Re The Trials of Nunavut (April 2): I am saddened by the stories of people in Nunavut in distress, as these are stories that I know too well. But I am also saddened that writer Patrick White managed to get through six full pages of text without a glimmer of hope.
While the article was factual, by excluding important progress that has taken place it paints an incomplete picture of our territory.
Mr. White states that Nunavut’s representatives refuse to talk about social ailments, and that we foster a culture of silence in which problems are denied. Unfortunately I was not even provided an opportunity to speak with the reporter about these ailments and the work that is taking place to address them.
Between poverty reduction, social housing, food security, community wellness, suicide prevention, and education, improving conditions in Nunavut dominates our discussions and our work on a daily basis.
There is no culture of silence. In fact, the first act of our government was to go to every community to talk to people about the challenges we face and our shared role in overcoming them. As a consensus-style government with no party politics, this mandate came directly from the people of Nunavut.
Mr. White talks about women’s roles in Nunavut without mentioning that top positions are held by women including Leona Aglukkaq, our Member of Parliament, Cathy Towtongie, president of our land claims organization and myself as Premier.
The article also implies that the creation of Nunavut is somehow part of the problem rather than part of the solution. As if Inuit would be better off being governed by those who don’t live here, can’t understand the local language, and have no stake in our future.
The people of Nunavut are doing great things every day and these stories deserve to be told as well.
Eva Aariak, Premier of Nunavut
For more information on Nunavut, visit the following sites:
Aariak, Eva. 2011. "April 9: Letters to the editor: Another Side". Globe and Mail. Posted: April 9, 2011. Available online: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/letters-to-the-editor/april-9-letters-to-the-editor/article1977566/?utm_medium=Feeds:%20RSS/Atom&utm_source=Home&utm_content=1977566