What is Qanuilirpitaa? 2017

Qanuilirpitaa? 2017 is a vast survey, unprecedented in size, about the state of health of the Nunavik population. Yet it’s more than that. It’s about knowledge. It’s about solutions. It’s about empowerment.

How are we now? The answer to that question in Nunavik is more complex that it’s ever been. Since the last survey, Qanuippitaa 2004? (How are we?), the situation has evolved dramatically.

The high rate of suicide among our youth is an unbearable tragedy. The spread of sexually transmitted diseases has reached epic proportions. Tuberculosis has returned with a vengeance to haunt several of our communities. Nunavik continues to be plagued with a lack of sufficient and adequate housing. And there’s a growing need to tackle family violence, addictions and food insecurity.

These are the priorities that Qanuilirpitaa? 2017 will seek to address. It will document the state of mental and physical health of randomly chosen residents in all 14 communities in Nunavik. Nunavimmiut can then use the data to define new preventive strategies and services for the future.

The anticipated economic development of the Plan Nord and the major impact it could have on our lives is another reason why it has become so important to document the overall state of health of our population. The data will be used to compare the current situation with the health and social repercussions the Plan Nord may eventually have on the region.

The Qanuippitaa? 2004 survey paved the way for several lasting initiatives especially helping to detect and treat breast cancers, launching the Good Touch Bad Touch prevention program against sexual abuse of children and defining a new regional strategic health plan.

Another lasting benefit of the 2004 survey is the ongoing working relationship between the Population Health Unit at the Université de Laval CHU de Québec Research Centre, the Institut national de santé publique du Québec and the NRBHSS which chairs the steering committee and is responsible for the overall survey.

This long-lasting cooperation along with the involvement of key regional partners such as the Kativik Regional Government and Makivik Corporation will strengthen Nunavik’s ability to draw an accurate portrait of the health status of its communities and determine the course of action for the future.

Qanuilirpitaa? 2017 is a survey conducted for and by the Inuit population. The knowledge the survey will deliver will enhance Nunavimmiut ability to maintain and promote our culture, language and identity. It will strengthen our capability to lead and take action to improve our health and well-being.

Knowledge is empowerment. And empowerment leads to self-determination. It is one of the objectives expressed during the vast consultation of 2013 and 2014 Parnasimautik that defined our vision of the future. Qanuilirpitaa? 2017 is an important tool needed to succeed.