Report on Family Law Research in Nunavut


This report would not have been possible without the active involvement and support of a large number of people.

Louise Anaija, my colleague at the Nunavut Department of Justice, was deeply involved in developing the household survey. She organized all the community visits, recruited, trained and communicated with surveyors, reviewed completed survey forms, conducted all interviews for the Service Inventory and provided helpful commentary as this report has developed. Her contribution was invaluable, and the research could not have been completed without her.

Producing this report involved the support of several different governments and organizations, and different offices within governments. The Policy Division of the Nunavut Department of Justice used funding from the federal Child Support Implementation Fund to support the initial research, and was a home to Louise Anaija and me as we planned and conducted the field research. Stephen Dulude, Scott Clark, Kelly-Ann Fenney and Louisa Arsenault all provided significant input and effort in completing the project. Nora Sanders, Rebecca Williams, Mary-Lou Sutton-Fennell, Andrejs Berzins, Siobhan Arnatsiaq-Murphy, Regilee Adla, Sally Gunn and Gwen Healey also assisted us at different times. Charlene Johnson, Maintenance Enforcement Director, did considerable work to provide information about the operations of her office while starting up its operations. Jack Hicks, Director of Nunavut Department of Statistics, made many helpful suggestions.

We have benefited from our work with Maliganik Tukisikniakvik and others from the Legal Services Board of Nunavut. In particular, Lynn Wheatley provided early enthusiasm, feedback on the survey, office space and other intangible support. Bonnie Tulloch, Peter Allison and Patrick Smith contributed ideas and conversation.

The Department of Justice Canada has supported this research from earliest stages. Members of the Child Support Team, Family, Children and Youth Section, first visited Nunavut in April of 1999 and provided an outline of needs assessment for the territory. George Kiefl of the Family, Children and Youth Research Unit has been an enthusiastic and skilled supporter throughout every stage of research and writing. His direction, feedback and encouragement has been invaluable.

The Research and Statistics Division, Department of Justice Canada, provided financial support for analysis of the data. John Clement was helpful in identifying problems and solutions, and also coordinated contracting for data entry and statistical analysis. Susan Woodley completed the contract to enter data from the survey forms. Bob Hann provided thoughtful and meticulous statistical analysis of the data from the household survey. His assistance in identifying what was possible within the constraints of challenging information, his lessons in rigorous quantitative analysis, and his humour and diligence in difficult circumstances are deeply appreciated.

As this report developed, I received feedback on different topics from members of the Family Law Working Group, particularly Marie Irniq; Maligarnit Qimirrujiit, particularly Chief Commissioner Sandra Omik; Simona Arnatsiaq of the Nunavut Social Development Council; Anne Crawford in the Nunavut Department of Executive and Intergovernmental Affairs; Susan Hardy in the Nunavut Department of Justice; and all the participants in the stakeholder consultation conducted in June, 2001.

For editorial assistance, I relied on Alexander Sasha Burton and Erica Gilles. Many thanks, too, to hamlet officials and others in each community who helped Louise and me in numerous ways upon our arrival: providing meeting space, making connections, recommending possible contacts and interpreters. Our surveyors were the front-line workers, conducting 342 interviews within six weeks. Thanks to all of them: Silas, Mary and Celia in Pond Inlet, Donna and Hillary in Chesterfield Inlet, Heather in Coral Harbour, Annie and Annie in Iqaluit, and Sandra and Rose in Cambridge Bay. Louise and I would like to thank in particular everyone who agreed to be interviewed to help us collect the data.

This report is the product of many conversations, in public spaces and private. My gratitude to all who involved themselves.

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