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Meeka Wellness Manuals Now Available in Inuktitut

Ottawa, February 28, 2013 — In partnership with Inuit Elder and healer, Meeka Arnakaq, from Pangnirtung, Nunavut, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA), released the Meeka wellness manuals in lnuktitut today. The four-part series was transcribed from Meeka’s original handwritten lnuktitut manuscripts, translated into English and published in 2010 in a partnership between Tungasuwingat Inuit and CCSA.

The series aims to enhance professional knowledge by integrating culturally appropriate methods in areas of substance abuse prevention, health care delivery, education and training of wellness workers in Inuit communities. The manuals feature soft illustrations and photographs that evoke cultural traditions. They focus on healthy communities and highlight a holistic approach to Inuit healing, healthy living, child rearing and teamwork.

Research suggests that culture and ethnicity play important roles in individual and community health, so the translation and sharing of health information in traditional languages is crucial. CCSA supports this type of wellness and healing by partnering with Inuit stakeholders to make health resources available in local languages. The series equips social workers, wellness counsellors, midwives and other frontline professionals and educators with tools to better serve the over 50,000 Inuit living in Canada.

Cindy Cowan, Director, Community Learning at the Nunavut Arctic College, points out that “Meeka’s learning materials are essential to realizing the work we do at the college in grounding adult learning within Inuit culture and the Inuit societal values of Nunavut.”

“The project is grounded in Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit [traditional knowledge] and it’s crucial for Nunavummiut to have access to these kinds of resources,” said Shuvinai Mike, Director of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, Government of Nunavut, Department of Culture and Heritage. “Not only are the resources beneficial to Nunavut; they are invaluable in preserving Meeka’s knowledge as an Elder for generations to come. This is important as Inuit is traditionally an oral culture.” The Nunavut Department of Culture and Heritage provided funding to publish the lnuktitut versions of the resources.

As Robert Eves, Director of Partnerships and Priorities at CCSA, explains: “Meeka has dedicated her life to teaching wellness though traditional knowledge and cultural traditions. The premise of family, community and healthy communities compliments modern research and bridges the intercultural gap.”

To order or download copies of the Meeka series in Inuktitut or English:
www.ccsa.ca/Eng/Priorities/North/MeekaProject/Pages/default.aspx
Tungasuvvingat Inuit: www.tungasuvvingatinuit.ca

About CCSA
The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse changes lives by bringing people and knowledge together to
reduce the harm of alcohol and other drugs on society. We partner with public, private and nongovernmental organizations to improve the health and safety of Canadians

Media contact
Suzanne Stoltz, Communications Advisor, Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse
Tel.: 613-235-4048 ext. 240 I Email: [email protected] I Twitter: @CCSAcanada

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