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New funding for shelters and transition housing, childcare and education will help
improve the safety and economic security of Inuit women and girls

OTTAWA, April 19, 2021 – Pauktuutit in pleased to see funding for the construction and operation of transition housing specifically for Inuit women in today’s Budget. This funding commitment in Budget 2021 is in addition to new funding for Inuit-specific safe shelters announced earlier this year by the federal government.  

“Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada is encouraged to see funding for transition housing and shelters for Inuit women and the pledge by the federal government of $2.2 billion toward ending the tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls,” said Rebecca Kudloo, President of Pauktuutit.

The President indicated that Pauktuutit was also pleased to see that the Budget included new permanent funding for affordable childcare programing, Inuit-specific funding for children’s early learning, as well as more money for post-secondary education for Inuit women.

“Increased funding for Inuit health care has opened up a window of opportunity to increase the role of Inuit midwifery in communities across Inuit Nunangat,” Kudloo said. “Pauktuutit can now work to secure more federal funding for training in midwifery for Inuit women.  We will also focus on creating greater awareness and support among jurisdictions and with healthcare administrators and other providers — like doctors and nurses — for the valuable role Inuit midwives can play in delivering safe and culturally respectful maternal healthcare services to women in our communities,” Kudloo explained.

Pauktuutit also highlighted the importance of seeing more money to address food insecurity, both in Inuit Nunangat and urban Canada. “We know many Inuit women living across Canada are struggling to feed their children nutritious food. Today’s Budget means Pauktuutit can continue our work to support frontline urban Inuit organizations who are helping families hit hard by the pandemic,” said Kudloo.

For Pauktuutit, increased funding for Indigenous women’s and 2SLGBTQQIA+ organizations in the Budget means, for the first time in its 36-year history, the organization will have the security of multi-year operational funding from the federal government. “The perspectives and ideas of Inuit women, and a gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) lens, need to be brought to all the tables where decisions are made about us,” Kudloo stressed. “This sustained funding will allow Pauktuutit to have an even greater impact on the political, social and economic decisions that impact Inuit women; ultimately, it will support systemic change in health, housing, education, employment and social security for Inuit women and children,” she said.

“Overall, Budget 2021 demonstrates that the federal government is accelerating action to address the urgent needs of Inuit women, including the MMIWG Inquiry’s findings.  It is also a significant improvement over what Pauktuutit has seen from governments in the past,” Kudloo said.

President Kudloo also congratulated the Hon. Chrystia Freeland and the Hon. Mona Fortier for their leadership roles in delivering the first federal budget by a female finance minister and a female associate finance minister.  “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the most positive federal budget in history for Inuit women was shaped and delivered by two women,” Kudloo noted.  

Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada is the national non-profit organization representing all Inuit women in Canada.  Leading up to the federal Budget 2021, Pauktuutit worked to foster a greater awareness of the needs of Inuit women in a variety of ways. Activities included:

Submission of a pre-Budget brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance

Meetings with key cabinet ministers including the Hon. Mona Fortier, Associate Minister of Finance; the Hon. Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations; the Hon. Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services; the Hon. Dan Vandal, the Minister of Northern Affairs; and the Hon. Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development; as well as opposition Critics and Members of Parliament. 

Communications initiatives to increase public awareness of the socio-economic inequities for Inuit women, compared to other women in Canada. 

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For more information, please contact:

Susan King: 613.724.1518 / sking@pauktuutit.ca

or

Catherine Whittaker: 613.762.7729 / cwhittaker@pauktuutit.ca

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