Feb 02, 2015

Kuujjuaq, February 2nd, 2015 – On January 27 and 28, 2015, representatives of the health and social services sector along with various partners and researchers gathered at Katittavik Town Hall to kick-start the 2016 edition of the Nunavik Health Survey. Designed for the Inuit of Nunavik, this second edition of the regional health survey should serve as an important source of information for regional and community leaders to help them make informed decision to address ongoing challenges faced by Nunavik. The current plans for the development of the North, Plan Nord, will have significant impacts on the health and well-being of Nunavimmiut; therefore this survey will not only provide a baseline assessment of the health and social services offered to the population but will also focus on the youth of Nunavik, a significant group likely to be the most affected by those developments.

First conducted in 2004, the Qanuippitaa (How are we?) survey is to this day the biggest health Survey ever among the Inuit of Nunavik and is still widely used by the health practitioners of the region and by researchers all over the world. Led by the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services’ (NRBHSS) Public Health Department in partnership with the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (Québec public-health institute, or INSPQ), Qanuippitaa was conducted in all 14 communities, using the Canadian Coast Guard ship Amundsen. For six weeks a team of researchers, health professionals and Nunavimmiut toured Nunavik and met some 1 000 participants. Some of them directly benefited from their participation in the survey, as unsuspected medical conditions such as diabetes, hardened arteries and breast cancer were detected through the various clinical tests.

Eleven years later it became clear that a follow-up survey was necessary as were additional essential components as expressed through the 2012 International Inuit Health Cohort workshop held in Kuujjuaq and, more recently, during the Parnasimautik consultations. “It is a priority for our board of directors to gather more data on our communities, in particular concerning youths, to be able to assess our status in order to support development of resources and services,” said Minnie Grey, Executive Director of the NRBHSS. “It will help shape our future.”

Under the supervision of renowned researchers who have been conducting research in Nunavik for more than 10 years, the survey will be planned in close collaboration with all 14 communities. “It is of the upmost importance for us to have local health-survey ambassadors who will guide us and express their opinions throughout the whole process. This survey is for the Inuit and we are here to listen to their needs and what they want out of this survey,” stated Dr. Serge Déry, Nunavik Director of Public Health of the NRBHSS.

The 2016 edition targets 1 800 participants and will have three major components:

• Adult cohort: revisiting the 2004 adult cohort;

• Youth cohort: new addition in the 2016 edition;

• Community well-being: new addition in the 2016 edition.

Carrying out this important initiative relies on securing the necessary funding; the NRBHSS has already allocated some funding but is still awaiting commitment from other partners and government bodies. Data collection is planned for the fall 2016 and, until then, numerous communication tools are being developed to keep the population informed and to get everyone’s input.


The NRBHSS is a public agency created in 1978 under the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement. It is responsible for nearly the entire Québec territory located north of the 55th parallel in

terms of the provision of health and social services for the inhabitants of the 14 communities.

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Source: Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services
Department of Executive Management
Department of Public Health

For information: Caroline D’Astous
Communications Officer, NRBHSS
819 964-2222, extension 293