Housing, video help Inuit stay safe down south

Danielle Rochette
APTN News
Coming to the big city for medical treatment can land vulnerable Inuit into the hands of sex traffickers.

“Yes, we have been dealing with quite a few families with issues in regards to this,” said Josée Mensales, of the Montreal police sexual exploitation investigation unit.

Mensales was at the opening Monday of the Centre Illuvik, which means a place to stay or rest in Inuktitut. And the unveiling of a new video with safety tips.

The centre has 91 rooms for Inuit coming south from Illuvik, in northern Quebec, for medical treatment. But sometimes patients and their medical escorts can get distracted in Montreal, miss their flights home, and become vulnerable to exploitation.

“Everybody knows everybody in the village but here people do not know each other,” added Jane Beaudoin, executive director of the Inuulitsivik health centre. “You have to be careful about who you talk to and what you do.

“This video is very sensitive to those needs and points out exactly what we try to get across.”

Maggie Putulik, the director of Illuvik, says the partnership with police also shows sensitivity to the needs of a different culture.

Carlo Deangelis says the video hopes to build trust, as well as inform about the realities and dangers that lurk in southern Canada.

“We want to make sure that they have a safe stay when they are here,” said the Aboriginal Liaison Officer for Montreal police.

 

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6 thoughts on “Housing, video help Inuit stay safe down south

  1. Doctors appoinments makes it worse. No way of returning home because of waiting time with nothing do to but to wait. It must be harder for thise who have nomey, no income, not enough sick leave when you have to wait fornthe appoinment. MNQ not willing to spend money by returning them for two weeks due to high cost of airfare. There is many reason for problems for my fellow Inuit. Let’s find a way.

  2. Doctors appoinments makes it worse. No way of returning home because of waiting time with nothing do to but to wait. It must be harder for thise who have nomey, no income, not enough sick leave when you have to wait fornthe appoinment. MNQ not willing to spend money by returning them for two weeks due to high cost of airfare. There is many reason for problems for my fellow Inuit. Let’s find a way.

  3. The Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) (French for Montreal Police Service) would do well if they were to get out of the cruisers and bike/walk the area in a several blocks radius. Last week an Inuk woman from north Quebec community of Puvirnituq was sleeping/passed out under a transport truck 3 blocks away from the Ulliviq patient transit bldg. The 18 wheeler vehicle was parked in a non-reserved parking space (i.e. illegally), when a truck driver returned he missed to see the person underneath the rig, result she then was fatally crushed when the rig was moved. Get out of the cruisers SPVM, it allow you a better read on the area and it would improve the service in that area.

  4. The Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) (French for Montreal Police Service) would do well if they were to get out of the cruisers and bike/walk the area in a several blocks radius. Last week an Inuk woman from north Quebec community of Puvirnituq was sleeping/passed out under a transport truck 3 blocks away from the Ulliviq patient transit bldg. The 18 wheeler vehicle was parked in a non-reserved parking space (i.e. illegally), when a truck driver returned he missed to see the person underneath the rig, result she then was fatally crushed when the rig was moved. Get out of the cruisers SPVM, it allow you a better read on the area and it would improve the service in that area.

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