Homelessness in Northern Women Research Project
Qulliit Nunavut Status of Women Council is part of a pan-territorial steering committee of service providers and women’s advocacy organizations that is currently conducting research on homelessness in Northern women. This research project is being carried out in the three territorial capitals: Whitehorse, Yukon; Yellowknife, NWT; and Iqaluit, Nunavut. Nunavut Qulliit Nunavut Status of Women Council has taking on the responsibility for the Nunavut component of this project.
The research, which uses both individual interviews and focus groups, is conducting surveys with women who are chronically homeless and women who are episodically homeless. Part of the research will also focus on policy makers, funding agencies and other key stakeholders. The research is meant to be participatory and action-oriented. We specifically chose to act pan-territorially so that we could learn from each other and support each other’s efforts for change. While there are differences among the three territories, we feel there are also significant similarities.
Here in Nunavut we successfully accessed enough funding, through the National Secretariat on Homelessness, to hire one full-time researcher. Due to our unique geographical and cultural differences, however, we decided to work from a research team approach. We took the monies available for one full-time researcher and divided it into two part-time researchers. While we believed the decision to divide the Nunavut one full time research position into two part time positions would benefit this research project from a cultural perspective, it did limit the scope of our ability to reach out beyond the Iqaluit area. To address this shortcoming, we submitted an additional proposal to the Department of Education’s homelessness program and successfully secured additional funding. This allowed us to expand our research beyond the boundaries of Iqaluit and to include participants from all three regions of Nunavut. This will allow the research results to more fully represent the realities of women across the whole of Nunavut, not just one location or region.
Our current research team consists of one team member with an academic and research background. Our second team member has the linguistic, cultural and community connections which are are essential to allow this research to truly reflect the uniqueness of Nunavut.