Request for Proposals – Cannabis in Our Communities: A Focus on Inuit Youth and Maternal Health and Well-being

Deadline for Submissions: January 20, 2020

Title: Cannabis in Our Communities: A Focus on Inuit Youth and Maternal Health and Well-being


Incorporated in 1984, Pauktuutit is the national representative organization of Inuit women in Canada. Its mandate is to foster a greater awareness of the needs of Inuit women, and to encourage their participation in community, regional and national concerns in relation to social, cultural and economic development.

Pauktuutit is active in a wide range of areas including health, gender equality, abuse prevention, protection of cultural and traditional knowledge and economic development. Pauktuutit’s input is regularly solicited on issues including the environment and climate change, children and youth, and a range of international processes and forums. We are very happy to announce that Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada (Pauktuutit) has secured funding to start a new project titled Cannabis in Our Communities: A Focus on Inuit Youth and Maternal Health and Well-being. The overall objective of this project is to assess knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours in Inuit communities regarding cannabis, raise awareness of the effects, and potential impacts of cannabis using a trauma-informed, culturally relevant, and gender-informed harm reduction approach. Pauktuutit will be conducting focus groups across Inuit Nunangat and in three urban centers and will also launch a national online survey to inform future programming and policies to reduce the harms associated with cannabis use.

The proposed project is innovative and will reach and target a largely underserved population: Inuit. Pauktuutit is responding to the need for public education, awareness, harm reduction and prevention initiatives that align with the social context of Inuit knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours around cannabis consumption, and in the context of a shifting Northern health, social and economic environment. Relatable data on knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours around cannabis use among Inuit youth are not available, and there is a lack of data on cannabis use during pregnancy. The proposed project will respond to this lack of information on Inuit-specific cannabis use data by holding focus groups to collect the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours towards cannabis of Inuit youth, girls and women of child-bearing age, and their partners. Once this information is collected, Pauktuutit will develop a public education campaign to raise awareness and education around cannabis use using a harm reduction approach. The public awareness campaigns will be developed in collaboration with Inuit youth leaders and will include messages from young opinion-leaders. The results of Pauktuutit’s engagement with Inuit youth will help bolster the health promotion and prevention field. It will also be of interest to professionals working in youth drug prevention initiatives, policy makers, program developers, researchers, educators and parents.

Project goals and target audience:

Target Audience: Inuit women and their partners, Inuit youth and young adults.

Target Population Groups: Nunavik Inuit (Northern Quebec), Nunatsiavut Inuit (Newfoundland and Labrador), Inuvialuit (Northwest Territories), and Nunavut Inuit (Nunavut Regions-North and South Baffin, Kivalliq, and the Kitikmeot Regions), and urban Inuit in Edmonton, Montreal and Ottawa.

Immediate Goals:

  1. To gain knowledge on Inuit communities, specifically youth, pregnant women and their partners, who have access to evidence-informed information on cannabis use.
  2. To equip Inuit youth, pregnant women and their partners with the capacity (knowledge, skills, and supports) to inform their decisions and actions related to cannabis use.

Intermediate Goals:

  1. To ensure that Inuit youth, pregnant women and their partners use evidence-informed information on cannabis use to change policies, programs, and practices in their communities, both urban and regional.
  2. To ensure that Inuit youth, pregnant women and their partners take positive actions with respect to cannabis use.

Long-term Goals:

  1. To ensure that Inuit have access to quality, evidence informed and culturally-specific health promotion, prevention, treatment and harm reduction programs and services.
  2. To ensure that Inuit have better health outcomes.

Project Objectives

Objective 1: To enhance Inuit-specific data regarding cannabis to inform project resources development, through conducting 16 focus groups (8 groups with youth and 8 groups with pregnant women and their partners) and a national survey to inform future programming and policies to reduce the harms associated with cannabis use among non-pregnant women of child-bearing age; pregnant women and their partners, youth and young adults, and related service providers and policy makers.

Objective 2: To disseminate and share information on where services and resources are available for Inuit to access evidence-informed information around cannabis and its use, by conducting a literature review and environmental scan of current policies, programs, practises and resources available to Inuit communities.

Objective 3: To increase capacity (culturally-specific knowledge, information) to raise awareness of the potential risks of cannabis use during pregnancy and during youth development for Inuit communities.

Scope of Work:

This is an open call to individuals, firms, or organizations to provide a comprehensive proposal to conduct the environmental scan and research project in partnership with Pauktuutit.

Applicants must demonstrate an understanding of Inuit culture, experience in facilitation, research, and focus group means and methods, and the ability to produce culturally-appropriate work.
We encourage the submission of proposals from Inuit or Indigenous researchers and organizations.

Given the current gap in data around knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours around cannabis use in Inuit populations, the data and information that will be collected is important to understand and assess the needs of Inuit communities, and subsequently share this information with key stakeholders. This will include both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. The data and information will help inform
future policy and programming initiatives around cannabis use, as well as support the work of our partners and networks. Dependant on the outcomes of the need’s assessment of Phase 1, the knowledge products will be created with guidance from the National Inuit Cannabis Advisory Committee and other key stakeholders or community champions. The goal of this project is ensuring that pregnant women, their partners, and youth have access to the knowledge and resources they need to make safe decisions around cannabis use to reduce the potential harms associated with it’s use.

Key Activities and Deliverables:

Working directly with Pauktuutit Staff and Advisory Committee members:

1. Conduct an environmental scan of current cannabis information, services and supports available to and in communities across four regions of Inuit Nunangat and specified key urban centers in partnership with Pauktuutit;

2. Assist in Part 1 of knowledge, attitude and behaviours (KAB) focus groups (10) in partnership with Pauktuutit.

Part 1 includes facilitation, planning, creation of focus group questionnaires and online questionnaires and launching and managing the online survey. The focus group size will be approximately 10 participants per community.

Part 1 comprises of one in each region in Nunavut (3), one in Nunatsiavut, one in the urban centre of Ottawa.

Pregnant Women and Their Partners
• 1 focus group in Nunatsiavut (Labrador)
• 3 focus groups in Nunavut
• 1 focus group in Ottawa

Youth (Ages 18-29)
• 1 focus group in Nunatsiavut (Labrador)
• 3 focus groups in Nunavut
• 1 focus group in Ottawa

Part 2 of the focus groups will be completed in the following fiscal year between April-June 2020. A subsequent RFP will be posted for Part 2 of this work.

3. Launch and manage a nation-wide online cross-sectional questionnaire-based survey available to Inuit women, their partners, and youth to establish an accurate snapshot of their knowledge, attitudes and behaviours as it relates to cannabis.

4. Write a draft research summary report of findings for each focus group community in Part 1, to be combined with the research summary report of findings in Part 2.
Additionally, the successful candidate will be required to:

  • Participate in project meetings and teleconferences as appropriate;
  • Support project related work and research/ethics applications where necessary;
  • Provide progress updates as requested; and,
  • Submit all final project documents upon completion.


The duration of the contract will be January 27th, 2019 – March 31st, 2020.

  • bids accepted until January 20th, 2020;
  • contract begins January 27th, 2019;
  • delivery of environmental scan by February 29th, 2020, and all other final reports by March 31st, 2020; and
  • Contract ends – March 31st, 2020.

Pauktuutit’s Roles and Responsibilities:

The primary contact for this project is Chelsea Giesel, Project Coordinator ( Pauktuutit commits to provide the information and materials necessary to complete the work and will respond to requests for information in a timely fashion.

Pauktuutit will provide a decision on the awarded proposal within seven business days following the close of this Request for Proposal.

Confidentiality, Privacy and Copyright:

The successful applicant shall not disclose to any party any confidential information gained or resulting from activities undertaken under this project, nor shall the applicant disclose any information concerning Pauktuutit or their affairs where such information is obtained through this contract.

It is understood that Pauktuutit retains ownership of any and all materials and intellectual property created, designed, or produced as a result of activities undertaken by the successful applicant when awarded this project.

It is understood that the successful applicant will generate original work for this project.

Proposal Instructions

  • Applicants must submit their company name, and confirm their incorporation, references, and/or portfolio;
  • Submit by email to;
  • Word format or PDF;
  • No payment will be made for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of a proposal in response to this RFP;
  • No costs incurred before receipt of a signed contract can be charged to the proposed contract;
  • Travel (expenses AND transport) that may be required will be separate from this scope of work budget and will be paid for by Pauktuutit; and;
  • Pauktuutit reserves the right not to award a contract as a result of this RFP.


The proposal must:

  • Include a detailed budget not to exceed $51,000 including HST and demonstrates the objectives and deliverables for the project can be met;
  • Indicate the billing rate;
  • Travel (expenses AND transport) that may be required will be separate from this scope of work budget and will be paid for by Pauktuutit;
  • List any other expenses that might be applicable; and
  • Total bid MUST include 13% HST tax.

Rights of the Organization

Pauktuutit reserves the right to:

  • Enter into negotiations with one or more bidders on any or all aspects of this proposal.
  • Accept any proposal in whole or in part.
  • Cancel and/or re-issue this requirement at any time.
  • Award one or more contracts.
  • Verify any or all information provided by the bidder with respect to this requirement

Contact Information

Please direct the application to:

Chelsea Giesel, Project Coordinator
Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada
520-1 Nicholas St. Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7
613-238-3977 ext. 262