FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ottawa, ON (May 31, 2016)
Pauktuutit welcomes the release of the recommendations from the federal government for the mandate, composition and process of the upcoming national inquiry. ‘I think they have done a very good job in compiling the many and different views from indigenous women across the country. I’m very happy to see that many of Pauktuutit’s recommendations have been included as well as many made by family members at our meeting in February,’ said Rebecca Kudloo, President.
Pauktuutit is ready to begin working with the federal government and other jurisdictions on the implementation of the inquiry, but remains concerned about the announcement of relevant budget details to support immediate actions to address violence against Inuit women and children. The organization has no project funding at the present time to work on violence prevention. ‘We submitted a final strategic plan to the federal government in March, and as recently as May 13, I wrote to Minister Bennett asking that we meet at the first opportunity to discuss and agree to a mutual and immediate work plan to identify realistic priorities, activities, tangible outcomes and resource requirements to increase the safety and well-being of Inuit women and children. I am sorry to say that we have not received a substantive response since the end of March,’ Kudloo added.
While much is known about the underlying factors that contribute to the highest rates of violence in the country, as well as many of the solutions, there are unique emerging issues in the Arctic. Interest in the Inuit Nunangat regions is growing around the world due to the Northwest Passage opening up for marine traffic. With changes like increased shipping and tourism, Inuit want their communities to be healthy and ready for the changes to come in the near future.
‘As Pauktuutit Board members, we are being asked if we have any details about when the inquiry will begin or how families will be supported and involved and we know that Inuit women look to Pauktuutit to play a leading role in ensuring the success of the inquiry. We are in an ideal position to partner with the commission and federal government to communicate with Inuit across Inuit Nunangat. We are also interested in the process for selecting commissioners and how we may be able to help but we need to have a working relationship with the federal government to do that,’ Kudloo concluded.