The Makimaniq Plan

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A Shared Approach to Poverty Reduction

1. Introduction

On October 18, 2010, the Government of Nunavut and Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated announced their co-sponsorship of a public engagement process that would lead to the creation of a poverty reduction plan.

In Tamapta, the Government of Nunavut recognized the urgent need to address the challenges of poverty, and also recognized that the complexity of those challenges can only be addressed through collaboration. The root causes of poverty lie in the distinct differences between Inuit forms of governance and the model of governance we use in Nunavut today. These two systems came together with the creation of our modern settlements and have not been reconciled fully. Genuine collaboration will lead to that reconciliation and return to people the process of making decisions. This is the path to self-reliance, to healing the root causes of poverty.

In the past year, many dialogues on poverty and how to reduce it have been convened across the territory. Discussions and working groups have been held with knowledge holders and those who have been working to take proposed ideas and solutions and respectfully turn these ideas into cohesive and holistic actions. If undertaken in concert, these actions will systematically introduce a broad range of activity that will reduce poverty in Nunavut.

This initiative has been undertaken through a public engagement process. Public engagement allows for the community voice to be amplified, as the process builds from the community level to the regional level to the territorial level. The essence of this process is respect for community perspectives, capacity and self-determination, demonstrated in the public community dialogues that took place across Nunavut. Dialogues informed regional roundtable discussion. The regional roundtables in turn provided the agenda for the Poverty Summit and ultimately the content of this document.

Now, we, the participants of Nunavut’s first Poverty Summit, held in Iqaluit from November 28 to 30, 2011, adopt a shared approach to poverty reduction through the release of The Makimaniq Plan. At the heart of this plan is the belief that the way forward to a Nunavut without poverty is the path of collaboration and healing.

Building on our collective assets, The Makimaniq Plan is a shared approach for all of us—governments, Inuit organizations, non-governmental organizations, businesses and citizens, including those who have faced the challenges of poverty.

This plan identifies six themes that frame the Nunavut approach to poverty reduction, and contains prioritized actions proposed for each theme to be undertaken in the next eighteen months. We recognize that this is a plan for all of us, and we pledge to review this plan within our respective organizations to confirm our commitment to these priorities.

2. The Nunavut Approach to Poverty Reduction

We have adopted a holistic approach to poverty reduction, represented in the six themes that emerged during the public engagement process. These themes provide the areas for action to reduce poverty as identified by Nunavummiut. These themes are also a lens through which we can view our policies and programs to determine how they will contribute to poverty reduction.

3. Priority Actions for the Next Eighteen Months

Our agenda for the next eighteen months is to support collaborative action on the issues described below, and to develop a five-year plan. The actions for the next eighteen months have been prioritized by participants during the Poverty Summit and are based on the issues, goals, and options for action identified in the public engagement processes.

Theme 1: Collaboration and Community Participation

Working together and helping one another—piliriqatigiingniq/ikajuqtigiingniq—is valued by all of us. We have a common purpose—to reduce poverty. Should we not use this principle to guide us?

Conversations at the communitydialoguesand regional roundtables indicated that manyNunavummiut, including employees of the Government ofNunavutandNunavutTunngavikIncorporated, believe there is a need for systemic change. Participants discussed the need for change in the relationship between citizens and the organizations that serve them, including supporting community participation in decision-making and action. We recognize the need to strengthen relationships between the Government ofNunavut,NTI, and Regional Inuit Associations. There is also a need for a society-widedialogueabout the impacts of colonialism, how that history continues to impact our systems of governance today, and howNunavummiutcan move forward together.

Our discussions about this theme conclude that to reach our vision of our communities free of poverty we must pursue the following goals and objectives:

A. Continued improvement of the working relationships between the Government ofNunavut,NunavutTunngavikIncorporated, and the Regional Inuit Associations.

We will support the establishment of a working group for the implementation of Article 32 of theNunavutLand Claims Agreement.

We will also support the establishment of a committee in every community composed of representatives of government departments located in those communities and the representatives of the Regional Inuit Associations located in those communities.

B. Increased support for community action.

We recognize that successful work in poverty reduction depends on people working together in communities with support from the‘centre.’We will support local networks of community organizations engaged in poverty reduction and create a territorial organization to support the initiatives of local networks.

C. Poverty reduction legislation.

We will explore legislation to mandate collaboration in the development of policies and programs to reduce poverty, to ensure reporting on progress toward our goal, and the renewal of our plan.

Theme 2: Healing and Wellbeing

To overcome the challenges of poverty, we must help individuals, families, communities and our society improve our health and wellbeing. Mental health, self-esteem, and personal and cultural identity affect our relationships, education and development, access to employment, and ability to participate in the community.

Our discussions about this theme conclude that to reach our vision of our communities free of poverty we must pursue the following goals and objectives:

A. Supportcommunity-drivenactions through the creation and ongoing support of community wellness plans

All efforts will be made to facilitate the creation of wellness plans for every community inNunavut, building on the recent release of theNunavutCommunity Wellness Planning pilot project report and the completion of six community wellness plans.

Community priorities identified through an inclusive process allow for community-based priorities to be the foundation for mutually beneficial relationships with outside agencies, and also allow for increased collaboration within the community.

B. Further incorporate local resources in addressing mental health and addictions

At present, there is a broad patchwork of community-based initiatives that help people in need. Often, these resources are not known fully by the territorial mental health system or incorporated into a continuum of care for the individuals or families in need.

All efforts will be made to further develop and incorporate community-based informal networks and formal community-based care with existing territorial services. This enhanced structure will allow for the appropriate care to be given by the appropriate care givers, and ensure culturally-relevant programs for addictions treatment.

C. The creation of a territorial interagency committee to better integrate and administer wellness-related program funding

Funding for healing and wellness exists, but is scattered across government, non-profit organizations, and Inuit organizations. There is concern that the process for accessing these funds does not allow for communities to access the funds or that it causes serious sustainability issues.

We will work toward the creation of an interagency committee that will serve as a “single window” for communities who wish to access wellness-related funding. The committee also will explore ways to help overcome barriers for communities to access funding.

Theme 3: Education and Skills Development

Nunavummiutunderstand that improved educational outcomes are linked with greater success in the workforce and in society. Many expressed the hope that our education system will produce more graduates who can seamlessly transition into higher education, into the workforce, and into Inuit society.

In addition, as the Inuit language is the mother tongue for the majority ofNunavummiut, Inuit language and literacy skills are a cross-cutting issue, critical to ensuringNunavummiuthave the opportunity to develop the skills needed to actively engage in society.

Our discussions about this theme conclude that to reach our vision of our communities free of poverty we must pursue the following goals and objectives:

A. The development of a comprehensive early childhood education plan

There is still foundational work that needs to be done to fully develop the early childhood education component of our educational continuum.

We will support the development of a comprehensive early childhood education plan, aimed at creating a territory-wide system complete with infrastructure, curricula, and human resources training and support.

B. Increased support for parents

During communitydialogues, many people talked about the foundational role parents play in the educational success of their children, and also discussed the many reasons why some parents have not fully engaged in their children’s education.

We will support the development and delivery of family literacy programs in the Inuit language and the development of family literacy resources and materials. In addition, we will support increased development and delivery of parenting programs and services.

C. Workforce development

During the public engagement process, participants spoke about barriers to career progression, mostly linked with a lack of academic credentials or training that would allow for advancement.

We will explore ways to support the development and delivery of more formal and informal workplace education, workplace mentoring, and workforce development programs. Also, we will support the development and delivery of programs that teach traditional skills in conjunction with oral language and literacy skills.

Theme 4: Food Security

Food security is linked strongly with the wellbeing of children, adults, families, and communities. During community dialogues, many people spoke about not having enough to eat, or not having access to nutritious, healthy, store-bought food or country food. We want Nunavut to be food-secure, meaning that all Nunavummiut at all times will have physical and economic access to sufficient, nutritious and culturally-relevant foods. Most importantly, we recognize the connection between food security with the ability to access country foods, which are linked strongly with other benefits including personal and cultural identity, skills development, and sharing networks in our homes and communities.

Our discussions about this theme conclude that to reach our vision of our communities free of poverty we must pursue the following goals and objectives.

A. The establishment of a “Nunavut Food Security Coalition”

There was a call during the public engagement process for those in leadership roles that deal with food security to work together for the benefit of all Nunavummiut.

We will establish a Nunavut Food Security Coalition, bringing together stakeholders from government, Inuit organizations, NGOs, business and researchers to develop a long term, ongoing, inclusive, and sustainable approach to food security in Nunavut. The coalition will act as a venue to share best practices and resources, for monitoring and evaluation, and will develop a territorial action plan on food security.

B. Enhancement of healthy breakfast and lunch programs in schools

Too many children arrive at school hungry and do not have access to nutritious meals. Food insecurity affects a child’s whole being, including his or her ability to learn, participate in the social environment of their classroom, and nurture strong relationships.

We support the strategic enhancement of breakfast and lunch programs to ensure that all children have access to and participate in the preparation of nutritious food every day. This will support all young Nunavummiut develop the skills, knowledge, and relationships to pursue their goals throughout their lives.

C. Increased support for community-driven food security initiatives

During the community dialogues, participants emphasized the importance of community food sharing networks, which involve a variety of community-driven food security initiatives, such as community harvests, sharing of country foods, community freezers, and food banks. Such initiatives provide nutritious, desirable food and support community cohesion. Sharing of country foods is also linked strongly with other benefits, including personal and cultural identity, skills development, home management, and sharing networks in our homes and communities.

We will work collaboratively to increase support for community-driven food security initiatives.

Theme 5: Housing and income support

Over half of Nunavummiut access public housing and income support programs, almost always in combination. Without these programs, many Nunavummiut would not be able to meet their basic needs. We depend on these programs more than people do in any other region of Canada. But, we must constantly strive to ensure that these programs do not cause unintended effects, such as a “poverty trap.”

Our discussions about this theme conclude that to reach our vision of our communities free of poverty we must pursue the following goals and objectives:

A. Improvements to the income support system and related supports available to those who access income support programs

All efforts will be made to support the Tamapta objective to review how much can be earned before it is deducted and other changes to income support programming that would benefit individuals transitioning to work.

We will also work collaboratively to develop additional supports for individuals transitioning to work, partnering with employers to provide targeted support and training for new employees and with non-governmental organizations that may have a role to play.

B. Increased collective understanding of the income support system overall and clarification of specific policies and programs

Community dialogues confirmed the importance of income support programs to many individuals in all communities, but also indicated varying degrees of clarity about specific policies and programs.

Increased collective understanding and clarification of the overall objectives of the income support system will benefit all stakeholders, including income support recipients, income support workers, service providers from other agencies, and Nunavummiut in general, as our social safety net continues to evolve with our changing needs.

C. Exploration of affordable housing options through cooperation and partnership

We will work collaboratively to explore and support affordable housing options, which are essential to all aspects of our lives, including individual and family wellbeing, social cohesion, an effective workforce, and a vibrant economy.

D. Multi-party inquiry and public dialogue on the history of housing in Nunavut

The history of community settlement and the promised housing provision by the federal government continues to impact the delivery and understanding of the Government of Nunavut’s public housing programs today. We will support a multi-party inquiry and public dialogue about the history and long-term visions for housing in Nunavut.

Theme 6: Community and Economic Development

Community and economic development initiatives provide essential services at the community level and provide employment. Action in the other five themes will strengthen community and economic development activities and recognition. Support for community-driven initiatives of this nature must be prioritized.

Our discussions about this theme conclude that to reach our vision of our communities free of poverty we must pursue the following goals and objectives:

A. Ensure that community wellness planning is an integral component of economic development

Economic development planning needs to reflect the interests and needs of each community, including the community’s goal as related to overall wellness. Developing a healthy economic base is vital to community wellness.

The expansion of eligibility for economic development programs to include proposals that address one or more of the key poverty reduction themes is one way to connect economic development with overall community wellness.

B. Increase daycare services to support parents’ ability to access employment and training

By exploring collaborative approaches to the provision of day care services, we can develop supports for infrastructure, governance and management needs of daycares in Nunavut.

There is an urgent need for more day care spaces in Nunavut. There are creative ways in which we can address this need, such as: including day care space in government infrastructure projects; increasing accessibility to home-based daycares through portable child care subsidies; partnering with businesses, especially resource development projects; and partnerships for the development of new buildings.

C. Support capacity building for NGOs at the local level

NGOs play a dual role in poverty reduction, often directly providing much needed services and resources to people facing the everyday challenges of poverty, while also bringing funds into Nunavut and creating jobs. Regional and community-based organizations are able to build on local assets, respond dynamically to changing local needs and interests, and use their grassroots networks to achieve goals resourcefully. Strengthening Nunavut’s social economy is an important aspect of long-term poverty reduction.

At present, much important poverty reduction work is already occurring through NGOs. Supporting a network which links NGOs will create opportunities for sharing knowledge and coordination of programming across the territory.

4. Delivery and Accountability

Participants in the Poverty Summit have agreed that the Nunavut Roundtable for Poverty Reduction, representative of all parties with a role to play in poverty reduction, will provide leadership and oversight for The Makimaniq Plan.

The co-sponsors, the Government of Nunavut and Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, will establish a transition team to develop terms of reference for the roundtable. These terms of reference will include an accountability framework that will ensure that the participants in the public engagement process to date have the opportunity to review and approve this plan.

The work of the roundtable is not intended to replace or duplicate the mandates, programs and efforts currently in place, but rather to create a space for collaboration and innovation.

Administrative costs of the roundtable will be borne by the Government of Nunavut.

5. Evaluation and Monitoring

The evaluation of the public engagement processes and ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of The Makimaniq Plan, is referred to the Nunavut Roundtable for Poverty Reduction for action.

6. Poverty Summit Participants*

Premier Eva Aariak, Co-chair Joanna Innualuk Kunnuk Philip Panneak
Vice-President Jack Anawak, Co-chair Thomas Johnston Frank Pearce
Glenn Cousins Elizabeth Kingston Georgina Porter
Kim Crockatt Ammie Kipsigak Tim Ross
Graeme Dargo Amelia Komak Enoapik Sageatok
Elisapi Davidee-Aningmiuq Tina-Mary Kunilusie Ross Sheppard
Ron Elliott Harry Maksagak Nicole Sikma
Denis Gourde Rick McDougall Lizzie Simonie
Jen Hayward Michael McMullen Esau Tatatoapik
Rowena House LimikiePalluq David Wilman
Marie Ingram Rhoda Palluq  









Also in attend ance:
Caroline Anawak Jo-Anne Falkiner Aluki Rojas
Alain Barriault Virginia Lloyd Janet Slaughter
Navarana Beveridge Sherry McNeil-Mulak Sandy Teiman
Tim Brown Don Moors Rian van Bruggen
Robyn Campbell Kathy Okpik  
Brad Chambers Karen Panigoniak  


Support  Team:
James T. Arreak   Ed McKenna Tineka Simmons
Farid Charles Natan Obed     Tim Stiles
Kiah Hachey Dan Page Jennifer Wakegijig
Andrés Ibáñez                   Malaya Qaunirq-Chapman           Arlene Wortsman
Don Lenihan Bethany Scott Anna Ziegler


*Kivalliq participants were unable to travel due to bad weather.