‘Our children will be taken from us’ Educated, employed couple living with children in tent outside Nunavut legislature

 

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.

 

 

 

Video Journalist / Iqaluit

Kent has been APTN’s Nunavut correspondent since 2007. In that time he has closely covered Inuit issues, including devolution and the controversial Nutrition North food subsidy. He has also worked for CKIQ-FM in Iqaluit and as a reporter for Nunavut News North.


70 thoughts on “‘Our children will be taken from us’ Educated, employed couple living with children in tent outside Nunavut legislature

  1. Would be nice if Inuit housing would supplement bigger sized apartments all over nunavut. It would be good in the long run. The ones they’ve been building are taking up space for only few families to reside in and it takes several years to build one or couple again in some communities.

  2. Would be nice if Inuit housing would supplement bigger sized apartments all over nunavut. It would be good in the long run. The ones they’ve been building are taking up space for only few families to reside in and it takes several years to build one or couple again in some communities.

  3. Would be nice if Inuit housing would supplement bigger sized apartments all over nunavut. It would be good in the long run. The ones they’ve been building are taking up space for only few families to reside in and it takes several years to build one or couple again in some communities.

  4. I am proud of this coiple and the reality is the are tonnes of families in Nunavut who had to reside i tents and shacks because of this issue. This couple is making a point for it to be seen and voiced as unnaccepted. I had a cousin who liven in a tent for over a year maybe closer to two with at least 4 years.It is unfortunate it is that way but also if you havr not been north this lens of how can we fix it: move south, cheaper rent ( which is affected by the cost of living- everyrhing being expensive) you need to open up to what the reality really is. We need more home? Why arent we getting them? There are subsidized oportunities but…. waitlists. For a growing population now in the north how are we ensuring Inuit have homes in their homeland?

  5. I am proud of this coiple and the reality is the are tonnes of families in Nunavut who had to reside i tents and shacks because of this issue. This couple is making a point for it to be seen and voiced as unnaccepted. I had a cousin who liven in a tent for over a year maybe closer to two with at least 4 years.It is unfortunate it is that way but also if you havr not been north this lens of how can we fix it: move south, cheaper rent ( which is affected by the cost of living- everyrhing being expensive) you need to open up to what the reality really is. We need more home? Why arent we getting them? There are subsidized oportunities but…. waitlists. For a growing population now in the north how are we ensuring Inuit have homes in their homeland?

  6. I am proud of this coiple and the reality is the are tonnes of families in Nunavut who had to reside i tents and shacks because of this issue. This couple is making a point for it to be seen and voiced as unnaccepted. I had a cousin who liven in a tent for over a year maybe closer to two with at least 4 years.It is unfortunate it is that way but also if you havr not been north this lens of how can we fix it: move south, cheaper rent ( which is affected by the cost of living- everyrhing being expensive) you need to open up to what the reality really is. We need more home? Why arent we getting them? There are subsidized oportunities but…. waitlists. For a growing population now in the north how are we ensuring Inuit have homes in their homeland?

  7. Seriously! Leave your homeland where your family.. friends culture is! No one should have to do this. Thousands of many moons ago indigenous peoples were forced off their land.. cultures were lost… children were stolen. This is the same except indigenous people are being attacked in a different way. Housing shortages.. grossly inflated grocery prices lack of jobs and schools.

  8. Seriously! Leave your homeland where your family.. friends culture is! No one should have to do this. Thousands of many moons ago indigenous peoples were forced off their land.. cultures were lost… children were stolen. This is the same except indigenous people are being attacked in a different way. Housing shortages.. grossly inflated grocery prices lack of jobs and schools.

  9. “So move to sonewhere where there are jobs and rent isnt 3 grand?? Like I’d move before losing my kids or living in a damn tent.”
    Yes, It’s as easy for them to move out of town just as easy it is to find housing in Nunavut. Also, a one way trip for one person to basically anywhere from Iqaluit cost roughly 1,000 dollars. times that by two, plus the children require to be fed and housing downsouth has to be arranged. It’s not that easy as it sounds Elizabeth.

  10. “So move to sonewhere where there are jobs and rent isnt 3 grand?? Like I’d move before losing my kids or living in a damn tent.”
    Yes, It’s as easy for them to move out of town just as easy it is to find housing in Nunavut. Also, a one way trip for one person to basically anywhere from Iqaluit cost roughly 1,000 dollars. times that by two, plus the children require to be fed and housing downsouth has to be arranged. It’s not that easy as it sounds Elizabeth.

  11. Seriously! Leave your homeland where your family.. friends culture is! No one should have to do this. Thousands of many moons ago indigenous peoples were forced off their land.. cultures were lost… children were stolen. This is the same except indigenous people are being attacked in a different way. Housing shortages.. grossly inflated grocery prices lack of jobs and schools.

  12. “So move to sonewhere where there are jobs and rent isnt 3 grand?? Like I’d move before losing my kids or living in a damn tent.”
    Yes, It’s as easy for them to move out of town just as easy it is to find housing in Nunavut. Also, a one way trip for one person to basically anywhere from Iqaluit cost roughly 1,000 dollars. times that by two, plus the children require to be fed and housing downsouth has to be arranged. It’s not that easy as it sounds Elizabeth.

  13. Like the indigenous said so “why won’t the the Minister for housing tell the truth that he doesn’t give a f××× about our fellow citizens of Nunavumiut.

  14. Like the indigenous said so “why won’t the the Minister for housing tell the truth that he doesn’t give a f××× about our fellow citizens of Nunavumiut.

  15. Like the indigenous said so “why won’t the the Minister for housing tell the truth that he doesn’t give a f××× about our fellow citizens of Nunavumiut.

  16. If their paying $3000 a month for just 1 bedroom and wait lists are years long why not try alternatives? Ie: Ultra low cost insulated shipping container homes? Maybe not the ideal living situation to start with but far better than being in a tent for winter. Just an idea.

  17. If their paying $3000 a month for just 1 bedroom and wait lists are years long why not try alternatives? Ie: Ultra low cost insulated shipping container homes? Maybe not the ideal living situation to start with but far better than being in a tent for winter. Just an idea.

  18. If their paying $3000 a month for just 1 bedroom and wait lists are years long why not try alternatives? Ie: Ultra low cost insulated shipping container homes? Maybe not the ideal living situation to start with but far better than being in a tent for winter. Just an idea.

  19. This is not the way any citizen of Canada should live. The federal government needs to take a more prominent role in addressing housing problems in rural communities in Canada! This has gone on far too long!

    1. come to Saskatoon Saskatchewan I have a house I can share with you and your family
      and i can you and your husbandfind a home it won’t cost you 3000 to live
      if you want to leave Nunavut that is insane how the government treats Native people

    2. These are people from CANADA they should be taken care of before people from other parts if the world. There are thousands of rig camps not being used come on GOVERNMENT SMARTENED UP THESE ARE OUR PEOPLE

    3. More prominent role? Just build the houses and put the water in. Soon the trucks an go up the ice roads with supplies. No more consultations needed.

  20. This is not the way any citizen of Canada should live. The federal government needs to take a more prominent role in addressing housing problems in rural communities in Canada! This has gone on far too long!

    1. come to Saskatoon Saskatchewan I have a house I can share with you and your family
      and i can you and your husbandfind a home it won’t cost you 3000 to live
      if you want to leave Nunavut that is insane how the government treats Native people

    2. These are people from CANADA they should be taken care of before people from other parts if the world. There are thousands of rig camps not being used come on GOVERNMENT SMARTENED UP THESE ARE OUR PEOPLE

    3. More prominent role? Just build the houses and put the water in. Soon the trucks an go up the ice roads with supplies. No more consultations needed.

  21. So much wealth in this world…and these people have to go without. Its disgusting can’t wait until we come together as a whole and drop all this tribal segregated nonsense we are one people on one world. The sooner we realize that the better. Hope its not too late. God bless and good luck peeps 🙂

  22. So much wealth in this world…and these people have to go without. Its disgusting can’t wait until we come together as a whole and drop all this tribal segregated nonsense we are one people on one world. The sooner we realize that the better. Hope its not too late. God bless and good luck peeps 🙂

  23. This situation is happening all over Canada. For sure in the lower mainland of B.C. If I am an immigrant tho … I will be provided a home for my family … and food for a year at least. I applied for Legal Aid to deal with a visitation situation with my grandchildren. I was denied because I make $25 a month more than they allow. I live way below the poverty line. Nit if I was a criminal or an immgrant I would get Legal Aid probided.

  24. This situation is happening all over Canada. For sure in the lower mainland of B.C. If I am an immigrant tho … I will be provided a home for my family … and food for a year at least. I applied for Legal Aid to deal with a visitation situation with my grandchildren. I was denied because I make $25 a month more than they allow. I live way below the poverty line. Nit if I was a criminal or an immgrant I would get Legal Aid probided.

  25. People with familys in situations like this should be helped by child services. And the housing should also help. I grew up in Yellowknife and I could see how hard it was for my parents. Landlords should also lower the rent. And are government should also step in and have prices lowered. The cost of living up north is crazy. Hell I live in Saskatchewan and rent a house 3 bedroom house. Full-size kitchen living room and full basement for 925.00$. 3000.00 for rent anywhere is insane

  26. People with familys in situations like this should be helped by child services. And the housing should also help. I grew up in Yellowknife and I could see how hard it was for my parents. Landlords should also lower the rent. And are government should also step in and have prices lowered. The cost of living up north is crazy. Hell I live in Saskatchewan and rent a house 3 bedroom house. Full-size kitchen living room and full basement for 925.00$. 3000.00 for rent anywhere is insane

    1. Why should they HAVE to move? They have jobs where they are. Where’s “all the free money and houses” (some) white people say natives get??
      Exactly…… it doesn’t exist.

    2. Why should people HAVE to leave their homeland? Especially when southerners come up and get subsidized housing and food etc. Why are we not providing the subsidized housing to locals that are trained ready and willing to work?

    1. Why should they HAVE to move? They have jobs where they are. Where’s “all the free money and houses” (some) white people say natives get??
      Exactly…… it doesn’t exist.

    2. Why should people HAVE to leave their homeland? Especially when southerners come up and get subsidized housing and food etc. Why are we not providing the subsidized housing to locals that are trained ready and willing to work?

  27. So move to sonewhere where there are jobs and rent isnt 3 grand?? Like I’d move before losing my kids or living in a damn tent.

    1. You sound so privileged. Iqaluit is their home and their children’s home, why should it have to come to that, why should they have to move? Something seriously needs to be done about housing there. My boyfriend’s been on the waiting list for 9 years now

  28. So move to sonewhere where there are jobs and rent isnt 3 grand?? Like I’d move before losing my kids or living in a damn tent.

    1. You sound so privileged. Iqaluit is their home and their children’s home, why should it have to come to that, why should they have to move? Something seriously needs to be done about housing there. My boyfriend’s been on the waiting list for 9 years now

  29. This is not the way any citizen of Canada should live. The federal government needs to take a more prominent role in addressing housing problems in rural communities in Canada! This has gone on far too long!

    1. come to Saskatoon Saskatchewan I have a house I can share with you and your family
      and i can you and your husbandfind a home it won’t cost you 3000 to live
      if you want to leave Nunavut that is insane how the government treats Native people

    2. These are people from CANADA they should be taken care of before people from other parts if the world. There are thousands of rig camps not being used come on GOVERNMENT SMARTENED UP THESE ARE OUR PEOPLE

    3. More prominent role? Just build the houses and put the water in. Soon the trucks an go up the ice roads with supplies. No more consultations needed.

  30. So much wealth in this world…and these people have to go without. Its disgusting can’t wait until we come together as a whole and drop all this tribal segregated nonsense we are one people on one world. The sooner we realize that the better. Hope its not too late. God bless and good luck peeps 🙂

  31. This situation is happening all over Canada. For sure in the lower mainland of B.C. If I am an immigrant tho … I will be provided a home for my family … and food for a year at least. I applied for Legal Aid to deal with a visitation situation with my grandchildren. I was denied because I make $25 a month more than they allow. I live way below the poverty line. Nit if I was a criminal or an immgrant I would get Legal Aid probided.

  32. People with familys in situations like this should be helped by child services. And the housing should also help. I grew up in Yellowknife and I could see how hard it was for my parents. Landlords should also lower the rent. And are government should also step in and have prices lowered. The cost of living up north is crazy. Hell I live in Saskatchewan and rent a house 3 bedroom house. Full-size kitchen living room and full basement for 925.00$. 3000.00 for rent anywhere is insane

  33. People with familys in situations like this should be helped by child services. And the housing should also help. I grew up in Yellowknife and I could see how hard it was for my parents. Landlords should also lower the rent. And are government should also step in and have prices lowered. The cost of living up north is crazy. Hell I live in Saskatchewan and rent a house 3 bedroom house. Full-size kitchen living room and full basement for 925.00$. 3000.00 for rent anywhere is insane

    1. Why should they HAVE to move? They have jobs where they are. Where’s “all the free money and houses” (some) white people say natives get??
      Exactly…… it doesn’t exist.

    2. Why should people HAVE to leave their homeland? Especially when southerners come up and get subsidized housing and food etc. Why are we not providing the subsidized housing to locals that are trained ready and willing to work?

  34. So move to sonewhere where there are jobs and rent isnt 3 grand?? Like I’d move before losing my kids or living in a damn tent.

    1. You sound so privileged. Iqaluit is their home and their children’s home, why should it have to come to that, why should they have to move? Something seriously needs to be done about housing there. My boyfriend’s been on the waiting list for 9 years now

  35. So move to sonewhere where there are jobs and rent isnt 3 grand?? Like I’d move before losing my kids or living in a damn tent.

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