Lavinia’s story

Starting in the 1950s, the Arctic’s semi-nomadic Inuit were moved into permanent communities by the Canadian government. Children were often sent to Church-run schools far away from their families and communities.

Funded by the federal government, these schools were set up to assimilate Inuit and First Nations children into Western culture. Many children at these schools were abused.
Referred to by many Northerners as ‘The Trauma’, these events continue to affect the physical and mental health of Inuit today. Sexual abuse and alcohol and drug dependency have skyrocketed. Suicide rates among Canada’s Inuit are now 11 times the national average, one of the highest rates in the world.
Though many people are aware of these shocking statistics, they may not be familiar with the human face behind the numbers.
Lavinia Curley lives in Qikiqtarjuaq, Nunavut and she wanted to change that.
This is her story.
Documentary by Radio Canada International journalist Eilís Quinn.

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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