Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut June 21, 2017 - 9:00 am

New funding will address trauma, violence in Inuit Nunangat: Pauktuutit

“Inuit men and women have always worked together to survive"

SARAH ROGERS
Pauktuutit president Rebecca Kudloo signs a new memorandum with INAC minister Carolyn Bennett last week in Ottawa. The new agreement will ensure progress on Pauktuutit's initiatives, Kudloo said. (PHOTO COURTESY OF PAUKTUUTIT)
Pauktuutit president Rebecca Kudloo signs a new memorandum with INAC minister Carolyn Bennett last week in Ottawa. The new agreement will ensure progress on Pauktuutit's initiatives, Kudloo said. (PHOTO COURTESY OF PAUKTUUTIT)

Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada says new funding focused on addressing gender-based violence will help make Inuit men a part of the solution.

Last week, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada announced $898,000 in funding towards a three-year project to look at the root causes of violence against Inuit women by engaging men and boys.

“We’re busy working with women and men get left out,” said Pauktuutit president Rebecca Kudloo. “Men and women have always worked together to survive in Inuit communities.”

The project is a continuation of previous work Pauktuutit has done with Inuit men and boys.

In 2013, the Inuit women’s organization received $300,000, money that was used to prepare “tool kits” and offer workshops to Inuit communities on how to start a local men’s group—an initiative that’s spread in both Nunavut and Nunavik in recent years.

The goal was to encourage anger management skills and promote self-esteem among Inuit men, Kudloo said.

But with a new grant of $898,000 over three years, Pauktuutit plans to first survey men and women in Inuit communities to re-assess needs.

“We’re looking at this holistically, so we can understand the knowledge and behaviour [behind violence], she said.

“As long as men don’t get help for what they’re dealing with, things will keep going on as they’ve been,” Kudloo said, pointing to trauma spurred by residential school and childhood sexual abuse.

“It’s a cycle.”

Kudloo said the project will launch as soon as possible.

The new money comes on the heels of a new memorandum of understanding that Pauktuutit and INAC signed last week which commits both parties to bi-annual meetings and multi-year, resourced work plans.

INAC has yet to scheduled their first meeting, but Kudloo said the new partnership will ensure progress on a number of Pauktuutit intitiatives.

Pauktuutit staff and board members also met with representatives of the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous women last week.

As commissioners plan to undertake community hearings starting in the fall, Pauktuutit has asked the commission to visit certain communities, Kudloo said, including Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet (which has invited the inquiry to visit) and a community in Nunavik.

Kudloo said they’ve asked commissioners to allow Inuit to share their stories in a community other than their own, if testifying in their own hometown is difficult.

Pauktuutit has also requested the inquiry prepare a plain language information sheet or bulletin to go out to communities by mail or by television or radio broadcast.

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