Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada expresses its deepest condolences to the family of Silatik Qavvik, and her community of Sanikiluaq, on her tragic passing.

A mother of five children, Silatik’s Qavvik’s death, at just 35 years of age, highlights the urgent need for midwifery services to be available in every community in Inuit Nunangat, including birthing centre spaces in each community.

Every Inuk woman should have access to safe and compassionate pregnancy, birth and postpartum care, and they should not have to leave their homes and circle of support to receive it.

Qavvik died in a Winnipeg hospital, after testing positive for COVID-19. She had travelled to Winnipeg in November, where her newborn daughter was delivered.

This tragedy is another painful example of the need for the passage of Bill C-15, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, now before Parliament. 

This legislation will affirm the minimum standards for dignity for Inuit, including for health services, as well as culture, language and education.