Iqaluit’s Tammaativvik Boarding Home “is not at all friendly or comfortable,” according to what Rankin Inlet North-Chesterfield Inlet MLA Cathy Towtongie is hearing from her constituents.

“The staff at the front desk are not from the North and do not speak Inuktitut. Their approach is often intimidating and my constituents are frightened to ask for help or support,” said Towtongie, who devoted her Sept. 13 MLA’s statement to the issue in the legislative assembly.

She noted that more Kivalliq medical patients have been staying at Tammaativvik over the past year due to COVID-19 travel restrictions that curbed many Manitoba medical trips.

Towtongie said some constituents have asked if they could stay with her in Iqaluit while she’s there tending to territorial government matters.

“It is not possible for me to host them. I wish I could. I encourage the minister of Health and his staff to work closely with the contractors operating the Tammaativvik Boarding Home and ensure that services are delivered in a culturally acceptable manner,” she said. “When complaints have been raised by my colleagues in this House, the minister of Health in the past always stated that he would have to speak with the contractor to resolve issues … it is not clear what steps the contractor takes to ensure a safe and welcoming environment that is open and accessible to Inuit and especially those whose preferred language is Inuktitut.”

When issues surrounding the boarding home were raised in September 2020, then-health minister George Hickes said the number of complaints about service had fallen “dramatically” over the past couple of years.

Current Health Minister Lorne Kusugak told Towtongie that the vast majority of people he speaks to about Tammaativvik enjoy their stay at the facility.

“I personally have gone there on many occasions unannounced and a majority of the people who stay there have had very

pleasant experiences and some of them do not,” he said. “In both instances, when I am notified of an unpleasant visit and a pleasant visit, I share them with our patient relations department.”

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7 Comments

  1. Please get rid of the manager there, read lot’s of post’s about her yelling right to the patients face and not too friendly word’s to the them. Sad, hire someone from the North instead, don’t waste money to fly them from the South ,and expect royalty from Patience who are stay at the Boarding Home.

  2. Inuit in small communities are too humble to complain or raise a ruckus. It’s been known thoughout the Baffin Region that Tammaativik is as described by Ms. Towtongie’s constituents. Staying at the Boarding Home is like being held in an institution. The staff has pretty much always been rude to the guests , hostile and suspicious. One doesn’t have any liberties that people stayong at hotels or other places take for granted. Once you check in, you start feeling like a criminal. Kusugak wouldn’t have any idea about this yet he makes ot sound like it’s hunky dory staying at that dreaded place. I really feel for the medical patients that gave to stay there. The staff and management doesn’t seem to care.
    Thank you Cathy and your constituents for bringing this forward. Generally, Baffin Inuit don’t fight for their rights and remain silent even if being mistreated. Nothing will probably change, especially hearing the Health Minister speak on CBC regional news. Unless Baffinmiut start speaking out against to wrongs being done to them at Tammaativik.

  3. The lack of Inuit at the front desk and as cleaners, managers with no respect and making racist remarks, lack of food, dirty rooms, pictures of mold being posted is disgusting. Lorne used to be saying how bad of a job George Hicks was doing and how bad the complaints were at the boarding home and he would make sure it was addressed. Saying “I personally have gone there on many occasions unannounced and a majority of the people who stay there have had very pleasant experiences and some of them do not,” he said.” is ludicrous. Everyone should be saying its pleasant.
    There is a need for Inuit caregivers and an ombudsman for Inuit to go to. Being denied service in your language in Nunavut is totally unacceptable. Being disrespected by the managers is wrong. There are hundreds if not thousands of complaints about how bad it is at the boarding home. The manager should be fired the contractor should be made to hire Inuit or penalized.

  4. What do you expect? GN Health decided to blame the Inuit Society who staffed the home and believe the Edmonton contractor who sucked the money from the operation.

    Running the Boarding Home is not simple for anyone. Failing to support local contractors means you get southern employees, no Inuktut and bad services for people.

    If you notice, these are the same geniuses in GN Long Term Care who shut down the Elders Care and place people at Embassy West.

    It is amazing the damage a few unsupervised bureaucrats can do in a community and then go south with their pensions.

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