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Elders in the Canadian Arctic The Special Senate Committee on Aging Monday, May 14 Elders in the Canadian Arctic The Special Senate Committee on Aging Monday, May 14 th, 12: 30 p. m. Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada www. pauktuutit. ca

About Pauktuutit Vision Pauktuutit’s vision is to be a dynamic, visible, influential organization, supporting About Pauktuutit Vision Pauktuutit’s vision is to be a dynamic, visible, influential organization, supporting Inuit women and providing leadership, voice and excellence for the betterment of Inuit women, their families and communities. Mission Pauktuutit fosters greater awareness of the needs of Inuit women, to advocate for equity and social and economic improvements, and encourages the participation of Inuit women in the community, regional and national life of Canada. Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada Courtesy Avataq Institute – 1920 www. pauktuutit. ca

Inuit in Canada • Approximately 47, 000* Inuit live in Canada, primarily in six Inuit in Canada • Approximately 47, 000* Inuit live in Canada, primarily in six Arctic regions. • Inuit live in 53 isolated and remote communities. • One half of Inuit live in Nunavut. Up to 85% of Nunavut’s population are Inuit. • Many communities offer limited economic opportunities. • The majority of Arctic Inuit speak or understand Inuktitut. • The Six Inuit Regions * 2001 census – expected to be 60, 000 by 2010 Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada www. pauktuutit. ca

Inuit Demographics • Inuit population growth rate: 12% between 1996 and 2001. • The Inuit Demographics • Inuit population growth rate: 12% between 1996 and 2001. • The Inuit population is young. In 2001, 57% of Inuit were under 25 years of age. • In 2001, 39% of Inuit were under the age of 15. • Life expectancy is 10 years shorter than southern Canada. • Teen pregnancy rates are high. In 2000, the rate was up to four times higher than the rest of Canada. • Inuit youth commit suicide at rates thirteen times the national average. Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada www. pauktuutit. ca

Implications For Ageing Inuit • promoting active living and well being; • housing and Implications For Ageing Inuit • promoting active living and well being; • housing and transportation needs; • financial security and retirement; • abuse and neglect; • health promotion and prevention and • health care needs, including chronic diseases, medication use, mental health, palliative care, home care and caregiving. Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada www. pauktuutit. ca

Rapid Cultural Changes • Nomadic way of life to a modern industrialized society; • Rapid Cultural Changes • Nomadic way of life to a modern industrialized society; • Fewer Inuit now live solely off the land; • Many Inuit have become dependent on the limited job opportunities in the communities and • Social assistance within a wage economy. • Cash and goods that were brought into the household are considered more and more outside the realm of sharing. Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada www. pauktuutit. ca

Residential School Legacy for Seniors • Canada’s residential school experiences created a rift between Residential School Legacy for Seniors • Canada’s residential school experiences created a rift between elders and youth. • It damaged the intergenerational exchange of traditional knowledge, cultural values, parenting skills and language that is crucial to healthy relationships and identity formation. • Physical, sexual and mental abuse of pupils was also not uncommon in residential schools. • Cultural repression, assimilation, and abuse combined to make that generation of Inuit feel ashamed. • Although the residential school system essentially ended in the mid-1970 s, it is often cited as a source of trauma that affects Inuit seniors health and mental wellbeing today. Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada www. pauktuutit. ca

Governance & Social Organization Inuit Qaujimajatuqanginnit (IQ). • holistic, dynamic, and accumulative approach to Governance & Social Organization Inuit Qaujimajatuqanginnit (IQ). • holistic, dynamic, and accumulative approach to knowledge, teaching, and learning • observing, doing, and experiencing, passed down between generations • the exchange of goods and services, and the transmission of ideas, values, knowledge and skills occur within the context of kinship structures • Elders are the only ones who have experienced this knowledge. Seniors/Elders as role models • Sharing • Relationship to Environment/Importance of Spirituality • Equality and Consensus Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada www. pauktuutit. ca

Health Challenges Social determinants of health include • acculturation, • productivity, income, • housing, Health Challenges Social determinants of health include • acculturation, • productivity, income, • housing, • education, • food security, • health care services, social safety net, • quality of early childhood, • addictions and • the environment. Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada www. pauktuutit. ca

Food, Nutrition, & Food Insecurity • Access to a healthy diet is a major Food, Nutrition, & Food Insecurity • Access to a healthy diet is a major issue. • The consumption of junk food is widespread. • Poor diet contributes to heart disease, diabetes and tooth decay. • The cost of nutritious food is prohibitive. • Country food is a recommended alternative. National Archives PA-176866; Pond Inlet 1951 Sample Prices in Pond Inlet, Nunavut (August 2005) • Ocean Spray Cranberry Cocktail (1. 89 litres) = $41. 99 • Mc. Cain’s orange juice (1 litre) = $21. 69 • Kool-Aid crystals (for 26 litres) = $52. 49 National Archives PA-166449; Pangnirtung, 1949 Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada www. pauktuutit. ca

The Importance of Country Food # Days / Year Inuvialuit Kitikmeot Kivalliq Baffin Labrador The Importance of Country Food # Days / Year Inuvialuit Kitikmeot Kivalliq Baffin Labrador Caribou 94 days 62 days 99 days 68 days Arctic Char 26 days 47 days 21 days 47 days 10 days 16 days 5 days 26 days Cloudberry 10 days 16 days Beluga Muktuk 10 days Trout Muskox 5 days 16 days Seal 5 days 52 days Partridge 16 days Narwhal Muktuk 10 days Eider Duck 10 days Goose 10 days Whitefish 10 days Table is adapted from the Canadian Arctic Contaminants Assessment Report II: Highlights, pp. 73. Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Ottawa, 2003. Information was gathered during the fall and late winter and estimates the number of days in a year each food was eaten. Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada www. pauktuutit. ca

Inuit Housing Crisis • In 2001, more than half (53%) of Inuit lived in Inuit Housing Crisis • In 2001, more than half (53%) of Inuit lived in crowded conditions. • A substantial proportion of Inuit households contain more than one family. • Poor conditions foster ill health and undermine the safety of Inuit Elders and children. • House designs are culturally inappropriate and do not reflect Inuit needs. National Archives PA-099624; Belcher Islands, N. W. T. 1927 Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada www. pauktuutit. ca

Family Violence • In Nunavut, only 29% of spousal abuse cases are reported. • Family Violence • In Nunavut, only 29% of spousal abuse cases are reported. • Nunavut has 6. 5 times the national reported spousal abuse rate. • There a few safe shelters and little in the way of alternative housing. Photo courtesy Avataq Institute • There are increasing numbers of "hidden homeless" or "couch surfers" in northern communities. • Women often depend on relatives to put them up for the short-term. • Many must leave their communities to access a regional shelter in order to escape domestic violence. • Inuit women may lose custody of their children when they leave abusive relationships. Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada www. pauktuutit. ca

Mental Wellness and Suicide • Inuit youth commit suicide at rates many times the Mental Wellness and Suicide • Inuit youth commit suicide at rates many times the national average. • Issues related to violence and unresolved sexual abuse can be the root causes that can drive youth to take their lives. • Suicide deaths in Nunavut and Nunavik have more than doubled in the past decade. Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada www. pauktuutit. ca

Substance Abuse • Tobacco consumption is widespread. • Passive smoke in the home and Substance Abuse • Tobacco consumption is widespread. • Passive smoke in the home and the high rates of smoking during pregnancy (62% in 2001) raise the likelihood of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). • Binge drinking is common. • Reported alcohol use during pregnancy: • Nunavik - 25 - 30% of women surveyed; • Nunavut - 18% of women surveyed. National Archives PA-112081; Padlei , N. W. T no date • Reliable data on FASD in the north is limited. • Little help available for people trying to stop drinking. • Problem drinking is not addressed even when women have had several FASD children. Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada www. pauktuutit. ca

Additional Problems • Diabetes; • Heart disease; • Respiratory illnesses; • HIV/AIDS and STDs; Additional Problems • Diabetes; • Heart disease; • Respiratory illnesses; • HIV/AIDS and STDs; and National Archives e 002213385; Clyde River 1944 • Unintentional injuries. • • Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada Medical transportation costs to southern facilities are very high. • Photo courtesy Avataq Institute Health delivery systems vary among the 53 Inuit communities. Health professionals (doctors and dentists) often provide limited fly-in services to remote communities. www. pauktuutit. ca

Pauktuutit as a Partner • Non-Government Organizations can liaise between governments, agencies, and academic Pauktuutit as a Partner • Non-Government Organizations can liaise between governments, agencies, and academic institution and community members. • Aboriginal organizations are important links within the process of knowledge translation. • NGOs often lack human and financial resources. • Partnerships with Aboriginal organizations requires capacitybuilding. Photo courtesy Avataq Institute Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada www. pauktuutit. ca

Thank You PAUKTUUTIT Inuit Women of Canada 56 Sparks Street Suite 400 Ottawa, Ontario Thank You PAUKTUUTIT Inuit Women of Canada 56 Sparks Street Suite 400 Ottawa, Ontario K 1 P 5 A 9 613 -238 -3977 Jennifer Dickson Executive Director [email protected] ca Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada www. pauktuutit. ca