Current Problems

Health (18-24)

Access to Health in Inuit Nunangat

February 17, 2021

Inuit life expectancy is 10 years shorter than the average Canadian, according to Statistics Canada.

Nunavut News – “Tackle lack of basic health care for Indigenous peoples, then worry about racism, Nunavut’s MP says”. Nunavut member of Parliament Mumilaaq Qaqqaq says the lack of medical care available in Nunavut currently is proof that the Government of Canada doesn’t care about Inuit. “The complaints I’m getting about health care are about access to health care more than about discrimination… (it’s) the shortage of resources in notable areas like mental health,” said Nunavut Conservative Senator Dennis Patterson. Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI) submitted a statement indicating that broader social conditions affect the health of Inuit in Nunavut, such as income, education, adequate housing, stress/trauma and food security.

NTI also expressed support for the Canadian Public Health Association’s recommendations:

  • to adopt a formal statement condemning racism;
  • undertake system-wide reviews of regulations, policies, processes and practices to identify and remove any racist systems and approaches;
  • identify and remove racist laws, regulations, procedures and practices;
  • provide mandatory, rigorous and system-wide anti-racism and anti-oppression training for all staff and volunteers within their organizations;
  • enhance public health surveillance systems by collecting and analyzing race and ethnicity data in an appropriate and sensitive manner; and
  • monitor organizations for stereotyping, discrimination, and racist actions and take corrective actions.