Assisting the accused
Rankin Inlet lawyer reminds the accused to seek her help

Jennifer Pritchett
Northern News Services

RANKIN INLET (Jul 10/98) - Bonnie Tulloch urges those who find themselves in trouble with the law to let her help them. That's her job.

As the Keewatin's legal aid lawyer, Tulloch stresses that it's important for people when they have been charged with a crime to seek the advice of a defence lawyer.

"I feel that it's really important for the people of the communities of the Keewatin to know that there's someone to assist them when they get into trouble," she said.

"A lot of times, people are ashamed and they don't contact me until the day before (court.) Then I don't have time to prepare."

Tulloch said that the more time she has to look at the case, the better it will be for the accused. She stresses that they should call her as soon as they receive notification from the RCMP that they have to appear in court to answer charges.

"They should also know there's someone in the office at all times who can speak Inuktitut," she said.

Pauline Pemik, who works in the office as a court worker and secretary, is there from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is available to answer any questions.

While Tulloch is based in Rankin Inlet, other services are available in Baker Lake and Arviat. Baker Lake court worker Basil Aptanik is in the office at the Igloo Hotel from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. Arviat court worker Melanie Anowtalik is also available 1 to 5 p.m. during the week at an office near the co-op.

Tulloch, who had a private law practice in Ontario until February, when she moved with her husband to Rankin Inlet, said she looks forward to staying at least two years in the region.

"We've always been fascinated with the North and my husband wanted to come," she said. "And now that we're here, I think we'll end up staying for a while."

Most of all, she added, she looks forward to helping the accused.