Inuit are all about community, and so is Tungasuvvingat Inuit. Tungasuvvingat Inuit’s Cultural Education Programming provides accessible, community-based, culturally relevant activities for Inuit of all ages and offers sharing and learning opportunities for the greater community, as well.
Tungasuvvingat Inuit’s local poverty reduction project held two conversation circles on defining poverty and community resiliency within the Inuit community of Ottawa, to aid in the development of a integrated employment strategy. The perspectives of community members and frontline service providers working at TI are captured in the graphics, which display the complexity of poverty and pathways to resiliency for urban Inuit. The use of graphic recording, which is an arts-based method illustrated in the images allows for the sharing of knowledge and information back to community. This project is funded by the Local Poverty Reduction Fund of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
Tungasuvvingat Inuit’s Inuit-specific, front-line programs and services have been in demand across the country. They have ranged from a youth mentoring program in St. John’s, NL, to a highly successful, on-the-land, trauma-and-addiction treatment cycle, facilitated by Tungasuvvingat Inuit’s Mamisarvik Healing Centre, in the bush at Reindeer Station, N.W.T., 50 kilometers up an ice road north of Inuvik and 90 kilometers from the Arctic Ocean.
Our Family Resource Centre Programming focuses on families and promotes the healthy development of young children (0-six years). Our Housing Support team assesses clients’ housing needs and assists clients in acquiring housing.
Inuit receive job and career support from the Employment Services Team. The team works with job seekers, employers and government programs to bring the right people together with the resources they need for success.
Mamisarvik Healing Centre
Click here to visit the Mamisarvik Program page: Mamisarvik Healing Centre
When translated from Inuktitut, Mamisarvik means “A Place of Healing”
Mamisarvik Healing Centre is an Inuit-specific substance use and concurrent disorder treatment program located in Ottawa, Ontario.
The residential treatment program began in 2003, to meet the overwhelming need of Inuit in crisis. Since then, over 500 people have participated in the residential treatment program and accessed a wide range of Tungasuvvingat Inuit’s comprehensive wrap around services. Our program is offered in both English and Inuktitut for women and men aged 18 years and older. It is recognized throughout the country as an early leader in the field’s movement toward trauma-informed recovery through cultural healing and wellness.
Mamisarvik offers a variety of treatment programs to support individuals in their healing journey.
To be placed on the waitlist for an intake and assessment, please send us an email with your name and contact information to:
Email: email@example.com or
Phone: 613-565-5885 ext. 216
The Alluriarniq (Stepping Forward) Program assists Inuit adults and youth aged 16 years and older who are involved in prostitution or are being sexually exploited to safely exit the sex trade or reduce harms associated from it – either from street level sex work or from survival sex used to obtain drugs, housing, food or other resources. The program uses several evidence-based approaches and interventions that are designed to increase the likelihood that clients will be assisted to exit prostitution.
The program supports Inuit engaged in voluntary or involuntary sex for money and to provide resources, tools and options for sex workers to look at safer options when engaging in sex work and/or to look at safer forms of employment outside of sex work.
Alluriarniq provides: drop-in programing, group and individual in-depth counselling, safety planning, harm reduction resources, cultural and gender-based programming, mobile outreach, life skills workshops and training, systems navigational supports, shower and laundry programing, referrals to life sustaining supports.
Alluriarniq works to create a community-based response framework towards human-trafficking and to support Inuit with practical resources and skills to understand, identify and avoid being exploited through trafficking of persons.
The Program includes integrated wrap-around services currently offered by Tungasuvvingat Inuit including homelessness and housing support, family services, employment and education, food security, culture programming, mental health, addictions and youth services.
All services are delivered using a stages of change model, including motivational interviewing and assessment to determine the individual’s readiness for change and the appropriate level of service.
Parenting Program (Canadian Action Program for Children)
The Parenting Program is conducted in six-week cycles in a culturally appropriate setting. It provides a healthy lunch, together with traditional teachings. Guest speakers present on a variety of topics such as public health, legal issues, parenting workshops and personal health care. Inuit elders also share their traditional teachings. This is a parent-driven program, based on the needs voiced by our clients. During breaks in programming, we offer a parent drop-in, which provides free play for the kids in partnership withTungasuvvingat Inuit Sports and Recreation program, which engages the community in organized physical activities.
Pre-Post-Natal Program (Canadian Pre-Post-Natal Program)
Tungasuvvingat Inuit’s program offers support for pregnant parents and new parents for children up to 18 months old. A healthy lunch suitable for expectant mothers and young children is provided. Discussion topics include the different stages of pregnancy and infant development. Discussions are parent -driven and we invite guest speakers, such as nurses, Ottawa Public Health representatives, diabetes workers and community elders.
Relief Care Program
Tungasuvvingat Inuit’s Relief Care Program is for children aged six months to six years. The program offers support for parents by providing childcare relief with trained staff in a safe and culturally appropriate environment. We offer a healthy lunch and snacks. Staff interacts with the children by assisting them with fine and gross motor skills.Tungasuvvingat Inuit’s Family Resource Centre has a fenced -in back yard for outdoor play.
Supervised Access Visits
The FRC offers supervised access visits for children that are in care. The centre is a culturally appropriate setting for families, where parents and children feel comfortable. Parents feel more at ease with the support of Inuktitut-speaking workers, who help to organize and plan visitations and ensure that the rights of parents are respected.
FRC staff performs a multitude of ancillary supports and services to the Inuit community, including supervised home visits, outreach at community events, interpretation and translation, transportation, court support and liaison, and referral services with numerous agencies.
The Family Well-Being program is a joint initiative by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) and Indigenous partners. It is an investment under Walking Together: Ontario’s Long-Term Strategy to End Violence Against Indigenous Women and a first investment under the Ontario Indigenous Children and Youth Strategy (OICYS).
TI’s Family Well-Being program is designed to deliver prevention-focused, culturally-responsive supports to promote healthy communities by supporting families to heal from the effects of intergenerational trauma, reduce violence, and address the over-representation of Indigenous children and youth in child welfare and youth justice systems. The program will support Indigenous children, youth and their families in diverse communities regardless of where they live with increased access to prevention-based services and supports.
Tungasuvvingat Inuit’s Housing First program serves clients who are chronically or episodically homeless, and who are at different stages of housing stability.
The goal of the program is to house people, and then support them. The evidence is clear that people achieve better long-term housing outcomes and achieve a more positive quality of life when this is the sequence of service. Once housed, individuals may benefit from life skills training, budgeting classes, skills upgrading, addiction treatment, and cultural practices that meet the individual’s needs.
Tungasuvvingat Inuit’s Housing First team works directly with clients to devise an action plan appropriate to the individual’s needs. The team advocates for clients by liaising with landlords and other housing stakeholders, and provides referral to appropriate internal and external service providers.
The Housing Support Program assists Inuit in transitioning to an urban setting and to prevent homelessness in Ottawa’s rapidly growing Inuit community.
The Housing Support team helps to identify the clients’ housing needs and guides them in acquiring housing through the private market and/or Social Housing. The worker assists in housing searches, filling out housing application forms, and accompanying clients to apartment viewings and meetings with potential landlords. Inuit tenants can also request housing support with landlord-and-tenant issues, including eviction notices, rent-payment arrangements and hearings at the Landlord and Tenant Board. Clients are always encouraged to seek training and employment opportunities through TI’s Employment Program. When social assistance is required, the Housing Support Worker helps with the application process and can act as liaison between the client and Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program, EI, etc.
Ancillary Housing Support Services include the following:
Community Support – Identification: Clients are given assistance in applying for new or replacement ID, including birth certificates, OHIP cards, passports, NTI beneficiary cards, etc.
Non-Insured Health Benefits: Tungasuvvingat Inuit helps clients apply for Non-Insured Health Benefits and find clinics that accept patients covered under NIHB.
Transportation Support: Transportation support is provided for clients who have to travel long distances for their appointments. Directions and bus tickets are given to clients and, in some situations, clients are driven to and from their appointments by the Housing Support Worker.
Community Kitchen: The Community Kitchen is a weekly program focusing on communal food preparation, nutrition, and the importance of a healthy diet. Although there is some country food available occasionally, its purpose is to introduce Southern foods that Inuit are unfamiliar with. It also provides education about the nutritional value and preparation of these foods.
Food Security Program (Food and Clothing Banks): In partnership with the Ottawa Food Bank, Tungasuvvingat Inuit’s weekly Food Bank provides food for Inuit clients who have little or no income, who are homeless, or who are considered food insecure. Clients also have access to Tungasuvvingat Inuit’s Clothing Bank, which receives clothing and household items through donations.
Men’s Group: The Tungasuvvingat Inuit Men’s Group is a weekly program focusing on the many Inuit men who have little or no income, who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and who often have substance-abuse issues. The group provides a safe and abstinent environment in which men can participate in talking circles, board-game nights, movie nights and cultural activities such as carving or drum-making.
“Thank you for having a place for the elders to get together,” says one elder in Inuktitut, appreciative of the wide range of Family Resource Centre offerings. “Good food, with good company and good staff! It gives us an opportunity to get out of our houses.”
Ontario Inuit receive job and career support from Tungasuvvingat Inuit’s Employment Services Team. The aim is to provide the highest quality career and training programs to help our clients reach their goal of obtaining meaningful employment.
The Employment and Learning Centre responds to labour market demands and creates partnerships with public and private sectors to train and hire Inuit in the Ontario region. Services for employers include access to financial incentives to hire Inuit candidates, an employer network providing access to a list of job seekers and free job-posting services.
Our service offers free access to computers, job postings and current employment information. Clients receive one-on-one employment counseling and we provide workshops and presentations throughout the year on a variety of topics including computer skills training, interviewing skills, resume and cover letter preparation, and effective communication techniques. Our workshops are designed to facilitate self-awareness, boost confidence and develop strong, fundamental career-driven skills.
Our team helps Inuit apply for funding to enroll in post secondary education and also provides employment-related training funds for Ontario Inuit residents. We assist Inuit from outside Ontario in securing employment funding as well.
Our employment services also include Individual trainee sponsorship programs such as summer student placement assistance, job creation, on the job training, targeted wage subsidy and the purchasing of training.
The Education Support Program helps current and future Inuit post-secondary students to enhance their full potential and succeed at college and university programs. The program focuses on 3 areas:
• Supporting post-secondary students and their families through peer-to-peer support, social activities and counselling
• Preparing students for the transition to College/University such as an annual Surviving College Retreat and funding information
• Building awareness of post-secondary education programs like campus tours and career samplers/exploration events
TI’s Gladue Program ensures that Inuit offenders have the opportunity to present their story to the courts of how they became involved in the criminal justice system following a guilty plea or a finding of guilt. Gladue reports and Gladue letters serve as a pre-sentencing document for the judge to consider which highlights the offender’s background. Many of which include historical factors, social, economic and political issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, poverty, unemployment and the loss of cultural identity. Contained in the reports/letters are recommendations for access to culturally relevant and culturally appropriate alternatives to incarceration.
Restorative Justice Program
Restorative Justice is a system of criminal justice that focuses on the rehabilitation and not punishment of offenders through reconciliation and healing with victims and the community. We are working to address the lack of recognized Inuit specific Restorative Justice programming and diversion within Ottawa/Ontario. Through our depth of programing, and resources, Inuit youth and adults, within the community that have come in conflict with the law, will have the potential to be diverted from the Criminal Justice System both pre-and post charge. This being achieved through working with offender, victim and the community to heal and bring all parties involved together.
Culture, Youth, Elders and Health Programming
Cultural Education Programming offers accessible, community-based, culturally relevant activities for Inuit and the community at large. The program is designed to develop traditional Inuit skills and knowledge.Tungasuvvingat Inuit’s cultural presentations also inform the general public about Inuit heritage and traditional lifestyle in a way that is both educational and entertaining.
Youth Community Action Program (YCAP)
The YCAP project is a youth-driven program that works with community Elders to celebrate Inuit culture and traditions. Youth learn about traditions from our Elders and then relate the knowledge gained back to the community in a medium of their choosing, leaving a lasting legacy for the community and future generations.
Children and Youth Strategy
Children and Youth Strategy is a mechanism to consult with the Inuit community on a new Aboriginal Children and Youth Strategy that will identify principles and actions to transform the way the Ministry of Community and Youth Services delivers services to our community.
Youth in Transition (YIT)
The YIT program provides supports to help young people currently involved in and soon-to-be leaving the care of CAS. TI’s YIT Worker helps youth to connect with educational, employment, housing, life skills, mental health and other supports in their communities, and supports them in navigating the transition from care to adulthood.
Tungasuvvingat Inuit’s Elder program enables our elders to remain active and engaged in community life by sharing their skills, experience and knowledge with each other and the wider community. Tungasuvvingat Inuit promotes and honours our seniors as valuable assets to our community. Our project empowered and encouraged our Elders to share their traditional knowledge and skills through various experiences related to seasonal activities, with the results being incorporated into a calendar of traditional knowledge.