August 6, 2021 – Ottawa  Applications are now being accepted for a minimum of five shelters for Inuit women and children – one in each of the four regions of Inuit Nunangat and one in Ottawa – as part of an Inuit Shelter Initiative announced during Pauktuutit’s Annual General Meeting in January 2021.

Today, Pauktuutit launched a unique webpage that provides applicants with the information required to submit a proposal, including an application guide, all official forms, and supporting resources. All information and documents will be available in Inuktut and French shortly. There is also a link for accessing a seed funding option for those who need financial support to complete their proposals. Currently, this webpage is the only means for applying for the Inuit-specific shelters.

“Pauktuutit has long been calling on the federal government to urgently provide shelters for Inuit women,” said Rebecca Kudloo, President of Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada. “We are very pleased to finally reach this phase and hope to see these critical safe spaces for Inuit women and children open and available as soon as possible.  I look forward to the next phase of proposals for transitional housing to break the cycle of violence while assuring training for Inuit clients.”

Inuit women, children, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people face unique challenges and barriers in accessing safe spaces. For those who experience gender-based violence, a shelter is often a first step to rebuilding their lives and protecting themselves from further violence.

Following 36 years of advocacy by Pauktuutit, the federal government’s Fall Economic Statement included $20 million towards the initiative, part of a broader commitment to expand culturally relevant supports for indigenous peoples facing gender-based violence. The initiative is led by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Indigenous Services Canada (ISC). CMHC will provide forgivable loans for up to 100% of total eligible costs for the construction/rehabilitation of new shelters. ISC will also provide funding to support operational costs on an ongoing basis.

The successful implementation of the creation of shelters for Inuit women is in direct response to the National Action Plan, with safety being paramount in the 231 Calls for Justice.

Seed funding available to support applications

CMHC Seed funding is available through non-repayable contributions to help with costs related to pre-development activities. This can include business plans, preliminary designs, development permits, and more.

Details on the Seed program and links to the documents listed above can be found on CMHC’s website.

Quick facts

  • The 2020 Fall Economic Statement announced $724.1 million to launch a comprehensive Violence Prevention Strategy to expand access to a continuum of culturally relevant supports for Indigenous women, children and LGBTQ and two-spirit people facing gender-based violence. The strategy will support new shelters and transition housing for First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples across the country, including on reserve, and in the North and in urban areas. 

    Applications for indigenous shelters outside of the Inuit-specific Shelter Initiative will open in the fall on the CMHC website.  


For media inquiries, please contact