Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavik February 13, 2017 - 11:45 am

Nunavik cuts funding to well-known select hockey program

Makivik, KRG want to "develop hockey at the community level"

Coach Joé Juneau gave players on the Nunavik Nordiks' Pee Wee team a pep talk during a 2011 game. (FILE PHOTO)
Coach Joé Juneau gave players on the Nunavik Nordiks' Pee Wee team a pep talk during a 2011 game. (FILE PHOTO)

Nunavik’s multimillion dollar crime prevention fund has opted not to finance the region’s popular select hockey program, the regional organizations which manage the fund said last week.

In 2006, former National Hockey League player Joé Juneau helped to launch the Nunavik Youth Hockey Development Program, which trains and develops young hockey players on the condition they attend school.

Nunavik’s Ungaluk crime prevention program has funded the NYHDP, providing about $2.2 million a year, over the last decade. The $300 million crime prevention fund pays out roughly $10 million a year to regional projects which promote social well-being.

But a Makivik Corp. and Kativik Regional Government-led committee that oversees fund decided earlier this month to cut about $900,000 from the NYHDP’s annual budget—the portion of the budget that funded the program’s select hockey teams, which participate in annual tournaments outside the region.

“The joint executives took a unanimous decision to develop hockey at the community level in Nunavik, with more focus on regional hockey development instead of competitions in southern Quebec, and to ensure that greater number of youth have access to supported hockey for a longer period of time at the community level,” Makivik and the KRG said in a joint release Feb. 10.

In recent years, Juneau has helped to groom a handful of select teams, the Nunavik Nordiks, whose players have gone on to win championships in southern tournaments.

But the program has also come under fire for its elitism and it academic requirements, motivating some Nunavik communities to launch their own hockey development programs.

In 2014, Ungaluk revised its funding criteria to give priority to projects that help reduce substance abuse and addiction across the region.

The NYHDP has also recently undergone an audit by the firm Goss Gilroy Inc., which found the program’s select element did not meet Ungaluk’s crime prevention and community building requirements.

The evaluation found the program did not appear to have made a positive influence on school attendance; in fact, the select teams southern tournaments were noted as disruptive to the students’ schedules. Instead, the report recommended the program be restructured.

This year, the NYDHP will receive $1.3 million to operate. Makivik and KRG said the funding cut will impact fewer than one-fifth of the program’s participants.

As NYHDP’s lead, Juneau said he’s hopeful the organization can find other sources of income to keep its select program alive.

“It has been an enormous pleasure to work with and for Nunavik’s youth for the past 11 years in developing great positive leadership, with great educators and coaches teaching so much to so many children and teenagers over those years; a program that is totally in link with crime prevention,” Juneau said.

Next, Makivik and the KRG said they’ll rely on input from a regional committee made up of community members and youth recreation leaders to determine how best to develop hockey in Nunavik.

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(17) Comments:

#1. Posted by Good Move on February 13, 2017

I am happy to hear that this development will try to be a postive influence on more kids and all communities.  I was hoping a professional player would be developed by this program of ten years but I do not think we can name one. 

A more inclusive program will better develop the region.

#2. Posted by pissed off on February 13, 2017

the program has also come under fire for its elitism and it academic requirements

Come on !!!!
what is wrong with asking the young people to shape up and perform in school???
Too elitist??  How about everybody pass regardless of effort and also regardless of the outcome at the end of their schooling ?

You need an ultimate goal to motivate these young people.
I have witnessed the joy on these guys faces as they have performed and sometimes won attained their biggest success ever.

I have witnessed their excellent behaviour and team work and know from experience the lasting positive effect on most of them after these formative years.

KRG and Makivik could not find a better way to shoot themselves in the foot . Sadly it is the young people that will end up paying .
How much is a medivac???

#3. Posted by Nunavimmiutaq on February 13, 2017

Mr. Joé Juneau’s program never had a chance of surviving long term in Nunavik

His program was based on high standards, excellence and being the best you can be, which is obviously unacceptable for Nunavik where the only tradition is failure.

His program was also based on school attendance and that too is unacceptable to Nunavik. It is mandatory that the school dropout rate be maintained at 90% in Nunavut. An educated population is a highly dangerous force and a potential threat to Makivvik and the KRG.

Good decision, because an ignorant disempowered population is always a happy population. Go Nunavik go.

#4. Posted by Rocket on February 13, 2017

$2.2 MILLION for a hockey program???

$300 MILLION for crime prevention???

For a total population of—what—13,000 people, many of them very young children or Elders who (we assume) are neither hockey players nor committing crime?

That is wild overspending.

#5. Posted by Kuujjuaraapik on February 13, 2017

Its been 10 years & but I have never seen this program in Kuujjuaraapik, Maybe find something else other than Hockey to include all the youth in Nunavik.
Very few inuit in Kuujjuaraapik play hockey, because we have no arena to call our own.

#6. Posted by Greta on February 13, 2017

Investing $ in organized sport that encourages academic and healthy life choices is money well spent. For every child that benefits the ancilliary benefits are immeasurable. For example: these young people become role models for their siblings, peers, younger children; they make their families proud; they feel a sense of purpose and great pride in themselves; they develop a winning attitude for life; they learn that healthy choices lead to possibilities; and so much more. So to all the naysayers who scoff at the $ spent on this program, think instead about the long-term ROI for every young person who takes part in this program and the people/things that they will have a positive impact upon.

#7. Posted by Bobby on February 13, 2017

Greta, yours is the often claimed theory.

Is there any verfied evidence that spending millions upon millions of dollars on this one sports program for a tiny group
of people has, in fact, caused the results you assert?

Or is this merely a feel-good fable lacking verified validity?

#8. Posted by Lets encourage all children,not just "the chosen f on February 13, 2017

The NYHDP is given funding from the Ungaluk program for all minor hockey aged children in Nunavik. This money is not being taken away. Joe Juneau has to work within the boundaries of Nunavik. He has to ensure that a hockey program according to the NYHDP mission statement is in place in all communities and that local hockey trainers are available in the communities. Instead of focusing on out of region tournaments, he has to focus on regional tournaments. If he is not capable of doing this and if he is only interested in the elite - nordiks, then its time for him to step aside and let someone else finish what he started in 2006 which quickly became sidetracked.
The media should not focus on the funding cuts to the Elite/Quebec City program. Instead, the cameras should focus on the failure of the NYHDP program as it was initially intended. To bad its taken 10 years and millions of dollars to figure this out.

#9. Posted by Greta on February 13, 2017

#7 I have been involved in a number of programs that have bore out the results I wrote about previously. The results were reflected 10-25yrs after the programs were implemented. And they continue. ROI simply amazing and not accidental or coincidental.

#10. Posted by long term resident on February 13, 2017

#8 - you take the words right out from under my fingertips! so agreed. 

and for all the others who comment on this article as well as others thinking the elite group are actually encourage to go to school and perform - think again and get informed before talking about how the regional organisations here prefer to have their population uneducated such as #3 states…

so much to say - so little space…

if you know how to calculate the costs of tournament and that for this region with all the other subsidies available you will realise quickly that the cost is way below 2.2 million… wonder who is getting the big bucks…

not the kids!

#11. Posted by We do this and we get that on February 13, 2017

If Nunavik is a stage, then there’s no shortage of just for laughs. But seriously not a laughing matter at all. In one breath we are discussing housing shortage, and food prices. In another we discuss crime. In all matters we discuss the lacks of money for this and that.

But wait, we some how discuss 300 million for what? This is screwed up. Some areas of Canada , and even Quebec would never allow themselves such abuse of money , like 300 million, nope, wouldn’t allow it. Because it’s degrading. I’m sure they would appreciate it more so than nunavik, but never would that happen, because people have pride and put work into their raring of their kids, and people work for their hard earn money. A waste of tax money in nunavik, shame on you that are part of this.

And don’t expect Canadians or quebecers or the world to have pity on you when you talk about housing shotprtage and high food cost.

#12. Posted by Unknown2552 on February 13, 2017


But, but, but! You except me to use my beer money on kids!?!?! How sick can you be! It’s not my fault that I don’t know how to use a condom or that I have 13 kids with 11 different people!

How dare you say I used be responsible for myself! That’s why we have KRG, so I can be giving a hand out just for being alive! Of course I will use that hand out for drugs and booze.

-60% of people in Nunavik.

Myself? I’m 26 and I’ve been working for 12 year now and have no plans to stop and also like how I can look after myself, except the housing of course, since they don’t give housing to people who work.

#13. Posted by 300 Milliion on February 13, 2017

300 Million $? 

What if you taught the Nunavik pop to drink beer properly with a $300 Million?  Maybe that would have work better. 

How much for a case of beer for every over 18 yrs. every day.  They would have to save for Sat. and Sunday.  Results at the end of the day matter.

#14. Posted by The real meaning on February 14, 2017

I’m in agreement with commentor #11. Most proud Canadians are busy raring their kids on less money, with focus on transferring that pride to their kids. When you see something like this millions of dollars of abuse in Nunavik, it’s time to take inventory of what really is manifested. What it really means is our tax money is channeled abusively into a society that does nothing for their kids, other than letting them fall victims to crime and abuse, not to mention the lack of books , reading , music programs , real sports, with pride and fun. This is our north, Canadian tax payers own it , lock , stock , and barrel, but it’s too expensive.

#15. Posted by long term resident on February 14, 2017

#11 and #14, apparently you have never been up north, nor are you aware of the realities of what it is to live here.

There are a multitude of program, music, theater, circus, sports (volley-ball, local hockey programs, soccer, kick-boxing, skiing, etc.), as well as youth center who have activities for all age groups. 

There are also the teachers working very hard to have exchange trips and local and regional activities in sciences and sports

There is a lot being done and a lot of it is being funded through the Ungaluk program. Which if you read #8 comment carefully is to be used “within” Nunavik to help the population by keeping them active and involved.

Mr. Juneau with his comments just makes it look like his project is the only working in the region and to that i take offend and so should everyone who knows the reality.

Yes there are social issues, but there are also a lot of great things happening that are left unsaid when the spotlight shines on the wrong people.

#16. Posted by Nunavimiu on February 15, 2017

How much is spent on hockey alone in Nunavik. We know how much this program costs annually and over 10 years. Lets also look at municipal costs of arenas, electricity, fuel, employees and insurance. There is also Nunavik Hockey (that structure is still a mystery to me). Jr’s, Woman’s, and Sr’s Hudson/Ungava/ Nunavik Cups. Then there is the cash prize tournaments that pop up. It’s the municipalities that end up covering a majority of the costs for teams to travel. Not to mention damage made by teams during a tournament. Barely half the team joins the fundraising efforts at the community level too. I can imagine the new committee overseeing being made up of regional reps. I bet not a single one of them have ever developed a full budget of an arena along side a recreation coordinator. Nunavik is emerging money all because hockey is the new gladiators of Caesar.  Its all a political tool.

#17. Posted by Siasi on February 15, 2017

I’m totally agree with this, because only bullies plays hockey, my son tried to attend hockey program and he quit because of the bullies

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