March 22, 2019

OTTAWA – Following an initial review of the Government of Canada’s budget released on March 19, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada is concerned about a lack of details on some items and the omission of others.

“While we are encouraged by some of the commitments promised in this budget ‒ funding the National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy, an Inuit-led post-secondary education strategy, and funding for improved health and social services for Inuit children within Inuit Nunangat ‒ we are concerned about the lack of details and silence on other issues,” said Rebecca Kudloo, President. “There is no action on the longstanding and urgent need for violence prevention and emergency shelters across the Arctic. And we expected to see a stronger GBA+ lens used when determining priorities so that’s disappointing.”

For years, Pauktuutit has heard from countless women that Inuit-specific healing programs are necessary to improve the safety of Inuit women – women who are 14 times more likely than other Canadians to experience violence. The announcement that the Government of Canada supports the creation of a much-needed mental health and substance abuse treatment facility in Nunavut is notable. Pauktuutit is anxious to hear specific details like when it would begin providing services and the financial resources it would have to ensure sustainability and positive long-term outcomes.

President Kudloo added, “Inuit are resourceful and innovative and when we have the tools we need, our communities can thrive. The government specifically identifies ‘Strong Arctic and Northern Communities’ in this budget. A strong Arctic will only come when Inuit women are heard, safer, and empowered.”

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Tania Budgell

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