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Workshop: Taimainnut – An Introduction to Basic Counselling Skills

As the national organization representing Inuit women, Pauktuutit is guided by concerns raised by Inuit women. For many years, issues related to violence and abuse in families and communities have dominated discussions at our annual general meetings. These discussions have highlighted the need for more community-based resources to support people struggling with family violence and related problems on a day-to-day basis.

Pauktuutit’s annual general meetings have also produced resolutions calling for changes in the way social services and the courts deal with the aftermath of violence and abuse. As an organization, we have come to recognize that work is required on many levels – from the most personal to the highly political. It is essential that we speak out and “break the silence,” but this is only one of many things we can do. We must work to stop the violence and abuse, and we must take time to heal ourselves. We can also reach out to others who are in need of support and understanding.

The tremendous need for counselling and support services in our communities cannot be met by existing resources. We need more counsellors, especially Inuit counsellors, and we need access to training at the community level. While there is some training available in the North through organizations and government departments, the need for counselling services is felt so emphatically that the only real way to meet it is for Northerners to respond to each other.

This booklet does not replace training and education. Rather, we hope it will assist women and men of all ages who find themselves involved in the lives of friends and family and who sometimes wish they had guidance in dealing with the problems that inevitably arise.