Nunavut Law Foundation continues its financial support
A second year of funding for this study has been provided by the Nunavut Law Foundation, a non-profit foundation that provides support to important law-related projects and initiatives in Nunavut. The Foundation’s continued financial support of this mental health and criminal justice research is an important signal from a notable northern organization of the relevance and timeliness of this work in northern communities. The funding comes at an important juncture in this research and will go a long way in helping offset the costs of transcription, interpretation and research assistant services in the Far North. I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude to the Nunavut Law Foundation for its ongoing support of this endeavor.
I would like to thank Sharon David, Research Grants and Special Projects Assistant at Queen’s University, for her patient and ongoing support in trouble-shooting issues in setting up DROPBOX for the 4 transcribers working on this project. DROPBOX is a virtual mailbox with secure features for the transfer of data. Sharon, based in Kingston, responded to e-mails days, evenings and weekends in efforts to assist me in dealing with DROPBOX logistics. Meanwhile, in the face of Internet challenges in the North, transcribers were doing their best to get set up with DROPBOX to help manage the volume of data in this project. Sharon’s invaluable assistance was most helpful in keeping the data collection phase of the research on schedule.
Two more transcribers with experience in the fly-in Court Circuits in Nunavut have joined this research initiative. Valerie O’Doherty and Vivian Goneau have joined Linda Potyok and Dawna Bilko in their efforts to transcribe a significant number of audio-taped interviews of key-informants from Arviat, Iqaluit and Qikiqtarjuaq—the three participating communities in this study.
A CFRT FM 107 3 FM English and French radio announcement informed the Iqaluit community of this research and future plans for reporting back results. A similar announcement will be made on CBC radio in Inuktitut on my next trip into Iqaluit. Interviews during this round included elders, members of the justice and health sector and representatives from community organizations. I would like to acknowledge and express my thanks to Lissie Anaviapik for her considerable assistance in arranging interviews with elders and providing interpretation for unilingual Inuktitut-speaking participants. I would also like to thank the Nunavut Research Institute for its ongoing support of this research. I am particularly grateful for the affordable accommodation provided by the institute to researchers.
A focus group was held in Arviat to discuss emerging themes from previous interviews in this community, including themes relevant to defining and identifying mental illness, rehabilitation and the capacity for community support. I wish to thank court transcriber Janet Harder for generously letting me use her high-tech omni-microphone equipment for this focus group. I also wish to thank Nicholas Arnalukjuak for his interpretation services for this focus group and his ongoing support of this research.
I would like to acknowledge and express my gratitude to Linda Potyok, a transcriber for this study who works steadily transcribing audio-interviews of participants in preparation for the next step of this research which involves analysis of the interview data. Linda brings her decades of northern experience to this project. She has been a court transcriber in the fly-in Courts in Nunavut for two years and is familiar with Inuit communities in the Arctic. Linda will soon be joined in her efforts by Dawna Bilko who has a deep connection to Nunavut having worked in the territory as a court transcriber for more than a decade, including significant experience with fly-in courts. This study benefits considerably from the experience of these transcribers with an Arctic connection who are familiar with the administration of justice in the Far North, Inuit communities, geographic and cultural references and the overall context of this study. I am most grateful to both Linda and Dawna for their support in this endeavour.
An in-depth description of this project was featured in an article on the Queen’s University School of Graduate Studies Website. The article can be viewed at http://www.queensu.ca/sgs/news/archives/2013/artic.html