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

SARAH ROGERS
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

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

 THIS WEEK’S ADS

 ADVERTISING