Ontario gives $3.3 million to Ottawa Inuit org to help survivors of human trafficking – Eye on the Arctic


“This investment provides significant support for Inuit survivors of human trafficking who have trusted Tungasuvvingat Inuit to help them on their healing journey from sexual exploitation,” says Jennisha Wilson, the Tungasuvvingat Inuit (TI) Alluriarniq program manager. (Joël Lamoureux/Courtesy Tungasuvvingat Inuit)
Tungasuvvingat Inuit (TI), the counselling and resource centre for Inuit in Ottawa, is receiving $3.3 million from the province of Ontario’s human trafficking strategy.

The funding will go towards the TI Alluriarniq program that helps survivors of human trafficking and current and past sex workers. 

“For individuals working through the violence and experience of being trafficked, healing takes time, and trauma-work often out-lives project funding,” said Jennisha Wilson, the Alluriarniq program manager, in a news release December 14.

“This investment provides significant support for Inuit survivors of human trafficking who have trusted Tungasuvvingat Inuit to help them on their healing journey from sexual exploitation.”

The Alluriarniq program (pictured here in Ottawa) has supported more than 75 Inuit leaving sexual exploitation circumstances since 2017, TI says. (Joël Lamoureux/Courtesy Tungasuvvingat Inuit)

Ontario’s anti human trafficking strategy 2020-2025 describes sexual exploitation and sex traffcking as …”one of the fastest growing crimes worldwide” and has pledged $46-million spread out over 27 projects in the province.

The strategy also highlights the vulnerability of Inuit and First Nations Canadians to exploitation.

“As Indigenous women and girls are particularly targeted, it is critical that culturally-appropriate supports are available,” the government of Ontario says on their website.

Inuit-specific resource

Among other initiatives, TI says the new funding will enable them to help more survivors of human trafficking as well as hire, mentor and train more full-time Inuit workers for the program.

“TI and the Alluriarniq program are grateful and will continue to provide on-the-ground immediate support to Inuit being recruited and groomed for sexual exploitation,” Wilson said.

“This work is essential and timely; human trafficking continues to disproportionately impact Indigenous communities. As TI, as an organization provides supports to urban Inuit, it should be noted that urban environments add a level of complexity to this issue as some Inuit are dealing with racism, discrimination, and socioeconomic disparities.”

Downtown Ottawa on March 23, 2020. Ottawa is home to the largest Inuit population (an estimated 3,700 to 6,000 people) outside of the Inuit homeland in northern Canada. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Since 2017, TI says Alluriarniq has supported more than 75 Inuit leaving sexual exploitation circumstances and has helped over 2000 Inuit in the streets through mobile outreach.

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca 

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: National inquiry calls murders and disappearances of Indigenous women a ‘Canadian genocide’, CBC News

Finland: Swedish-speaking Finnish women launch their own #metoo campaign, Yle News

Sweden: Report sheds light on Swedish minority’s historic mistreatment, Radio Sweden

United States: Alaska reckons with missing data on murdered Indigenous women, Alaska Public Media





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