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Ending tuberculosis in the Inuit Nunangat - Deborah Van Dyk & Linette McElroy

Part of:
9:00 AM, Friday 4 Oct 2019 (30 minutes)
Tuberculosis (TB) was among many infectious diseases brought to Inuit communities in the 1800s by Europeans with particularly lethal consequences. By the 1950s, approximately one in seven Inuit had been forcibly evacuated to southern TB sanatoriums. Families were often not informed where their loved ones were taken. Many did not return. Those who did return faced the loss of language and culture. TB among Inuit continues to be a public health crisis. In 2016, the rate of active TB reported among Inuit living within Inuit Nunangat was more than 300 times the rate for Canadian-born non-Indigenous people.

With the establishment of the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee (ICPC) in February 2017, TB among Inuit has become a federal priority. In March 2018, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) and the Government of Canada committed to reduce the rate of TB across Inuit Nunangat by 50 percent by 2025, and to eliminate TB by 2030. The Nanilavut, "let's find them", project announced in March 2019 will aid Inuit in finding lost loved ones from the past TB epidemic. These ambitious and challenging targets have been set by Inuit. The work to achieve them will be coordinated by Inuit.

The Inuit Tuberculosis Elimination Framework and the Nanilavut project demonstrate how dialogue between the Government of Canada and Inuit has led to shared understandings and collaborative action to redress an historic wrong that continues to have significant impact on Inuit communities today.

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
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