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Strong men, strong community

Carolyn Sloan
Northern News Services
Published Monday, November 10, 2008

IQALUIT - Throughout her many years as a respected community activist, Iqaluit's Natsiq Kango has taken on numerous roles and causes.

She has advocated for midwifery in Nunavut, established herself as an entrepreneur, helped to facilitate community consultations on hydroelectric power, and most recently threw her hat into the ring for the Qikiqtani Inuit Association presidency.

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Natsiq Kango, centre, and her daughters Pudlu Qiatsuk and Geela Qangu want fathers to understand their responsibilities as parents and as leaders in their communities. - Carolyn Sloan/NNSL photo

But last Wednesday afternoon, it was her latest project that preoccupied the conversation. As a volunteer administrator for a new educational program, Kango is working with the Iqaluit Men's Group to help men understand their roles with respect to their families and their community.

It's called the Teach Me program and it's the first time that it has been offered in Iqaluit.

"How I got involved is because my husband was involved in it and they needed somebody to do some administration and that's how I came to the group," she said.

"The aim, the goal, is to make men understand men's responsibility as head of the house, because we have ... disturbed or damaged and hurting families.

"We're always having to find a way to solve problems and this has to come from the grassroots."

Also as leaders in their communities, men need to understand their roles both in and outside the home, Kango added.

"How do we make our people understand, as men, what their responsibilities are as a father, as a parent, as a spouse, as a community support and as a leader?" she said.

"Also, there's always the issue of drug and alcohol abuse and substance abuse and child negligence and child abuse and such - all these things that are all over the world and that we're recognizing, trying to find ways to make a difference and to make our communities and homes better."

Kango invites all men and their families to participate in the program, which will run from the evening of Nov. 21 and end on Nov. 23.