Tungasuvvingat Inuit (TI) is celebrating 35 years of supporting Ontario Inuit, the organization announced March 10.

Since first setting up shop in Ottawa in 1987, Tungasuvvingat started off with a mandate to help provide community and recreational programs, assist families facing difficulties, helping with addictions and generally help Inuit adjust to the south.

“In reflecting on the 35th anniversary of Tungasuvvingat Inuit I think of how TI has grown alongside the community,” said Tungasuvvingat president Kaajuk Kablalik.

The group now offers more than 20 programs and services to urban Inuit in Ontario, has four building locations in Ottawa and conducts satellite operations around the Greater Toronto Area.

While the organzation began with just a couple of employees in 1987, it now employs more than a hundred staff delivering services including Elders programming, child care, education and employment services.

To celebrate the occasion TI is hosting games and social media contests open to urban Inuit from March 14 to 18, with 35 prizes to be awarded throughout the week. There is also a community barbeque planned for sometime later this year.

“TI started out as a small group,” said Kablalik, “who saw a need and organized at the grassroots level. Our history shows our values in action. Inuuqatigiitsiarniq, tunnganarrniq, pijitsirniq and ikajuqtigiinniq. It’s our wisdom, passed down from the sivuliurtiit, that has sustained us since time immemorial.”

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