INUVIK, N.W.T.—The newly re-elected chief of Canada’s 60,000 Inuit says he plans to make housing a precedence throughout his second time period as president.

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“We’re within the last phases of making an Inuit technique on housing,” stated Natan Obed, 42, who on Thursday was as soon as once more chosen to move Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.

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Natan Obed, right, meets with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in March. In addition to poor housing, Obed pledged to work on a suicide prevention plan and the eradication of tuberculosis
Natan Obed, proper, meets with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in March. Along with poor housing, Obed pledged to work on a suicide prevention plan and the eradication of tuberculosis  (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO)

Housing is a matter in all 4 of Canada’s Inuit areas, however it’s significantly acute in Nunavut, the place the variety of households dwelling in housing that’s insufficient or too costly is roughly thrice larger than the nationwide common.

The territory estimates a housing shortfall of three,000 models, and the quantity is rising. Specialists reminiscent of Nunavut’s well being minister have blamed poor housing for producing lots of the territory’s different social ills.

Obed notes the final three federal budgets have dedicated $800 million over 10 years to deal with the issue, however he is aware of that gained’t be sufficient.

“We’re speaking not nearly constructing new homes, however about reimagining the way in which housing works in Inuit (areas).”

His group’s technique will promote personal house possession, higher constructing design and extra environment friendly contracting and building, Obed stated.

“Inside all these massive issues that value some huge cash, there are additionally many efficiencies and plenty of partnerships different that federal partnerships that we will pursue.”

Obed stated the technique needs to be launched in November.

He added that he would proceed implementing a suicide prevention plan introduced in throughout his first time period. Eradication of tuberculosis — nonetheless an issue in Inuit communities — shall be one other precedence.

Along with Indigenous Companies Minister Jane Philpott, Obed has set a aim of halving lively TB instances amongst Inuit by 2025 and eliminating the illness by 2030.

In his first time period, he didn’t shrink back from controversy, particularly when he known as on Edmonton’s Canadian Soccer League group to alter its title from the Eskimos. He denies doing so simply to attract consideration.

“Positions that Inuit have taken are typically very controversial,” he stated.

“However they’re all designed to coach, inform and rework Canadian society in order that it imagines Inuit as part of it and as self-determining Indigenous individuals who deserve the identical rights and issues that each one Canadians do.”



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