Quebec, Nunavik will work together to solve Nunavik’s social problems: Marois
"A step in the right direction"
A new group, with high-level officials from Nunavik and Quebec City, will co-ordinate a new joint approach to tackling social problems in the Nunavik region, Quebec Premier Pauline Marois announced Sept. 13.
While in Nunavik Sept. 13, Marois announced the creation of the Saqijuq Nunavik-Quebec round table.
Its goal: “to develop effective and sustainable concrete measures” to promote positive change in Nunavik — reflecting the meaning of saqijuq, which means a change in wind direction in Inuktitut.
To jointly co-ordinate the group’s work, Marois appointed her minister for Social Services and Youth Protection, Véronique Hivon, and Minnie Grey, chairperson of Nunavik’s Regional Partnership Committee, formed in 2007 to tackle the region’s social problems, after an investigation by Quebec’s human rights commission first revealed that the region’s social network failed to give children and youth the protection to which they are legally entitled.
“Saqijuq Nunavik-Quebec will allow all stakeholders to speak with one voice on issues of Nunavik,” Grey said in a Quebec government news release in which she called the group “a step in the right direction.”
As part of the Regional Partnership Committee’s mandate to restore social peace, keep adults out of jail and give Nunavimmiut children safer, healthier lives, the committee plans to launch its first “family home” project in Kuujjuaraapik in the coming months to keep children at risk in their homes.
“Our region is facing serious social problems to which we need to bring culturally-relevant solutions, said Makivik Corp. president Jobie Tukkiapik, who praised Quebec for its willingness to collaborate on this “innovative approach.”
“This new approach will improve the way families and stakeholders in various departments and agencies work together,” said Marois.
Also on Sept. 13, before leaving to Kangiqsualujjuaq to officially open the Kuururjuaq provincial park interpretation centre, Marois announced Quebec will give $1 million over the next three years to help renovate marine infrastructure across Nunavik and $5 million to continue its measures to reduce the high cost of living in Nunavik.