Pauktuutit renews call for national action to address violence against Inuit women

Press Release_National Action Plan

February 28, 2014 (Ottawa, ON) Violence and abuse prevention have been priorities for Pauktuutit and its membership for 30 years. Pauktuutit supports the recent calls for a national action plan to address violence against First Nations, Inuit and Métis women.

“We have been very disappointed that in the last two years, three of our proposals to the federal government have not been approved,” said Rebecca Kudloo, Pauktuutit’s President. “In 2012, proposals were submitted to and declined by Justice Canada’s Victims Fund and Public Safety Canada’s Contribution Program to Combat Child Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking. We have just today been informed that Justice Canada will not fund our latest proposal to their Access for Justice for Aboriginal Women program. Last week we submitted a proposal to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada for a national prevention campaign to raise awareness of family violence. We hope this will be well received as it is urgently needed,” Kudloo added.

Pauktuutit has developed numerous bilingual resources for use in the communities, as well as a national Inuit strategy to prevent violence and abuse. At the national level, it has participated in many consultations events including three National Aboriginal Women’s Summits, most recently in Winnipeg in November 2012. At this event, Pauktuutit collaborated with the governments of Nunavut and Nunatsiavut and the Qulliit Nunavut Status of Women to submit Inuit-specific recommendations to the provincial and territorial Ministers of Aboriginal Affairs.

In June 2011, Pauktuutit participated in the National Aboriginal Women’s Forum in Vancouver, co-hosted by the Province of British Columbia and the Native Women’s Association of Canada, where Inuit-specific recommendations were developed for actions to address post-incident support, intervention and prevention. “We attended this forum with heavy hearts but even stronger resolve as this took place the week after a triple murder-suicide in Iqaluit,” said Charlotte Wolfrey, Pauktuutit’s regional Director for Nunatsiavut.

Pauktuutit will continue to collaborate with governments at every opportunity to implement these and other important recommendations, and hopes to be invited to the March open caucus meeting on the issue in the Senate. In 2012, it appeared as a witness to the special parliamentary committee created to study the high rate of murdered and missing Indigenous women and looks forward to its findings. Pauktuutit represents ITK in working with the provinces and territories on the Ending Violence Against Aboriginal Women Working Group (EVAAW) of the Aboriginal Affairs Working Group. It also collaborates with other national organizations, including the Native Women’s Association, the Women of the Métis Nation and the Assembly of First Nations through this working group. The EVAAW is developing a framework for provinces and territories in addressing violence against Aboriginal women that includes Inuit-specific issues and priorities.

Pauktuutit is currently working with Status of Women Canada on a project to engage men and boys in reducing violence against women. The advisory committee for this project includes Inuit men’s groups, regional Inuit organizations and front-line services including safe shelters for women.

The Pauktuutit Board of Directors will continue its ongoing discussions about violence and abuse prevention at the Board and annual general meetings from March 9-14, where Loretta Saunders will recognized and remembered again. The Honourable Patricia Kemuksigak, Minister of Health and Social Development for the Nunatsiavut Government will be attending the AGM.

“Pauktuutit strongly supports the growing calls for the immediate development and implementation of a national action plan to address violence against First Nations, Inuit and Métis women. The work has been done. We know what is needed. We can’t have any more of these tragedies,” said Sheila Pokiak Lumsden, Pauktuutit’s regional Director for Qikiqtani South.

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Please contact:
Katharine Irngaut