Family Mediation Services Program (Nunavut Pathfinder Project - Inuusirmut Aqqusiuqtiit)
Nunavut Department of Justice project providing mediation services to allow families to resolve conflict and move on peacefully as a family unit.
Nunavut Department of Justice
|2001||Study into pilot project begins|
|2002||Pilot commenced in Cape Dorset and Kugluktuk|
|July 2005||Kugluktuk pilot closed|
|April 2006||Program moved to the Community Justice Program from Court Services|
|March 2007||Cape Dorset office closed|
|January 2008||New mediators hired in Rankin Inlet, Cape Dorset and Cambridge Bay|
In 2001, the Nunavut Department of Justice, with Federal funding, began to study the implementation of a pilot program, Inuusirmut Aqqusiuqtiit, to provide family mediation services in two communities as a pilot project. The vision was that Inuusirmut Aqqusiuqtiit would provide support that allows families to resolve conflict and move on peacefully as a family unit. Two Inuusirmut Aqqusiuqtiit were to be based at each of the centres.
In 2002, the communities of Cape Dorset and Kugluktuk were chosen for the implementation of this pilot project. The pilot program in Kugluktuk was closed in July 2005.
General counselling training was provided to the Cape Dorset and Iqaluit counsellors in March 2006, following which the counselling services offered were expanded to include other issues affecting families such as drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence and suicide.
A full-time person in the Iqaluit office supervises the community counsellors and provides counselling and mediation services to the residents of Iqaluit. She also provides telephone service to people in remote communities. In December 2006, the Parenting After Separation Program was added.
Services provided by the Senior Family Support Counselor at the Iqaluit office include:
- Information sessions for new clients, including how mediation works
- Providing contact information for lawyers working in Legal Aid
- Referring clients to professional counselors at Social Services and Inuit Organizations
- Provide family law information to clients
- Modified mediations where the Family mediator does separate mediation when needed due to anger, fear, or location issues. This is to promote the safety and equal participation of the separate parties involved
- Telephone mediations when parties live in different communities
2007 Annual Report at 21
Case Files at the Iqaluit Office
- Thirty new files opened between April 1, 2007and Feb 18, 2008.
- Telephone mediation: 2 files mediated.
- Separate mediation: 5 files mediated.
- In same room mediation: 8 files mediated.
- Referral out to other organizations: 8 files.
- Client in for information on mediation or other: 15 people.
Many of the clients have stated that the mediation process is better for their situations because it allows them to come to a mutual decision on their children's futures. Many have mentioned that they are happy to have the parenting plans and schedules. They feel that they now have a better understanding of when the children will be with each parent and they have made this decision on their own. Most clients feel comfortable that they can always go back to mediation if the need should arise and that the mediation process has given them confidence in their decisions. The majority of clients say the mediation process has given them a better understanding of each other and helped them to gain better communication skills.