With the goal of creating a strong symbolic art piece representing Isuarsivik’s values and mission to welcome guests in our new Centre, a project to create a Qullialuk, or giant Qulliq, was born. The Qulliq, a traditional Inuit soapstone lamp that provides warmth and light, was chosen for its strong symbolic value, especially in the context of healing. It conveys a feeling of safeness, warmth, resiliency, hospitality, and intimacy which are all essential elements for individuals and families who wish to progress on their healing journey.
The Qullialuk Committee was formed to select artists who are going to be creating this giant Qulliq and to oversee its design and realization. It is composed of a majority of Inuit with representatives from Isuarsivik’s board of directors and the clinical team as well as from Avataq Cultural Institute and Evoq Architecture.
This project will be realized by Mattiusi Iyaituk, an established artist from Ivujivik, and Benjamin Isaac, an up-and-coming professional artist from Salluit. They will be collaborating, sharing, learning from, and teaching each other to achieve this technically challenging sculpture. This intergenerational effort will symbolize the cultural foundation of Isuarsivik’s healing work through their shared vision of the artwork for anyone entering the new installation.
The whole process will be documented on video, which will become part of the storytelling around the creation of the Qullialuk. The video will disseminate the project’s goals, process, challenges, and successes with the population of Nunavik, stakeholders, and other artists from the North looking for inspiration.
The artists will realize most of the work in Kuujjuaq since there is no appropriate place to manage such a big stone in their home communities. They will make several trips to Kuujjuaq to complete the work over several months.
During these stays, Qulliq carving workshops will be held with clients of the current center. The resulting exchanges should feed into the Qulliq creation process by helping artists develop a deep understanding of the hopes and challenges of people in recovery. Clients will work on their own Qulliq to take home. Their Qulliq will become part of their storytelling around their recovery process.
Other workshops will also introduce youth and residents of Kuujjuaq to the art of carving and provide participants with unique access to professional artists. The unveiling of the artwork will be part of a large community event to promote Inuit art, culture, and healing. These two initiatives will hopefully help to mobilize the community around the project and highlight the link between culture, art, healing, and reconciliation.
We are very eager to hear back from Canada Council for the Arts in October as their funding would secure this project’s future and give the green light for the artists to start working on the project.
From June 14 to 18, the Avataq Cultural Institute team carried out a preventive archeology survey on a site located on a small rocky point below the construction site of Isuarsivik’s new Centre. In all likelihood, this is a small occupation site linked to the Maritime Archaic, an Amerindian archaeological cultural tradition present in the Kuujjuaq region between 5000-3500 years before today. Among the artifacts discovered, a small chert arrowhead has been unearthed.
This project was carried out thanks to the support and collaboration of the Northern Village of Kuujjuaq, Nayumivik Land Holding, the Avataq Cultural Institute and Isuarsivik Regional Recovery Centre.
We hope to be able to increase the extent of our partnership and support Avataq in other similar projects near our new Centre in the future.
We are very excited to announce that Dolly Mesher, our Community Addictions Counsellor in Puvirnituq, will be integrating Isuarsivik Continued-Care services into the Puvirnituq Summer Camp program, a local initiative run by community members for the past 25 years.
As a way for teenagers and adults of Puvirnituq to regain their culture and knowledge of the land, learn how to harvest and encourage community sharing of food, this summer camp was created and has been run mainly by Carole Beaulne and her life partner, Paulusi Nolvalinga since its creation. Having a zero-tolerance for alcohol consumption and focusing on reclaiming Inuit culture and traditional knowledge, it aligns itself very well with Isuarsivik’s values and approach.
During their stay at the camp, guests sleep in tents that were made by the hosts themselves. All the food caught is shared equally with all participants and the community when the crew gets back to Puvirnituq. The program is very well received by the community at large, Elders and community members are always very happy to hear that the group is coming back. They greet the participants at their arrival and are pleased to take home processed country food brought back by the group.
During this trip, women are taught how to properly clean skins and handle harvested meats. Men are taught how to hunt, fix their equipment, journey on the land and are told about the history of the land they are hunting in. Akinisie Sivuaraapik, a local throat singing artist, will also join the group to teach drum dancing and throat singing. The participants will be able to showcase their learning during a show planned at the end of the camp. Dolly will now also be actively participating in the programming of the camp by leading Isuarsivik-specific activities with the participants.
For this year’s edition of the Puvirnituq Summer Camp, participants will leave by the end of July and will be gone for a total of three weeks. We are extremely happy to be able to bring Isuarsivik guests along to further support them on their personal journey. This is a perfect example of the impact potential and the synergy between Isuarsivik community counsellors and local community-led initiatives. We are eager to further develop each community’s network and provide community members with additional resources to encourage a healthy lifestyle and limit the impacts of substance abuse in the region.
On Wednesday, February 17th, the first six weeks healing cycle will begin, starting the healing journey of nine women who have been waiting to receive support. After an almost one-year closure of our services, Isuarsivik Regional Recovery Centre is pleased to unveil its official 2021 Healing Calendar. This year, the Centre will host five cycles in total, three for women and two for men, for a total of 45 guests by the end of the present year.
The one-year closure of our services combined with a prolonged period of isolation and stress was hard on our waiting list. Indeed, the need for recovery services and resources is growing in the region for people who not only want to stop consuming, but also aim to reduce the amount and frequency of use.
If you are interested in our services or know someone who would, apply as soon as possible on our online platform at https://isuarsivik.ca/application-form/. All applicants will be added to the waiting list and the date of their application will be considered in the selection process. If they are admitted, they will receive a confirmation by email, and they should hear from us one month prior to the beginning of the next cycle.
The Isuarsivik management team has been preparing for the reopening of its services since September 2020 with the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services. In fact, the team implemented its Reopening Plan that now includes a revised version of the protocols as well as an Infection Prevention and Control Plan. All documents were approved by the regional health authorities, certifying that Isuarsivik has implemented the best protective measures in order to safely reopen its services to all 14 communities of Nunavik, protecting employees and guests.
At all times, applicants can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to follow up on their application process or to receive assistance to fill out the application form.
The COVID-19 vaccination campaign is well on its way across Nunavik. The Isuarsivik Regional Recovery Centre is thus patiently and eagerly awaiting the regional and municipal decisions to reopen the construction season in Kuujjuaq this summer. The contractor, Les Constructions Pépin et Fortin Inc., who was awarded the contract for the construction of the main building in April 2020, was able to ship certain materials and equipment required for the construction of the new facility last summer. In fact, all our teams are ready and excited to finally begin the work as soon as the warmer season sets in. The beginning of the new facility’s construction in 2021 will allow the organization to move into the new facility in the fall 2022 and welcome its first guests in 2023.
The construction of a new recovery centre in Kuujjuaq is a fully funded $40.6M project. It will enable the organization to triple its hosting capacity and include new and much-needed services, such as a family healing program and services for pregnant women.
The construction of the main facility was set to start in the summer of 2020, but the municipality of Kuujjuaq decided to delay all major construction projects due to COVID. The postponement of Isuarsivik’s project impacted the construction cost of the main facility and remaining eight housing units to lodge staff.
The most recent estimate assessed the additional costs related to the postponement and increased sanitary measures at $1.6M over the original construction budget. Isuarsivik has secured half of this amount already thanks to additional contributions from regional and federal partners. Amongst them, Indigenous Services Canada confirmed an extra contribution of $500,000 to the $6M already allocated for the construction project.
We are awaiting responses from the Government of Quebec and Makivik Corporation in the coming weeks regarding requests we have made to obtain more funding.
We expect to confirm shortly the full amount needed to cover the cost increase linked to the one-year postponement of the construction project.
Every year during the month of February, participants from all over the Nunavik region challenge themselves to cease drinking alcohol for 28 days. The Isuarsivik Regional Recovery Centre hopes to initiate change by showing participants the benefits of a healthier lifestyle, while helping its own cause to enhance Nunavimmiut inner strength and wellbeing through holistic and culturally sensitive healing programs.
Initiated four years ago, the reach of this month-long challenge has grown exponentially, leading to the enthusiasm we can witness today. This year’s edition has seen unexpected participation with a total of 265 participants, a 56% increase since last year! Work teams from organizations such as EVOQ Architecture, NERGICA, and Jaanimarik School have also joined the Challenge for the first time, cooperating to lead by example and raise awareness around substance abuse and addiction.
Isuarsivik hopes to reach a total of $50,000 through sponsorship donations, donations from organizations, and private fundraising campaigns. All funds will go to Isuarsivik to help make the Centre’s services more accessible to the 14 communities of Nunavik as well as to provide the new Centre with the equipment and accessories necessary to support its cultural mission.
If you want to make a contribution to the Pingngupaa Challenge, visit Isuarsivik.ca/donate/!
The Isuarsivik Regional Recovery Centre is pleased to unveil the reviewed and improved application process for its recovery services. This process includes new Application and Medical Evaluation forms as well as an online application tool. Interested applicants can now fill a form directly online, or simply download or print it from Isuarsivik website and sent it by email or fax. Physical copies will remain available at the Centre for anyone as well as in all 14 clinics in Nunavik and in some specific locations. Individual packages with physical copies of the new forms and promotional pamphlets were sent recently to over 50 different offices and professionals who assist Nunavimmiut in needs of healing and recovery.
This much-needed step was necessary to improve Isuarsivik’s guest experience. In fact, applicants can now enjoy a simpler, user-friendly, and more effective approach which will certainly result in a smoother application process. Compared to the previous version, the new forms are now available in all three languages (English, Inuktitut, and French) and the questions have been written in a client-based approach instead of a referral-based one.
This announcement comes as the organization is planning to reopen its services in the beginning of 2021. Anyone who would like to attend Isuarsivik’s services are encouraged to apply as soon as they can, either by themselves or with the support of a referral worker. The prospective guests will be placed on the waiting list and the date of their application will be considered in the selection process. If they are admitted, they will receive a confirmation by email and they should hear from Isuarsivik one month prior to the beginning of the next cycle.
If you have any questions while filling this form, please do not hesitate to call 1-866-964-9994 and ask for the Admission and Intake Worker.
The Isuarsivik Regional Recovery Centre’s Board of Directors had planned to hold its Annual General Meeting for the 2019–2020 fiscal year on October 14, 2020, at Katittavik Town Hall in Kuujjuaq. But given the increase in COVID cases in the province, the directors closely analyzed the evolving situation as they wanted to ensure maximum safety for all stakeholders.
Mindful of everyone’s health conditions, the Board of Directors decided to exceptionally hold its Annual General Meeting for the fiscal year 2019–2020 electronically. This technology-based approach allows the organization to not only comply with its legal obligations as a non-profit organization, but also to contribute to keeping everyone safe, while, most of all, still being able to share last year’s great accomplishments. All members cast their ballot voting in favor of all three resolutions resolving that:
- 20201023-1/The Members approve the 2019–2020 financial statement.
- 20201023-2/Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton is appointed to audit the fiscal year 2020–2021 and carry out all its mandate for a total amount of $13,925.00, plus indexation.
- 20201023-3/The Members appoint Pamela Stevenson and Jeannie Calvin as Directors representing the population at large for a 3-year term.
Individual packages were sent in October to all nine members’ presidents and executive directors. Isuarsivik’s Board of Directors want to thank them for their collaboration and continuous support, namely the Kativik Ilisarniliriniq, the Kativik Regional Government, the Makivik Corporation, the Qarjuit Youth Council, the Northern Village of Kuujjuaq, the Avataq Cultural Institute, the Inuulitsivik Health Centre—Nunavik-Hudson Bay, the Ungava Tulattavik Health Centre and the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services.
Back in March 2020, Isuarsivik Regional Recovery Centre’s Continued Care Services Department reacted quickly to the current pandemic by developing a Virtual Aftercare Project. This Project would allow guests who have completed the 42-days healing program to obtain remote post-treatment follow-up and support.
This project aims to enable the organization to scale up its regional impact and develop the overall continuum of care for its guests. Ultimately, this initiative shall improve the quality of care Isuarsivik strives to provide from a multi-level perspective. It is anticipated that pre-care and post-care will improve the recovery rates, and result in a better client experience.
During the summer, the team focused on research to find the best virtual platform given the region’s limited technology infrastructure and capacity as well as best practices and regulations regarding safety measures and protocols. They also shared knowledge with Wanaki Center, Walgwan, Innulicare, On the Wagon, Hasu Counselling and Northern Counselling and Therapeutic Services to better understand their virtual programming, their preferred platform, their challenges, their approach, and their response to safety and confidentiality.
To validate Isuarsivik’s findings and to assess the former guest’s challenges and needs after completing the inpatient program, the team ran an in-depth survey among Isuarsivik’s former guests. Close to 10% of 2017–2020 guests took part in the survey by phone. The results are very informative!
We learned, among other things that the main challenges that former guest’s face after completing treatment are the proximity of family members or friends who drink, and their cravings to consume. However, almost all former guests stated that they have better control over their substance use since attending the Isuarsivik program. Three former guests out of four believe their recovery journey would have been smoother if a continuum of care was provided by Isuarsivik, and almost all former guests stated they would be interested in accessing virtual care services from within their communities if and when these services become available.
The majority of the respondents also stated that they would feel more comfortable to speak on the phone with a counsellor rather than by videocall or chat messages. We are grateful to our former guests for taking the time to let us know about their experience after the inpatient program.
Those results will guide the Continued Care Services Department in the coming phases of the Virtual Aftercare Project in 2021 and 2022, which are the development of the virtual services, and their launching and assessment.
September is the National Recovery Month. In 2020, Isuarsivik wanted to promote this important movement by showing support to all those in recovery. And because recovery is a growing process, Isuarsivik organized a plant sale.
From September 1 to 15, people living in Kuujjuaq and Puvirnituq had the opportunity to pre-order a 3-inch plant for only $40.00 to help the growth of recovery and to make a difference for Isuarsivik’s development projects. For each purchase, $25.00 was considered as a direct donation to the Centre. A total of $1,725 was raised and more than 80 people are now enjoying a new addition to their home. Among them, 10 were Isuarsivik’s former guests. They were surprised by a plant that shows support to their recovery journey, a generous donation from 10 individuals who intentionally bought a plant to be offered to one of our former guests.
We are amazed by the support we received from all corners of the region to all those in recovery. We want to thank Saqijuq for having promoted this new initiative and distributed the plants in Puvirnituq. A special thanks to the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services and the Northern Village of Umiujaq who bought 20 and 10 plants respectively to distribute within their organization and community to raise awareness.
This is what we call a simple initiative with major impact.