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Nunavut

On October 18, 2010 the Government of Nunavut announced the launch of a Nunavut-wide “public engagement process” that is to culminate in the territory’s first anti-poverty strategy.

In 2012 the Government of Nunavut and Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) developed a poverty action plan called The Makimaniq Plan: A Shared Approach to Poverty Reduction. The Makimaniq Plan emphasizes Inuit values and working collaboratively to reduce poverty in the territory. In spring 2013 the Government of Nunavut passed Bill 59 – the Collaboration for Poverty Reduction Act. The Act reinforces the collaborative approach, mandating several accountability measures and addressing poverty funding for the territory. The territory is now in the process of putting together the Five Year Poverty Reduction Action Plan, which will specify targeted objectives for poverty reduction

The Makimaniq Plan has received significant attention for its collaborative approach. This approach has been met with approval and optimism in Nunavut and elsewhere. In fact, experts have suggested that other solutions for homelessness policy, programs and services aimed at Aboriginals should be as culturally sensitive and collaborative as in Nunavut. The government’s newest initiatives continue to emphasize this collaborative practice.

Successes

  • In 2013 the Government of Nunavut released The Long-Term Comprehensive Housing and Homelessness Strategy (CHHS) and is now working to set specific timelines for the goals.
  • The Nunavut Government continues to increase funding for education to 14% of the overall territorial budget.
  • The government has also committed to increasing funding to mental health addictions programming by 35%, introducing the Mental Health and Addictions Framework.

Criticism

Recently Nunavut has seen significant developments in areas like housing, food security and health. However, rates for housing need and household food security remain incredibly high. Many areas such as income, employment support and childcare are still in great need of improvement. A review of Nunavut’s social assistance, an assessment of its long-term care system, an inquest into its high suicide rates and the introduction of the Mental Health and Addictions Framework are all pending. Evaluations of these efforts and The Makimaniq Plan will offer extensive critical analysis helping to steer Nunavut towards further successes in the coming years.

For more detailed analysis, visit Canada Without Poverty’s Poverty Progress Profiles.