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Speaking Notes for Mr. Terry Audla, President of ITK Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, Initiatives Launch

Ottawa, ON

Ullaakkut. Elders, fellow leaders, distinguished guests, Inuit, First Nations and Metis colleagues.

I am pleased to be here today to celebrate the work being done by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) and the nine jurisdictions across the country.

As the National Inuit Leader in Canada, I would like to highlight how this work directly impacts Inuit communities.  Presently, cancer is the second leading cause of death among Inuit in Canada.

As a result of your work, over half of the Inuit population in the Northwest Territories, Nunavik in northern Quebec and, Nunatsiavut, Newfoundland-Labrador will participate to improve their health in the cancer care and control journey.

Inuit, who once lived in unity with nature and were leaders with vibrant health, are now experiencing the adverse effects of rapid lifestyle changes on their physical and mental health. Adapting to change takes time and we all have to take responsibility and work as full partners when opportunities to influence positive change occurs, such as with CPAC.

CPAC’s release of the recent Inuit Baseline Report on Cancer Control last week and, today, marking the Initiatives Launch on Cancer Control in the First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities across Canada are great steps in this making these positive changes in our communities.

Inuit, First Nations and Metis in the country look forward to fulfilling the data requirements on cancer specific rates, patient identification matters and likely paving a path to screening and diagnosis in our homeland, reducing the costs of medical travel, alleviating the distance of loved ones from their families and, working to have a cleaner bill of health for the provinces and territories, in turn for Canada.

I am proud that ITK can be a part of this partnership.  I congratulate the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer on your work and staff on all of your efforts to come this far.  There is still work to be done and, together, we will continue to try to improve health and wellness in our communities.

Thank you