Response to the report of the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse



    "Children in Nunavik are very precious and represent the future of
    Nunavik"

    KUUJJUAQ, QC, June 29 /CNW Telbec/ - The Nunavik Regional Board of Health
and Social Services and its executive directors, the directors of Youth
Protection, as well as the directors of Community Services of Inuulitsivik and
Tulattavik Health Centres welcome the release of the Human Rights Commission
report concerning youth protection services in Nunavik. The investigation,
mandated in 2002, took place in 2003 and the report was released on June 27,
2007.
    We have waited for a long time to see the final report and we welcome the
recommendations. We have all been working very hard since 2003 to make changes
in our services to youth and the recommendations will help in mobilizing all
of Nunavik to work toward improving the lives of children in Nunavik. Makivik
Corporation has already expressed its support to us in implementing the
recommendations. We believe that other organizations, such as the Kativik
Regional Police Force, the Kativik School Board, Kativik Regional Government,
and the municipalities will support and will work along side with the regional
board, Tulattavik and Inuulitsivik Health Centres, and other community
organizations.
    The directors of Youth Protection appreciate those who spoke honestly and
openly with the Commission investigators in 2003. Their speaking out was very
important to the development of the recommendations.
    Yesterday, representatives of both health centres and the regional board
spent the day reviewing the Commission's recommendations in order to connect
them with the actions already undertaken since the beginning of the
investigation.
    Since 2003, youth protection services on both coasts have worked toward a
more consistent approach to the application of the youth protection
legislation. In addition, CLSC social services have made consistent efforts to
develop services for children and families. Both the Hudson and Ungava coasts
have increased the amount of professional support provided for youth
protection and CLSC workers in Nunavik communities. To continue developing
these services, additional financial resources must be provided. Increased
funding should take into account the costs related to hiring personnel,
retention of staff, and housing.
    The chronic and long-standing issue of housing shortages must be
addressed. We believe that the number of youth protection cases would decrease
if this problem were solved. It is time that all levels of government take
steps to correct this so that Inuit in Nunavik have the same access to housing
that is taken for granted in the South.
    The number of children receiving services under the Youth Protection Act
represents a small percentage of the children of Nunavik. It is important that
the population of Nunavik not become discouraged because of the Commission's
report but rather view it as providing the impetus to work together with all
concerned to provide a better future for the children and families of Nunavik.
The focus is on community involvement. The Department of Youth Protection
protects those children who are in danger; prevention is everyone's
responsibility.
    Children in Nunavik are very precious and represent its future. The
Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services as well as the two health
centres count on elders, parents, extended families, and all organizations to
join in working toward a better future for all the children of Nunavik.




For further information:

For further information: Jeannie May, (819) 964-2222 extension 241

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NUNAVIK REGIONAL BOARD OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES

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