Blog Archives

Iqaluit RCMP order review into 2nd jail cell use of force incident

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CBC News, May 6, 2015

For the second time this year, Nunavut RCMP have come under fire for allegations of using excessive force against a man in custody in their holding cells.

A video posted today by Nunatsiaq News appears to show an altercation between police officers and an prisoner in an RCMP detachment cell in Iqaluit. A date stamp on the video reads July 19, 2014. Read the rest of this entry

Nunavut’s youth suicide epidemic — ‘Who is next? How do we stop this?’

Api Akumalik was 24 when he took his life in 2013 — one of a record number of suicides in Nunavut that year. His father says the signs of his distress were unremarkable. "He stayed in his room a lot. He could not be with us as a family."  Toronto Star.

Api Akumalik was 24 when he took his life in 2013 — one of a record number of suicides in Nunavut that year. His father says the signs of his distress were unremarkable. “He stayed in his room a lot. He could not be with us as a family.” Toronto Star.

Questions are being raised about Nunavut’s suicide prevention strategy as the rate of deaths — particularly among young men — remains alarmingly high.

Clyde River, Nunavut, takes on oil industry over seismic testing

Jerry Natanine, the mayor of Clyde River, Nunavut, says seismic testing for oil deposits in nearby waters could kill marine mammals. (David Michael Lamb/CBC)

Jerry Natanine, the mayor of Clyde River, Nunavut, says seismic testing for oil deposits in nearby waters could kill marine mammals. (David Michael Lamb/CBC)

Clyde River mayor taking seismic testing companies to court in April

By David Michael Lamb, CBC News, March 30, 2015

Clyde River can without exaggeration be called one of the most remote and inaccessible human settlements on earth.

The only way into this Nunavut hamlet is by air, and the surrounding landscape is mostly empty of humans for hundreds of kilometres in all directions.

But despite its size, remote location and relative anonymity, Clyde River is now getting more attention than it’s ever had before. All because it has decided to single-handedly take on the oil industry. Read the rest of this entry

Nunavut jail poses ‘significant constitutional and legal risks’: memo

Baffin Correctional Centre. Photo: CBC News.

Baffin Correctional Centre. Photo: CBC News.

Use of Baffin Correctional Centre ‘constitutionally suspect, legally deficient:’ Nunavut official

By Steve Rennie, The Canadian Press/CBC News, March 9, 2015

The Baffin Correctional Centre is a ticking legal time bomb that could go off at any moment, a senior bureaucrat warns in a newly disclosed memo that comes as the territory braces for a scathing report about the notorious Nunavut jail.

The Canadian Press recently obtained a copy of a January memo written by Nunavut’s deputy minister of justice to several of her colleagues and copied to her boss, Justice Minister Paul Okalik. In it, Elizabeth Sanderson raises “serious constitutional and legal concerns associated with the ongoing use of the Baffin Correctional Centre” and urges cabinet secretary David Akeeagok to brief Premier Peter Taptuna about her concerns. Read the rest of this entry

Final hearings to begin for Kiggavik uranium mine near Baker Lake

Two men work at the fuel storage site at the proposed Kiggavik uranium mine, near Baker Lake, Nunavut. (The Canadian Press).

Two men work at the fuel storage site at the proposed Kiggavik uranium mine, near Baker Lake, Nunavut. (The Canadian Press)

Areva’s proposal for underground and open-pit mines before Nunavut Impact Review Board

By Bob Weber, CBC News/The Canadian Press, Mar 02, 2015

Hilu Tagoona was just a girl the first time uranium miners proposed to develop a massive deposit of the radioactive metal near her home town of Baker Lake, Nunavut.

“I was about 11,” she says. “I spent many an hour listening to (presentations), spending time at the hearings.”

Now, at 37, she’s about to relive her childhood as final hearings begin this week before the Nunavut Impact Review Board on a second proposal to eventually build a mine on the tundra. As a spokeswoman for the anti-uranium group Makitagunarningit, her opinion on it hasn’t changed. Read the rest of this entry

North West Company boycott challenges high prices in North

North-West-Company-LogoSome Iqaluit shoppers say they have no choice but to stock up on expensive food

CBC News, Jan 31, 2015

Demonstrators protesting high food prices in Northern Canada pledged to boycott the North West Company today, and there were also signs of support on social media, though many shoppers were still out and about.

Earlier this month, a Facebook food security group, Feeding My Family, called for customers to stay away from North West Company stores for Jan. 31 to protest prices in remote communities.

“We’re making a stand together,” says Leesee Papatsie, the group’s organizer. “We’re asking for prices to be lowered a bit and we’re asking the food be edible.” Read the rest of this entry

Half of Inuit women report being sexually abused as children: Report

Inuit women 1APTN National News/The Canadian Press, Oct 24, 2014
Nunavut’s “cradle-to-prison” justice system must be reformed to reflect the high number of people in the territory who have been victims of physical and sexual violence, an Inuit land-claim group said Thursday.

“There are few safety nets in place to catch people who are experiencing adversity,” said a report from Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.

“Nunavut’s criminal justice system is often the first stop in a cradle-to-prison pipeline in which people struggling with trauma, mental health disorders or prenatal alcohol exposure are most vulnerable to incarceration.”

The report released during the group’s annual meeting in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, is the latest in a series of papers required by the Nunavut land claim on the state of Inuit culture and society. The 2013-2014 report focuses on the territory’s criminal justice system. Read the rest of this entry

Inuit begin battle against seismic testing over fears it endangers marine life

Over 300 Inuit protest fracking on Baffin Island, July 2014.

Over 300 Inuit protest fracking on Baffin Island, July 2014.

By Kent Driscoll, APTN National News, July 23, 2014
Clyde River/Kanngiqtugaapik, NunavutMore than 300 people in the small Baffin Island community of Clyde River, Nunavut, took to the streets Wednesday in protest of proposed seismic testing off the eastern shore of Baffin Island.

Seismic testing is where loud sonic guns are fired into the water and the echo helps to determine what resources are available under the seabed, typically oil.

The National Energy Board announced that the proposed testing has been delayed until 2015, but that didn’t limit the enthusiasm or turnout.

There are only 1,000 people who live in Clyde River and nearly one third of them turned up Wednesday afternoon for a march around the community’s Ring Road. Read the rest of this entry