Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) is investing $1.25 million to ensure Inuit in have a steady supply of clean water to wash hands.

“Water is a basic human right,” said Aluki Kotierk, president of Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI). “We are taking this emergency measure to ensure Inuit are able to wash their hands frequently to prevent COVID-19.”

NTI is working with the Nunavut Association of Municipalities (NAM). Municipalities will use the funds to ensure all households get daily water and sewer deliveries for the month of April.

“Municipalities are the front line in the fight to prevent this pandemic,” said Kenny Bell, president of NAM. “We appreciate the extra support from NTI to help our members increase their local prevention efforts in the next few weeks.”

Many Inuit are unable to take the most basic preventative measure of handwashing and cleaning hard surfaces due to the need to conserve water as a result of overcrowded houses, shared water, sewer tanks in multi-plexes, blizzards, and inadequate municipal infrastructure.

The COVID-19 global pandemic underscores the need for long-term sustainable investments to address the long-standing social and economic inequities faced by Nunavut Inuit.

NTI encourages Nunavummiut to practice social distancing and frequent hand-washing. Now is the time to be liberal with our water usage.

Indigenous Community Support Fund

The Government of Canada’s $82 billion emergency coronavirus support package received Royal Assent on March 25, 2020. It included a $305 million Indigenous Community Support Fund (ICSF) for Indigenous peoples to address urgent community needs.

On March 25, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) Board agreed that this $45 million would be divided among the four Canadian Inuit regions: Nunavut, Nunavik, Nunatsiavut, and the Inuvialuit settlement region, in accordance with a previously agreed ITK funding formula.

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Nunavut’s allocation is 52 per cent, or $22.5 million. Of this amount, $1.25 million is being allocated to ensure Inuit in have a steady supply of clean water to wash hands.

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