NU Government: COVID-19 Department of Family Services update

Press Release

Department of Family Services Update – March 30, 2020

Out-of-territory students wishing to return to their home communities in Nunavut have started their 14-day isolation period in Ottawa (31 students) and Winnipeg (15 students).

Ongoing services:

  • Student funding: all student funding will be extended to the end of April.

Adjusted services:

  • Charter to Kitikmeot communities left Iqaluit on Saturday for all in-territory students. The charter landed in every community intended. Any students who have not previously identified the need to return home and require to, will now have to go through regularly scheduled flights with all existing restrictions or processes, e.g. 14 days isolation through Yellowknife if there is no immediately connecting flight.

Department of Family Services Update – March 24, 2020

  • Nunavut students who want to return to Nunavut during the travel ban must undergo a 14-day isolation period at one of two locations in southern Canada. Please contact [email protected] for direction.

Department of Family Services Update – March 23, 2020

Deputy Minister of Family Services update regarding student travel back to Nunavut, March 23, 2020

Family Services, Health, Education, and Community & Government Services have been working together to ensure the safe return of students from southern-based educational institutions to their home communities across Nunavut.

Those students who wish to return home now, will require immediate isolation in central points for a 14-day period prior to an arranged charter plane to return to Nunavut. The two host facilities for students will be located in Ottawa and Winnipeg. Kivalliq and Kitikmeot Region students will muster in Winnipeg to commence a 14-day period once the last student arrives in to the facility. Baffin/Qikiqtani Region students will muster in an Ottawa facility, and likewise – once the last student arrives into the facility a 14-day period will commence. A charter from each of those cities will then return the students to Nunavut.

During the period of quarantine in Ottawa and Winnipeg, the students will have access to tools to complete their studies, will have access to health professionals who will check in to ensure their health needs are met. (There will also be an oversight group tasked with monitoring and addressing issues coming out of this operation)

Message to Students: If you wish to get home as soon as possible, please be packed and ready to get to one of the two mustering points. There will be maximum baggage amounts for both the commercial airlines and for the final chartered flight.

For those with special needs or requirements, they should be identified with the travel team member that contacts you.

And for those that are remaining to complete their terms in place, but wish to return home afterward, FANS will cover until the first available arrangements can be made home.

It is my understanding that for the other populations returning to Nunavut, there are avenues to take. For the travel coverage, usual FANS process would continue.

Emails will be sent out to students today asking them to provide FANS the necessary level of details and giving them the information, they need.

Department of Family Services Update – March 20, 2020

Adjusted services:

  • Community Social Service Workers (CSSW) are on “Emergency on call” at this time. Anyone needing to speak with a CSSW should use the after hours contact number for their community.
  • Family Services are requesting that all Income Assistance, Career Development and Family Wellness clients refrain from dropping into our offices without appointments.
    • All clients should call and set an appointment time and date in order to limit large gatherings in our waiting areas.
  • Income Support clients who are the Head of household are encouraged to come alone to their appointments, we are asking that you not bring anyone else (spouse or children).
    • Any client who is sick or out of town (i.e. on medical leave or currently undergoing treatment) should call their Income Assistance Worker so that the worker can make arrangements to bring your cheque to the store(s) or to have a family member pick it up.

Department of Family Services update, March 19, 2020

The GN is working with shelter societies to enable extended hours as well as utilize potential additional spaces to enable more social distancing. There are only three shelters in Nunavut that currently closed during the day.

Unless otherwise stated, remaining departmental services are expected to operate as usual. Updates are provided daily.


  • Students should remain at their school location until such time that the semester is officially ended. At this point, classes are suspended, not cancelled.
  • Student residences remain open, and students are permitted to stay at the school’s residence until the end of April. The schools are also continuing their food services.
  • To ensure that there is no financial hardship for our out-of-territory students, those who receive funding from FANS or ALTS will continue to receive funding for as long as they are away from home.

Adjusted services:

  • All Income Assistance, Career Development and Family Wellness clients are asked to call to arrange an appointment, instead of dropping by our offices:
    • Every client should call and set an appointment time and date in order to limit large gatherings in our waiting areas.


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