Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavik June 16, 2017 - 1:10 pm

Makivik Corp. invites Quebec commission to visit Nunavik

Makivik insists on an Inuit-specific approach to public service delivery

SARAH ROGERS
Makivik Corp. president Jobie Tukkiapik, right, speaks to the provincial commission looking at the relationship between Quebec’s Indigenous groups and the province’s public services June 13 in Val d’Or, with Makivik’s communications director William Tagoona at left.
Makivik Corp. president Jobie Tukkiapik, right, speaks to the provincial commission looking at the relationship between Quebec’s Indigenous groups and the province’s public services June 13 in Val d’Or, with Makivik’s communications director William Tagoona at left.

Quebec must support Inuit-focused solutions to improve the delivery of core services to Nunavik, Makivik Corp. president Jobie Tukkiapik told a Quebec commission looking at the relationship between Quebec’s Indigenous groups and the province’s public services.

“We insist on an Inuit-specific approach to Nunavik,” Tukkiapik told the commission June 13 in Val d’Or.

All the services being examined as part of the commission—health and social, justice, correctional, youth protection and policing services—require the province’s attention, he said.

“We need to fully adapt all these services to the realities and the needs of the region and Nunavik Inuit,” he said.

Inuit don’t recognize themselves in Quebec’s justice system, Tukkiapik said, though they are over-represented within it.

Tukkiapik called for a team of specialized Inuit interpreters to help Nunavimmiut navigate a system that operates largely in French and English—second and third languages to most Inuit.

Makivik also flagged youth protection as a crucial issue to improve, calling the removal of children from their families “the new residential school experience.”

Tukkiapik invited the commission to visit and host hearings in Nunavik to better understand the issues facing the region.

Former Quebec Superior Court Justice Jacques Viens, who is chairing the commission, said that would depend on the number of witnesses scheduled to appear at hearings as the inquiry moves forward.

The commission was created last year to respond to allegations of police brutality against First Nations women in Quebec

As part of its mandate, the commission must make recommendations to the Quebec government and Indigenous authorities on how to eliminate discriminatory practices and all forms of violence in the provision of government services to those communities.

Makivik, represented by its own lawyers, is a full participant in the commission.

“We’re now ready to work with you to close the gaps, improves services, remove discriminatory practices and differential treatment in Nunavik and in urban centres,” Tukkiapik told the inquiry.

“We know the problems—now we need solutions.”

You can read more about the commission or watch the hearings live here.

Email this story to a friend... Print this page... Bookmark and Share

 THIS WEEK’S ADS

 ADVERTISING