Today's blog post will be about the article the Globe and Mail did on the Nunavut crisis. Crime is at its peak in the Northern territory, with the homicide rate being ten times the national average, and would be considered high in Mexico. The rate of violent assault is four times that of South Africa's. Inuit males aged 15 to 24 have a suicide rate 40 times that of their peers in the rest of Canada, and children are abused at a rate 10 times the national average.
Being so far north, Nunavut is struggling on all levels just to meet the basic needs. 7 in 10 preschoolers grow up in houses without adequate food.
Nunavut is currently celebrating its 12th year anniversary of becaming an official territory in Canada. Since then, troubles have been arising for the government has chosen to neglect its traditional values of its people, the Inuit. The lack of teaching, and teaching in general (unemployment isn't rare- many educated people move south and no one wants to live so far north), has led to various problems. It is common for students to not reach high school- level education. Why? It all goes back to residential schools. Had people not been scarred from the brutality exhibited in residential schools, more First Nations people would be open to education presented to them by non-First Nations people. As told by the Globe and Mail, a man by the name of Leo Nangmalik had attended residential school and was sexually assaulted upon his first day. When he went home and tried to tell his parents of his unfortunate abuse, they beat him and told him not to spread lies. The anger grew inside of him and he became a convict. He would go on to spend years in prison. He has held a rifle to his head. “I could never pull the trigger,” he said, adding that he didn't want his 13 kids growing up without a father, even though he hasn't been much of a father.
After he had told the Globe and Mail his story, he took his life.
I believe these people are in desperate need of funding and more education. If the government made the effort to build Nunavut's towns and villages into more contemporary accommodations, more people would be attracted to the territory. Currently, many families must fit into one household, which would not pass the living standards of other Canadian households. The roofs leak, the floors sag, and mold grows. Schools are inadequate, as well. Many teachers don't want to make the effort to live in such poor conditions, let alone teach in them. The children need education and hope in order to keep away from criminal acts later on in life. They need trust.
This article tells the story of the Inuit people in Nunavut and I find it to be an interesting read, especially since it is happening in Canada. Not in some far off place. The statistics show that troubles here are just as bad as anywhere else. What does this say about our failure as one of the world's most wealthy countries?
The Trials of Nunavut