Brian Tagalik and Pitsiula Ashoona have educations and jobs yet the couple have been living in a tent with their children for nearly a week outside Nunavut’s legislature in Iqaluit.
“As we walked here I was in tears,” said Tagalik. “I was scared with my daughters and I said ‘Am I going to sleep outside with my children?’ Has it gotten to the point where, me, as a citizen of Nunavut who is willing and able, who is educated and wanting to work, and wanting to provide and wanting to be a good modest citizen, not being able to do so and left to this?”
The couple have been “couch surfacing” for four years after finishing at Arctic College.
A two bedroom apartment in Iqaluit runs more than $3,000 per month if you can find one.
There are 300 people ahead of them on the housing list.
“I heard someone waited 13 years and received their keys this week,” he said. “I we have to wait another eight years in this, our children will be taken from us.”
They made the decision to move from being part of the hidden homeless population and into the public.
The winter snow begins in earnest in a few weeks.