Makigiarniq: Voices of Inuit Women for Community Action and Leadership

Pilot Project

Welcome to our project website.

This multi-year project under the Makikigiarniq project team, funded by the Federal WAGE program, aims to amplify the voices and identify Inuit women with lived experience with gender-based violence and violence against women and girls.  As national statistics indicate, women living in the territories are victimized at a rate of eight times higher than those living in the provinces. In addition, given the remoteness and isolation of their communities, these women also face particular challenges related to accessing support and services. (Status of Women, 2018)

This project had three phases of activities, with consultations in communities such as Iqaluit and Pangnirtung, to hear the voices of women who spoke bravely about their experiences, and their hopes for the future. Ho never, the women.  However, the women also identified the enormous challenges and barriers they faced – a legacy of violence, anger and addiction left in the wake of colonization and cultural displacement. 

Too few resources.  
Too few options.  
Too few places.  
A heavy burden of silence and shame must be broken.

Women feel unsafe with one another: they know but they distance themselves from those who are suffering.

Post-Pilot Project Legacy

As this project comes to an end, the work has only just begun. Makigiarniq has ensured this work continues by launching this website page with resources for women, allies, organizations and stakeholders to use in support of this cause and as a Call to Action.

Final Message to Program Participants

To the women with lived experience who humbled us with their courage, their strength, and their commitment to take action and improve their lives and the lives of those around them, you have been heard, and your voices will be carried across the territory. – YWCA Agvik Nunavut Board of Directors

Online Course

The Makigiarniq project team has partnered with iSDC to develop and provide this online course designed to inform, empower and bring Inuit women together.  

Through the course content, facilitated by Navarana Beveridge, and including reflective assignments and information, participants can explore topics on leadership, identifying personal issues for community action, resources for personal safety, and expressing one’s goals and informal or formal leadership through artistic methods.

How to Participate?

This pilot course is hosted on iSDC’s. D2L online learning system. 

The course is open to residents of Qimaavik Women’s Shelter, Sivummut Transition House, and women with lived experience in Iqaluit and Pangnirtung.

To register for this course, contact

Participant Quotes

“You empower a woman or a girl to rely on themselves and no one else – as basic as that may be – you are empowering them to make a choice on their living situation and empower them on what a healthy relationship is for themselves first – self-love.”

“I heal myself, honour myself, speak with other women and tell them I am worthy.”

“I use my weakness and change them to strengths to align with community. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. If we fail or stop, we can start again as many times as we want.”

“A role model in my community changed my life by nominating and encouraging me to sign and use my voice. She made me realize I could be a role model and be an example of achievement.” 

“I don’t want Inuit to stay quiet about violence or it will continue. I am not afraid to talk about the issue in public — some people are. Inuit women need to take the time to focus on themselves instead of others. Try not to look back, look forward in their lives. Inuit women should find work — it makes a difference in the power in the household.”



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