Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavik June 15, 2017 - 4:00 pm

In face of loss, Nunavik communities to walk for resilience

Shine Your Lights begins at 3 p.m. June 16

On June 16 at 3 p.m., community members in Puvirnituq will meet here for a prayer, a walk and a moment of silence. The same event is happening in other communities along the Hudson coast. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE)
On June 16 at 3 p.m., community members in Puvirnituq will meet here for a prayer, a walk and a moment of silence. The same event is happening in other communities along the Hudson coast. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE)

Communities along Nunavik’s Hudson coast will gather on the afternoon of Friday, June 16, to show their support for families in the region who have lost loved ones to violence and suicide.

Social services staff from the Puvirnituq-based Inuulitsivik Health Centre have co-ordinated an event called Shine Your Lights on June 16 at 3 p.m., when people will gather for a prayer and a moment of silence, before leaving on a march through the community of roughly 1,800.

“Today our hearts are with Akulivik and every other community that has been through difficult times in the past,” the event poster said.

“It’s time to get together to give support to each other and show Nunavik’s great resilience.”

Nunavik communities have seen a number of violent incidents, suicides and accidental deaths in recent weeks.

In Akulivik last weekend, a young man stabbed five family members, killing three of them before he was shot and killed by police.

Inuulitsivik sent additional social workers to the community to offer support to friends and family members.

When they returned home to Puvirnituq, social services staff met to see what more they could do to support grieving communities.

“A lot of people have been talking about how difficult it’s been,” said Louise Ayotta, interim assistant director of community services at Inuulitsivik.

“So we decided to host a march along the Hudson coast to show Akulivik and all the communities that we’re present, so people don’t feel alone.”

In Puvirnituq, community members will meet at the local baseball diamond June 16 at 3 p.m., where an elder will begin the event with a group prayer.

Kuujjuaraapik, Umiujaq, Inukjuak, Ivujivik and Salluit will host their own events at 3 p.m; residents of those communities should tune into the local FM radio to find out where their march begins.

Inuulitsivik has also extended the invitation to communities along Nunavik’s Ungava coast to organize similar marches. In Kuujjuaq, walkers will meet at the community’s Katittavik town hall at 3:00 p.m. to walk towards the elder’s home for activities and snacks.

The Ullivik patient residence in Montreal will also host an event in its parking lot June 16.

“We’ve heard a lot of bad things lately, but Nunavimmiut are really resilient,” said social worker Christina Allard. “We have great power when we’re together.”

Nunavimmiut who are in distress can contact the following numbers for support:

• Inuit values and practices (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) 1-877-686-2845

• Kamatsiaqtut Help Line 1-800-265-3333

• Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868

- Hope for Wellness Help Line 1-855-242-3310

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(7) Comments:

#1. Posted by David Qaqutuk on June 15, 2017

Why do you all wait for tragedies to happen before taking actions? Don’t you all think it’s time to take actions when one threatens to do such horrific acts? We can all argue about incidents no matter what happens! But we cannot just sit around and hope for the fire to be put out automatically! A single match can be lit and be thrown and burn a whole forest before someone takes actions. Then it’s time to work together to put it out. Same thing with the actions of people!

#2. Posted by NUNAVIMIUK on June 15, 2017

Looks like , we will need help for générations to come.

#3. Posted by Say Enough! on June 15, 2017

Older Nunavimmiut, you must get the message across, loud and clear to young people.
“This is not the Inuit way, so stop it right now!!!” 
Do not be afraid to say it many, many times. 
It’s the only way you will slow down these crazy acting out behaviours and suicide itself.
Get firm, get tough, teach the Inuit values and beliefs and show them Inuit do not act like this.
Get some cultural pride going - so they realize when they think like an Inuk, these things do NOT happen.
Get going!

#4. Posted by Michel on June 16, 2017

All my support to Nunavimiut families especially for the community of Akulivik. Be strong for a better future.

#5. Posted by Stop Hurting People on June 16, 2017

We have to stop hurting people.  We do it without thinking, we have to talk and think about every single day.

#6. Posted by Frustrating on June 16, 2017

It’s time for community workers and youth protection to start real work, instead of brushing off people who try to seek help. They should work together and stop blaming each other and shoving their responsibilities.

#7. Posted by monty sling on June 16, 2017

lets not blame any organizations, elders and governments. it’s the parents, the way they raised their kids. to many parents do not care how the little ones are growing up, teach them, talk to them at young age. they are not royal little ones, the gueen and the royals has the little princesses and princes. the title is taken already so just be parent to your kids, a good parent. i have seen to many parents arguing and start fighting when little ones bum to each other and start crying.

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