. The Kativik Regional Government talked about the growth of its provincially-funded daycare network, which has allowed Nunavik's parents to participate in the workforce, while providing preschoolers with early and regular exposure to the Inuit language and culture. Another example of traditional skills being put to use in a modern economy is Inukjuak's Unaaq Men's Association, which has paired local elders with youth since 2001 to teach traditional skills and create job opportunities. The organization's treasurer, Tommy Palliser, made a presentation about the group at the Kuujjuaq symposium Feb.6, highlighting Unaaq's new projects: a local recycling operation and a video production centre to capture elders on film documenting stories or teaching survival skills. The men's group currently employs five full-time community members, Palliser said. "We are still working hard create full-time jobs, help realize low-cost services, actively promote our traditional heritage and ultimately support the youth and prevent the social problems that arise in our community," he said. In 2012, Unaaq hopes certify local people in wilderness first aid training and conduct dog sled training, so local youth can offer their services to a growing tourism clientele coming to the region. The association has also secured some support to create a small toy manufacturing operation that would produce traditional wooden toys to sell to daycare centres in Nunavik and Nunavut. The group's ultimate goal is to support local youth to "become confident in themselves (and) become strong leaders for our next generations to come," Palliser said. Palliser said the group is open to helping other communities establish their own associations, as Salluit recently did with its Kakivak Men's Association. Rodon said that efforts to organize at the community level will help as outside development grows across Northern regions, as many Nunavimmiut anticipate under Quebec's Plan Nord. "Nunavimmiut don't necessarily know what [the Plan Nord] will bring other than it means opportunity," Rodon said. But mining projects don't necessarily mean sustainable development, he added, which is where the need for social economy comes into play. Mining operations require employees, he said, but there is an equal need for education and skills training programs to help local people fill those jobs. As part of his ongoing research, Rodon is looking at the history of mines in the region and their impact on Inuit communities. Rodon's research chair position is funded in part by ArcelorMittal Mines Canada, along with Makivik Corp. and ArcticNet. Rodon is also leading a three-year project that will make recommendations on how to establish a northern university and improve Inuit access to post-secondary education.

Posted by Valoree Walker – 2/13/12; 1:27:08 PM – Permalink –   –

YELLOWKNIFE (Feb. 10, 2012)

The Northwest Territories Housing Corporation (NWTHC) is pleased to announce today that it will be providing $2.3 million toward the construction of transitional housing for single women and women with children. This contribution to the Yellowknife Homelessness Coalition and YWCA Yellowknife for the construction of this housing project supports a critical shelter need in the NWT.

The Honourable Robert C. McLeod, Minister Responsible for the NWTHC, announced the funding in the Legislative Assembly earlier today. The Yellowknife Homelessness Coalition is spearheading fundraising and construction of the project; YWCA Yellowknife will be the owner and operator when the building opens. The working name for this new facility is BETTY House (Better Environment to Transition in Yellowknife). It will be located on 54 Street, opposite Aurora College. The building will offer approximately 30 suites in a variety of sizes at affordable rental rates. Women and children who need support while they re-establish homes will live at BETTY House for up to three years. Those women may have been living in an emergency shelter or may have recently arrived in Yellowknife and have nowhere else to go.

The Northwest Territories Housing Corporation is pleased to participate in this essential project to support women and children in need of transitional housing. Contributing to the completion of Betty House forms a fundamental part of the Housing Corporation's overall priority of strengthening its approach to homelessness, says Minister McLeod. Mayor Gordon Van Tighem shares his enthusiasm, "It is indeed exciting to hear the announcement by the Minister Responsible for the NWT Housing Corporation that they are committed to a substantial financial contribution to the Betty House. This moves our Homelessness Coalition a great leap forward in meeting their current highest priority to provide women and women with children in transition a hand up toward a brighter future". 

"BETTY House will extend the continuum of services to single women and women with children, filling a long-standing gap," says Lyda Fuller, executive director of YWCA Yellowknife."It requires the cooperation of many partners to make a housing project like Betty House a success. We appreciate the important contribution of the Yellowknife Homelessness Coalition and YWCA toward strengthening individuals and families through the work that each of these organizations provides to address homelessness in Yellowknife" adds Minister McLeod.

Posted by Valoree Walker – 2/13/12; 8:16:33 AM – Permalink –   –

February 8, 2012 News, Press Secretary,Office of Premier and Executive Council, Government of the Northwest Territories.

Mr. Speaker, when our new government first met last October, we agreed on a vision for the Northwest Territories. Our vision is of strong individuals, families and communities sharing the benefits and responsibilities of a unified, environmentally sustainable and prosperous Northwest Territories. Developing an anti-poverty strategy is part of achieving this vision. It is linked with all of our goals and will ultimately form part of the basis for our government's coordinated approach to social issues.

Mr. Speaker, our goals as the 17th Assembly are all connected. To have healthy, educated people free from poverty, we need a diversified economy that provides all communities and regions with opportunities and choices. We need sustainable, vibrant, safe communities. We need an understanding by all parties that people's wellbeing is critical for the overall wellbeing of the Northwest Territories, our communities and our families. Many Northerners continue to struggle. We spoke with many of them during the consultations that were held over the last year. In all, two-hundred-and-fifty people from across the Northwest Territories took part in these discussions in all regions. We heard from residents and stakeholders, from front line workers and clients, students, elders, businesses and non-governmental organizations, as well as community and Aboriginal leaders. We heard that poverty is complex and influenced by many factors, such as education, employment, housing, and health. We were told to focus our efforts on poverty-related issues: addressing addictions, improving education and skills, improving housing and creating jobs. We need to address issues of wellness, poverty and addictions as we seek to keep our communities safe. We need to address the high cost of living and make sure that our programs encourage self-sufficiency. During our last Session, we saw Northerners' and Members' dedication to this issue. Later today, at the appropriate time, I will table What We Heard, a summary of the consultation results. Our government believes in people and builds on the strengths of Northerners. It is time to begin the work of developing a strategy to respond to their concerns. Reducing poverty in the Northwest Territories is not something that the Government can do alone. Individuals, their families and communities, other governments, and volunteer and community organizations all play a role. We heard the need for leadership and accountability at all levels. This government will work collaboratively with all stakeholders from Non-Governmental Organizations, Aboriginal governments, business, and others with an interest in poverty in the Northwest Territories. Under the leadership of the Social Envelope Committee and a lead Deputy, this government will develop a plan and bring it back to this Assembly before the end of this calendar year. In the meantime, work will continue on the actions we have already identified that will address the underlying factors that contribute to poverty. We are moving forward to enhance addictions treatment, address housing needs, and increase employment opportunities where they are most needed. We are helping people become and stay employed, reducing dependency on government programs and making investments in infrastructure that will create economic opportunity and reduce the cost of living in our communities. We have also talked many times about the need to address housing issues, which are closely linked to our economic and social agendas. Housing is a major determinant of health and lack of housing makes economic development difficult, especially in our communities. The ongoing Shelter Policy Review will provide a long-term strategic framework for delivering housing in the Northwest Territories and the basis of specific actions on this priority. Some of these projects will likely be identified in the final anti-poverty strategy. This work requires a balanced approach that acknowledges that action on one priority will support action on other priorities. I look forward to returning to this House and to Committee to continue the discussion about how best to reduce poverty in the Northwest Territories.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Posted by Valoree Walker – 2/9/12; 10:09:24 AM – Permalink –   –

December 22, 2011. CBC News.


The federal and N.W.T. governments will spend $11 million on affordable housing in the territory under a recently renewed housing agreement. "This money will be used for some affordable housing and repair programs," said Robert C. McLeod, minister responsible for the N.W.T. Housing Corp. "Without the work the housing corp. does, housing would be unaffordable in a lot of these communities. It's hard to get financing to purchase in some of the communities." This is a renewal of an existing agreement that was put in place about five years ago. The new money will be used over the next three years. According to a recent report from Carleton University, the number of people in the N.W.T. living in homes that need major repairs is more than three times the national average and about 400 families are currently on a waiting list for housing.

Read more at: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/story/2011/12/22/north-affordable-housing-money.html

Posted by Kiri Staples – 12/22/11; 8:37:52 AM – Permalink –   –

December 20, 2011. Nunatsiaq News. By Sarah Rogers.

Makivik Corp. President Pita Aatami says talks with the federal government on more housing for Nunavik have hit a standstill. But those talks may get help from a mediator in 2012, he said. Since 2010, Nunavik's leaders have pegged the number of additional units needed to relieve the housing crunch in the region at 1,000 - a need that continues to grow. So when Quebec's Plan Nord announced 300 new social housing units earlier this year - plus help to build 200 private homes - the province approached Ottawa to come up with another 500 units. But now Ottawa has told Nunavik that it has already met its housing obligations to the region until 2015, Aatami said. "The federal government is saying that it's fulfilled its obligation over the last 10 years," Aatami said. "But we're telling them it doesn't meet our needs. If this situation existed in the South, it wouldn't be tolerated." Aatami said housing in Nunavik remains a shared responsibility between the federal and provincial governments, according to the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement, whose Sec. 29 says "the existing provision of housing, electricity, water, sanitation and related municipal services to lnuit shall continue, taking into account population trends..."

Read more at: http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/65674nunavik_seeks_mediator_on_housing_dispute_wit_Ottawa/

Posted by Kiri Staples – 12/20/11; 8:34:49 AM – Permalink –   –

December 15, 2011. Nunatsiaq News. By Sarah Rogers.

Overcrowded housing across the Inuit Nunangat is one of the biggest barriers to Inuit health and well-being, says a new report. Released Dec. 14, the report If Not Now - When? Addressing the Ongoing Inuit Housing Crisis in Canada was produced by Inuit Tuttarvingat of the National Aboriginal Health Organization. The report identifies the most critical outcome of the housing crisis that plagues so many Inuit communities across the country: its long-term effect on today's young Inuit. The overcrowded housing will hinder their future participation in the North, the report says. The 70-page report cites 2006 statistics which show that 31 per cent of Inuit live in crowded housing, compared to three per cent of Canada's total population. But it also acknowledges that a housing crisis is hardly new, noting that adequate housing for Inuit communities has been a persistent concern since the creation of permanent communities in the Canadian Arctic 60 years ago. "Housing has been inadequate since Inuit began settling into permanent communities in the 1950s," said Cathleen Knotsch, a senior researcher and author of the study. "The crisis is growing to the extent that many children will live their entire childhood in overcrowded houses that might have three, four or five generations living in a two or three bedroom house."

Read more at: http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/65674overcrowded_housing_crippling_the_norths_future_report/

Posted by Kiri Staples – 12/16/11; 8:24:58 AM – Permalink –   –

December 16, 2011. Nunatsiaq News. By Jane George.

When more than 100 staff and board members of Clyde River's Ilisaqsivik Society, along with their families, held their Christmas party Dec. 15, they had much to be grateful for: the cash-poor community's wellness centre had made it through another year. And earlier this month Ilisaqsivik received some unexpected recognition, when Tides Canada, the country's largest public foundation dedicated to the environment and social justice, listed the centre among its "Top 10 recipients for 2011." The Tides Top 10 recognizes Canada's "most innovative and forward-thinking projects and organizations that have demonstrated outstanding leadership, vision and real-world impact in addressing today's most pressing environmental and social problems." That honour didn't come with any money attached " but it's intended to generate interest for Ilisaqsivik among potential donors and supporters, and it may open new doors to funding from foundations who will now "know we exist," said Jakob Gearheard, Ilisaqsivik's executive director. Meanwhile, Ilisaqsivik is struggling. Ilisaqsivik, whose programs include health and wellness programs for mothers and children, literacy programs, access to computers and counseling, while supporting a men's healing group, women's sewing circle, an elders' group, youth council and Sukkakut, a group for women, remains in difficult financial straits, Gearheard said...

Read more at: http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/65674ilisaqsivik_nets_recognition_but_not_enough_money/


Posted by Kiri Staples – 12/16/11; 8:17:40 AM – Permalink –   –

December 12, 2011. Nunatsiaq News. By Dean Morrison.

An Iqaluit non-profit group has come up with a novel way to keep surplus computers out of the landfill site by putting them into the hands of needy people. Eight years ago, David Fulgham became tired of seeing used computers thrown away when businesses upgraded their equipment. That spurred Fulgham - a member of the non-profit Advanced Technology Group, a Iqaluit-based group dedicated to the advancement of technology and internet access for everyone in Nunavut - to act. Knowing that many homes in Nunavut have no computers, Fulgham saw an opportunity to help people and protect the environment at the same time. And so, the "Computers for Christmas" campaign was born. Backed by team of volunteers, Fulgham now refurbishes donated computers he receives throughout the year so that the machines will be ready for Christmas.

"We set up an assembly line," Fulgham said. "And it takes about an hour to rebuild an average computer." For volunteer Rowan Novinger, it's a way for him to put years of acquired knowledge when he "would basically break my computer and try to fix it" to good use. This year, Advanced Technology Group will give away 10 computers, each with an LCD monitor, mouse and keyboard. The computers will come loaded with Windows XP, virus protection and an Inuktitut font, allowing recipients to plug in and power up right away...

Read more at: http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/65674campaign_offers_computing_to_nunavuts_needy/

Posted by Kiri Staples – 12/13/11; 8:29:01 AM – Permalink –   –

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