Focus On

Three Nunavut initiatives to aid access to justice, families get $1.8 million in funding

Monday, July 29, 2019 @ 12:58 PM | By John Chunn

Federal Minister of Justice David Lametti on July 29 announced a total of $1.8 million in new funding for three Nunavut initiatives to increase access to justice and support the well-being of women and children.

According to the Department of Justice’s press release, to better understand the legal needs of women in Nunavut with respect to family violence and to improve their access to legal information and resources, the Law Society of Nunavut launched its Access to Justice for Family Violence in Nunavut project. The project will also develop a family violence awareness campaign to improve the public’s ability to recognize abusive situations and break the silence around family violence. The Department of Justice is providing $111,000 over two years in funding to support this project.

The Law Society of Nunavut will also launch an initiative to help confront sexual harassment in the workplace and gender-based violence. This project called Sexual harassment in the workplace and other harassment related issues in Nunavut will increase public awareness of these issues through workshops in communities throughout the territory.

In addition, it will deliver public legal information and education and provide free legal advice and information for individuals who experience harassement or gender-based violence.  The Department of Justice is providing $843,000 in funding over five years for this project.

To support children and their families, the Arctic Children and Youth Foundation is working to open a new Child Advocacy Centre in Iqaluit. This centre will provide a safe, culturally informed, child-friendly environment in which various agencies will deliver their services in a collaborative and co-ordinated response. The Department of Justice will provide $875,526 over five years to support the creation of this Child Advocacy Centre.

“I am proud the government of Canada is supporting Nunavut-made initiatives that will improve the lives of all Nunavummiut, especially women and children who too frequently face situations of violence,” said Lametti. “Public legal information and education, knowledge and safe spaces for young victims of crime are important pieces that support a just and thriving society. Thanks to partners such as the Law Society of Nunavut and the Arctic Children and Youth Foundation, we are creating a brighter future for all Nunavummiut.”

“The Law Society of Nunavut is committed to public protection which includes providing support and guidance to all Nunavummiut across the territory through its Access to Knowledge Initiative,” said Nalini Vaddapalli, chief executive officer of the Law Society of Nunavut. “The Initiative, launched in 2015, facilitates through invaluable collaborations and partnerships access to information with support and increased understanding of their rights and available resources.”

“Arctic Children and Youth Foundation (ACYF) staff and board of directors are grateful for long-term commitments such as this five-year commitment from the Department of Justice Canada, to ensure there is focus on the success of the Umingmak Child and Youth Support Center (UCYSC). From a dream five years ago when I started working on a CAC for Nunavut (former executive director), I congratulate executive director Sarah Clark and staff of ACYF along with the partners of the UCYSC that have successfully made this essential space a reality for Nunavut with the opening of the UCYSC this September,” said Kylie Aglukark, executive board Mmember for the Arctic Children and Youth Foundation.