The police killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, points directly to the centuries-old problem of anti-Black racism. People of African descent are up to 20-times as likely to be killed by police as whites in major Canadian cities. The brutal arrest of an Inuk in Kinngait by the RCMP on June 1, 2020, points to the ongoing problem of anti-Inuit racism. Inuit are dying during interactions with police at a rate 14-times higher than elsewhere in Canada.
On June 5, 2020, Nunavummiut took to the streets to demonstrate for an end to racism. The outcry from participants laid bare the fact that racism is also experienced here on the job, in healthcare, in the classroom, and in everyday life. The Nunavut Black History Society (NBHS)—in association with the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), Nunavut Employees Union (NEU), Positive Space Nunavut, and with the endorsement of Iqaluit Mayor, Kenny Bell—started this petition following the demonstration in Iqaluit, because we believe that all Nunavummiut have important roles to play in fostering and creating a safe place for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) in Nunavut. Together, we can work towards creating a more informed and welcoming place for everyone and endeavour, within this framework, to ensure that everyone is safe from the impacts of racism and discrimination.
Given that Canada has recognized the United Nations declarations affirming 2015-2024 as the United Nations' International Decade for People of African Descent, and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP); and in consideration of the Articles in the Nunavut Agreement; this petition calls on the Government of Nunavut to implement urgent actions on mental/physical health and wellness, legislation, training & education, justice, and employment equity.
Please support this call to action to the Government of Nunavut by adding your name to this petition!
This document is currently in translation: Inuktut and French versions will also be available.
A. MENTAL/PHYSICAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS
1. Implement a Mental Health First Aid Course specifically for People of African Descent to deal with the trauma of recent events
1.1 We request that the GN provides this course for People of African descent by upingaksaaq 2021 and that participants in the course be provided paid professional development
2. Review new and existing mental health strategies to ensure they include programs for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) and to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness
3. Create prevention programs on anti-Black and anti-Inuit racism, bullying, and systemic discrimination
4. Include Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) data in all health records, to the extent possible, in alignment with privacy laws and policies
5. The GN should review and enforce Acts and regulations to make racial discrimination a punishable offence
6. Support the federal "Motion M-36, Emancipation Day, 43rd Parliament, 1st Session" to recognize Emancipation Day in Canada
C. TRAINING & EDUCATION
7. Implement and support anti-oppression and Equity training for all GN Employees
7.1 The GN implements and supports an anti-oppression and equity training program in the workplace, to address the issue of anti-Black and anti-Inuit racism and other forms of discrimination by upingaksaaq 2021
7.2 The GN immediately implements a cultural humility/sensitivity training paired with an anti-racism mentorship program for all levels of management and staff about BIPOC subcultures
8. Create Culturally Relevant Education & Learning Programs in Nunavut for preschool, K-12, and Adult Learners
8.1 Ensure representation of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) among all employee levels, including senior management
8.2 Include a course, or a program of study, on the history of BIPOC cultures and contributions to Nunavut and Northern Canada
8.3 Introduce accountability mechanisms for inclusive education practices to ensure that BIPOC racial discrimination is eliminated
8.4 Revise all educational material to eliminate racially offensive and derogatory content
9. Fully implement Restorative Justice to support Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) in the Justice System
9.1 The GN should commit to restorative justice, as it applies to Community Justice, Court Services, and Corrections, in support of and in solidarity with the Inuit majority
9.2 Develop a Joint Government of Nunavut and Civilian Policing Oversight Committee, independent of law enforcement-related individuals
9.3 Commit resources to support traditional community justice initiatives
9.4 Revise policies to ensure BIPOC relevance, representation, and inclusiveness
10. Actively support, promote, and engage with all recommendations from: the Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP); the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC); the Qikiqtani Truth Commission (QTC); and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG), including 2SLGBTQQIA people.
E. EMPLOYMENT EQUITY
11. Employment Equity and Fair Employee Representation to counter racism and oppression against Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC)
11.1 The Department of Human Resources of the GN should consider implementation of an improved and robust employee-relations division to oversee fair review of job complaints, with a context of eliminating racism, discrimination, prejudice, and harassment of BIPOC
11.2 Create a new Diversity Officer position and staff it on a permanent basis, after conducting baseline research on BIPOC experiences
11.3 The Department of Human Resources and relevant departments undertake a revision of the Code of Values and Ethics, workplace harassment policy, hiring policies, associated legislation, and other relevant documents to ensure workplace equity for BIPOC
11.4 Ensure that all workplace racism and harassment complaints by BIPOC are dealt with in a timely, transparent, and confidential manner to avoid retaliation
11.5 The Department of Human Resources commits to collect disaggregated data on the ethnic make-up of its workforce (to include specific data on BIPOC subgroups) and instances of racism and discrimination