Government of Canada supports healthy children, families and communities in Nunavut

From Health Canada

Supporting Inuit in taking action on their health priorities

The Government of Canada and the Government of Nunavut are committed to a renewed Inuit-Crown relationship to make progress on the issues that are most important, including health.

Today, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health; the Honourable George Hickes, Minister of Health, Government of Nunavut; and Aluki Kotierk, President, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., announced the renewal of the Nunavut Wellness Agreement.

The renewed Nunavut Wellness Agreement is focused on supporting Inuit in defining and taking action on their health priorities. This model is culturally respectful and supported by strong partnerships at both the community and territorial level.

The Government of Canada will provide $189 million in funding over 10 years to the Government of Nunavut for community-based programs covering four broad areas: healthy children, families and communities; healthy living; mental wellness; and home and community care. Examples of activities supported under the Agreement include:

  • Community wellness programs, such as school-based breakfast programs, mental wellness programming, mentorship activities, cooking classes and physical activities.
  • Health promotion initiatives, including mental health and wellness and sexual health programming; maternal and child health programs, such as the “Nunavut Baby Boxes” filled with newborn essentials; and tobacco cessation programs.
  • Community development initiatives that will support recruitment and training for coordinators.
  • Home and community care programs to ensure a coordinated system of home and community-based healthcare and support services delivered in all Nunavut communities.

This renewed agreement allows for longer-term planning, implementation and program delivery across Nunavut’s 25 communities, and increases flexibility to better respond to community needs. A strong principle of the new Agreement is that Inuit share governance and leadership in the design, implementation and evaluation of health programs across Nunavut.


“It is exciting to see all the innovative programs and activities being delivered in Nunavut that are supported through this agreement. We know that programs that are community owned and driven are most effective. This agreement provides the opportunity for the people of Nunavut to take a leadership role in addressing their unique healthcare needs and circumstances.”

The Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Health

“The ongoing work in our communities through the collaboration with Health Canada and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., to support wellness programs is welcomed by the Department of Health. This collaboration ensures that communities will be able to continue to focus on community-based initiatives that aim to improve their health and well-being through a community-determined approach that emphasizes the development of cultural knowledge and skills, and promotes Inuit values.”

The Honourable George Hickes
Minister of Health, Government of Nunavut

“NTI is pleased with the renewal of the Nunavut Wellness Agreement. The multi-year funding approach addresses a challenge that Inuit have expressed as a barrier to delivering consistent programming at the community level. This renewed approach builds upon community capacity to deliver programs based on priorities and need. It is our hope that this multi-party agreement will inspire other government departments to work closely with Inuit organizations so that programs and services are reflective of Inuit goals and objectives in accordance with Article 32 of the Nunavut Agreement.”

Aluki Kotierk
President, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.

Quick Facts

  • Health Canada will invest approximately $19 million yearly in the Nunavut Wellness Agreement, for a total of $184.5 million over 10 years.
  • The Public Health Agency of Canada will invest more than $455,000 yearly, for a total of approximately $4.5 million over 10 years.
  • In Budget 2017, the Government pledged $54 million to Nunavut to renew and expand the Territorial Health Investment Fund starting in 2017-18. This funding will support territorial efforts to innovate and transform Nunavut’s healthcare system and ensure northerners have access to the healthcare they need.
  • The previous Wellness Agreement expired on March 31, 2017, and was first announced in April 2012.


Andrew MacKendrick
Office of Jane Philpott
Minister of Health

Nadine Purdy
Manager of Communications Department of Health
Government of Nunavut

Kerry McCluskey
Director of Communications
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated

Public Inquiries:
1-866 225-0709

Media Relations
Health Canada


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