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Legislative Assembly briefs
Anti-suicide training

Danielle Sachs
Northern News Services
Published Monday, May 13, 2013

Premier Eva Aariak announced more funding for Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) for Nunavut schools in the legislative assembly on May 7.

Over the next two to three years, the Department of Education will be partnering with Nunavut Arctic College to provide training in all the communities. The Nunavut Teacher's Association committed $150,000 to the department for the training.

"Far too many Nunavummiut have been affected by the devastating consequences of suicide," said Aariak.

ASIST workshops were developed by LivingWorks. They train people how to respond to individuals who seem to be at immediate risk of suicide.

Abduction case still relevant

Rankin Inlet North MLA Tagak Curley asked on May 7 for an update on the Qangualuk Abduction investigation, dating back to the 1940s.

Curley first brought up the case in 2004, giving some history on the case.

"During the Second World War, there was an aircraft that came into a community of the Baffin Region," said Curley in 2004. "Qangualuk and his wife and children were put on board this plane somewhere around 1945, and the only person that was left behind was a teenager at the time. She was probably around the age of 19, and her name was Ruth Siakuluk. The reason she was left behind was because she was going to another community to get married."

Curley brought it up again in 2007 and then last week during the new session of the legislative assembly. The family of surviving daughter Ruth Siakuluk disappeared in the middle of Baffin Island on the East Coast, said Curley.

"She is still alive and looking for answers of what happened to her parents," said Curley. "They were abducted via small plane with skids."

Curley wanted to know if Justice Minister Daniel Shewchuk would commit to working with the RCMP to find out what happened.

"I have treated it always as a criminal act," said Curley. "I believe the family was kidnapped."

Shewchuk said he thinks a recent re-investigation needs to happen so that information can be shared since there has already been a lot of work done and reports written that should be reviewed.

Be prepared

On top of Mental Health Awareness Week and National Nursing Week, it was also Emergency Preparedness week and Minister Lorne Kusugak took the opportunity on May 7 to remind Nunavummiut that it's important to be prepared.

"Emergencies can happen anytime and anywhere," said Kusugak.

He said ideally people should be prepared for 72 hours without help and an emergency kit should be on hand that contains extra water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, radio, extra medication and cash

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