Naujaat hamlet council declines $6.8M in Jordan’s Principle funding

There is $6.8 million in Jordan’s Principle funding approved for Naujaat, but it won’t be coming to the community because the hamlet’s council turned down the money. Jordan’s Principle is administered through the federal Department of Indigenous Services to ensure all First Nations and Inuit children in Canada have access to the health and educational supports they need.

Inuit specifically apply for Jordan’s Principle funding through the federal Inuit Child First Initiative. “$6.8 million is a lot of money to turn down for people who need the help,” said Coun. John Goss, adding he disagrees with council’s decision not to accept the funding.

The Indigenous Kids Network of Canada, a non-profit that helps communities navigate Jordan’s Principle and associated programs, submitted a food voucher program proposal on Nov. 10, 2023, to support 710 children in Naujaat, according to Ryan Tyndall, a spokesperson for the Indigenous Services Department.

The food voucher program provides children up to age 18 with food, baby formula, diapers and other essential items. The proposal was approved on Dec. 4, 2023, Tyndall said. “On Feb. 14, 2024, the Hamlet of Naujaat informed [the department] by letter that they were no longer able to take on this project,” Tyndall said.

Hamlets usually have 90 days to sign their agreements, but there is no deadline to apply for funding, he said. “If there is renewed interest from the hamlet towards implementing the project, [the department] would re-review the proposal and pro-rate the budget based on revised timelines,” Tyndall said.

Naujaat resident Paul Angutetuar said in an email to Nunatsiaq News he’d like to see local leaders reconsider accepting the money because it’s “essential” for people who live in the community.

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