The president of Makivik Corporation, the Inuit land claim organization in Nunavik, the Inuit self-governing region of northern Quebec, Canada, says more than two thirds of all homes in Nunavik are overcrowded and he is demanding action from the federal government.
Jobie Tukkiapik says the region gets about $12 million a year from Quebec. He says it’s not enough to deal with the severe housing shortage.
But Tukkiapik says at a recent meeting with Canada’s prime minister, Stephen Harper said housing fell under provincial jurisdiction.
“We were not satisfied with the answer,” Tukkiapik said.
“They had told us they do transfer the money over to Quebec and it’s Quebec’s to distribute but under the James Bay Northern Quebec Agreement there are three signatories: it’s the federal government, the Quebec government and then Makivik Corporation.”
Tukkiapik says overcrowding and the housing shortage affects the social well-being of Inuit. He points to the high rate of tuberculosis.
Tukkiapik hopes a report from the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous People will help bring about some change.