As reported by CBCNews; President Rebecca Kudloo of Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada says it will lobby the new federal government to restore funding for women groups.
President Rebecca Kudloo says she looks forward to being ‘listened to’ and hopes to educate new PM
Rebecca Kudloo, the president of Pauktuutit, says she hopes the new government will listen to the issues facing women in the North and try to understand their complexities. (Submitted by Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada)
Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada says it will lobby the new federal government to restore funding for women’s programs, after dramatic cuts under the previous Conservative government.
Last year, the operating budget for the national organization was cut by 10 per cent, or about $44,000. Rebecca Kudloo, the president of Pauktuutit, has called the limited funding it receives both “offensive” and “discriminatory.”
“It’s extremely difficult to do projects that are geared to help our people have a better life and heal,” she says.
In 2010, Pauktuutit first felt the sting of federal cuts, when it’s annual projects funding — which paid for maternal health, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and early childhood education programming — was slashed by $800,000.
“We’re hoping this government will have a better understanding of how it is to be in a small community with very small resources.”
Wasn’t “listened to”
Under the Conservatives, Kudloo says she wasn’t “listened to” and the complex issues facing people in the North were never properly understood.
“The last government, I told them we had an eleven-year-old who committed suicide in my region.
“And no response.”
Kudloo was encouraged to hear Prime Minister-Designate Justin Trudeau’s plans to appoint a cabinet with gender parity, saying that should help the government get a better understanding of the issues women face.
While Pauktuutit has not been one of the many aboriginal groups lobbying for an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women, Kudloo says she wants her organization to be in on the discussion.
“We don’t want to be left behind again,” said Kudloo.
An inquiry, says Kudloo, would stir up emotions in those who have lost loved ones, who will need emotional support.
“It causes a lot of pain. And we need resources to deal with it.”
Complex issues start with housing
The Qulliit Nunavut Status of Women Council is also looking for action from the new government, starting with the creation of more housing in Nunavut, where many families struggle under severe overcrowding.
“Once the issue of housing is addressed, then a lot of the social issues that come from overcrowded housing can begin to be addressed,” said Charlotte Borg, the council’s president.
“Once children can get a good night’s sleep because they have a place to sleep, then they’re going to do better in school the next day.”
Borg says her organization is also hoping for a national strategy to prevent violence against women, as well as support to increase the number of daycare spaces in the territory.
For Kudloo, the severe lack of daycare and the housing issue go hand-in-hand.
Her granddaughter, who hasn’t been able to secure a daycare spot in Baker Lake, can’t work and has nowhere to live, but with Kudloo.
“If we’re going to have people who are independent and able to look after their families, they need housing.”
Disclaimer: The views and opinions in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Edmonton and Area Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Network.