In the fall of 2005, a pan-territorial steering committee of service providers and women’s advocacy organizations1 was set up and received funding from the National Secretariat on Homelessness to carry out research on homelessness in Northern women. A Study of Women’s Homelessness North of 60, as the study was to be called, was divided into three territorial research projects with work being carried out in the three territorial capitals: Whitehorse, Yukon; Yellowknife, NWT; and Iqaluit, Nunavut. Funding was provided by the National Secretariat on Homelessness, the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada – Inuit Relations Secretariat, and the Nunavut Department of Education – Nunavut Homelessness Program. The goal of the project was:
To conduct a comprehensive research study related to women’s homelessness in the North with the potential to address several of the barriers that currently prevent more effective action.
The study drew on the personal experiences of homeless women to examine the ways in which gender, violence, poverty and access to housing and community services play a major role in creating women’s homelessness. It also examined the structures, policies and economic and social practices that contribute to homelessness for women in Canada’s North.
The part of the study that was conducted in Nunavut by Qulliit Nunavut Status of Women Council was completed in June 2006. This Executive Summary is based on the territorial research report The Little Voices of Nunavut: A Study of Women’s Homelessness North of 60. The results of the study, including the research findings and recommendations for action, are summarized in this report. To ensure that the reality of homelessness among Northern women and their children was reflected accurately in the report, the voices and views of women with lived experience of homelessness remained at the centre of this project, and are included here in italics.