Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavik November 13, 2017 - 9:15 am

New video aims to keep Nunavik patients safe in Montreal

Montreal police and Ullivik centre co-produce video

SARAH ROGERS
A SPVM officer is pictured in a new video speaking to visitors at the Ullivik patient centre in Montreal, which hosts Nunavimmiut patients who require specialized care in the city.
A SPVM officer is pictured in a new video speaking to visitors at the Ullivik patient centre in Montreal, which hosts Nunavimmiut patients who require specialized care in the city.

Montreal’s police department has teamed up with the Ullivik residence to produce a video to welcome and prepare Nunavik patients for visits to the city.

The new 143-bed Ullivik residence opened its doors in the Montreal suburb of Dorval last December.

Run by Nunavik’s Inuulitsivik Health Centre, the facility accommodates patients who travel to Montreal for specialized medical treatment at hospitals and other health facilities.

For some Nunavimmiut patients, navigating the city can be a challenge and even a danger.

“Our goal is to make sure that when Nunavimmiut come down, they’re safe,” said Carlos Deangelis, the Aboriginal liaison officer with the Montreal police force, the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal, or SPVM.

“We’re explaining simple bylaws [or advice] if you go out to have a drink or something to eat.”

The nine-minute-long video is produced in Inuktitut and English, introducing Nunavimmiut to the centre’s director, Maggie Putulik, and to different police officers with the SPVM’s station five, which covers the Dorval neighbourhood where Ullivik is located.

Sgt. Benoit Lafleur offers some basic information, like the closing hours of the city’s parks and bars and a suggestion not to congregate in bus shelters or in front of businesses.

Another officer, Josée Mensales of the SPVM’s sexual assault and human trafficking unit, warns Nunavimmiut to be wary of people “offering you things that sound too be good to be true,” like free shelter, food or access to drugs and alcohol.

The officers encourage Nunavimmiut to report any issues to the SPVM, but they also explain how to file complaints if they feel they’ve been treated unfairly by police officers.

Before the Ullivik centre even opened, Deangelis said police who work in that part of the city took sensitivity training to learn more about the Inuit community.

The video will be shown to patients while they are shuttled between the airport and centre and to medical appointments throughout the city.

Deangelis, who has worked with the police force since Nunavik’s patient centre was located in Montreal’s Westmount neighbourhood, said Ullivik offers a larger living space for visitors to the city, including a country food kitchen and other programming.

Many Inuit expressed concerns about the previous location’s proximity to the city’s downtown core and the growing number of Inuit living on Montreal’s streets.

The new video, released Nov. 6, comes a little over a week after a Nunavik woman staying at Ullivik died just blocks from the centre.

The woman from Puvirnituq was a visitor at the centre Oct. 27 when she was run over by a transport truck in the parking lot of a restaurant just down the street from the centre. She died from her injuries the same night.

The SPVM continues to investigate the accident. The Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services has yet to respond to Nunatsiaq News’ request for more details on the woman’s death.

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