Economic Update priorities for Pauktuutit include funding for Inuit-specific shelters and transition housing, training for Inuit midwives, plus community healing centres and programs

OTTAWA, December 13, 2021 — Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada wants to see respect for a distinctions-based approach to federal investments to improve the safety and quality of life for Inuit women and gender-diverse people clearly reflected in tomorrow’s Economic and Fiscal Update.  

Specific areas to which Pauktuutit is advocating new funding be directed include Inuit-specific shelters and transition housing, training for Inuit midwifery, as well as community healing centres and programs.

“While Pauktuutit is encouraged by the government’s commitment to a distinctions-based approach toward reconciliation, what we are seeing on a practical basis is a lack of detail regarding funding for Inuit women and gender-diverse people,” said President Kudloo.  “For example, a commitment this month for $724 million for Indigenous shelters and transition housing had no specific allocation for Inuit nor was any application available in Inuktut.”     

The April 2021 federal budget committed $2.2 billion to address the tragedy of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG).  However, there is still no information regarding how much money the federal government will allocate to Inuit partners like Pauktuutit to ensure the distinctions-based MMIWG Inuit Action Plan is designed and delivered by Inuit women for Inuit women.  

“For Pauktuutit, ensuring a ‘distinctions-based’ approach to end gendered violence is not a preference, it’s an imperative that is absolutely essential to ending the tragedy of missing and murdered Inuit women and girls,” said Kudloo. 

“A distinctions-based approach is necessary because Inuit history with the Crown — along with Inuit language, Inuit culture and Inuit geography — are expressly distinct from that of First Nations and Métis peoples,” said Kudloo.

For healing to occur, commemorative initiatives for the Inuit women we have lost must be designed and implemented by the victims’ families, Inuit women and our communities. 

Likewise, programs and services to improve the safety and security of Inuit women, girls and gender-diverse people — as well as systemic change in areas like health care, education, housing and economic security — will only be achieved if the unique rights, interests, perspectives and ideas of Inuit are deliberately acknowledged, affirmed and implemented.

Pauktuutit also hopes the Economic Update will include funding for a distinctions-based approach to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) Act.  “Consistent with articles 22 and 44 of the UN Declaration — which recognize the special needs and rights of women, and work to ensure women have rights and freedoms equal to men — Pauktuutit looks forward to providing a Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) lens at all discussion tables, as full and equal participants in the federal government’s operationalization of UNDRIP,” said Kudloo.

Pauktuutit is the national representative organization for Inuit women in Canada.  Its mission is to foster a greater awareness of the needs of Inuit women and to empower the voices and leadership of Inuit women at the community, regional and national levels on social, cultural and economic policy and program decisions that impact their lives.

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Media inquiries:

Amanda Deseure, 613.806.3336 or [email protected]