Inuit organization in Canada’s western Arctic to continue On The Land program over summer

A hunter prepares to go out on the land in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR) community of Ulukhaktok in Canada’s Northwest Territories in 2012. The organization representing Inuit in the ISR said on Wednesday they are continuing their popular On the Land program over the summer. (Eilis Quinn/Eye on the Arctic)
The Inuvialuit Regional Coroporation (IRC), the organization that represents Inuit in Canada’s Northwest Territories (NWT), will be able to continue their On The Land program over the summer, they said on Tuesday.

The IRC’s On the Land program was set up to help promote social distancing in the NWT’s Inuit communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, by providing funds that would enable families with hunting camps or cabins to go out on the land for 14 days or more.

“These financial supports for groceries, cleaning supplies and gas for on the land travel are made possible through IRC’s advocacy work for Inuvialuit,” IRC said in a news release. “Koana, Quyanaq, Quyannaini to Inuvialuit beneficiaries for your patience as well as your attentive participation in programs for those who can benefit from support for On the Land activities.”

Deadline August 14

The Inuit population in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region is 3,115 and Duane Smith, the IRC’s CEO, has previously said that as of the end of the May, the On the Land program had helped 541 families and meant that 1,986 total individuals had been able to spend extended time out hunting with their families. 

The IRC says the summer funds are part of a one-time extension of the program.

Families interested must fill out and submit a form on the IRC website.

The deadline is August 14.

Write to Eilis Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)

Related stories around the North:

Canada: Inuit gov. in Atlantic Canada gives gas allowances to harvesters under COVID-19 program, Eye on the Arctic

Greenland: Greenland prolongs COVID-19 assembly limits, Eye on the Arctic

Iceland: Iceland reinstates COVID-19 restrictions after spike in domestic infections, Eye on the Arctic

Russia: Russia’s Murmansk region counts more COVID-19 cases than neighboring Norway or Finland, The Independent Barents Observer

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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