North of 60
In this video, Peter Ouellette, from the Western Regional Council, describes the North of 60 Project. He invites you to meet Michelle, Ruth Anne, Elizabeth, and David from the Northwest Territories and also Helen, Keith, Lu-Ann, and Dorothy from Nunavut. Take a few minutes to visit them, through this video. See their environment, learn about their works and feel their gratitude.
Thank you for viewing and sharing this video.
Food prices in communities north of the 60th parallel can be exorbitant and further enshrine communities in poverty, which is a major concern in the north. Over the years, as part of its mission, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SSVP) has developed an innovative approach of:
- reaching out and establishing contacts in remote communities north of the 60th parallel;
- identifying their needs;
- gathering non-perishables and other day-to-day household supplies and other articles required;
- arranging sea containers to deliver these gathered products.
As part of the SSVP North of 60 initiatives, there is the enablement of the creation of Food Banks and used clothing distribution centers; this enablement allows to:
- build skills and knowledge in the community;
- effect self-determination;
- cultivate community Leaders;
- bring sustainable social change.
This initiative assists with food safety and supports social integration, further working towards a people-driven, equitable and evolving North. This initiative also develops and supports communities for the benefit of children and youth, especially in the context of providing students some proper nutrition, and assist to improve student focus and ability to complete classroom tasks with more efficiency.
NORTH OF 60 - 2020 REPORT
Below are the reports from representatives from the Western Region, Ontario and Quebec Region for the North of 60 project for 2020. We knew that this year would have its challenges as the closure of churches and schools in the spring had a major impact on the collection of the necessary food for the project. In addition, the physical distancing imposed by this pandemic has made container preparation work a little more difficult, and the strike by Dockers at the Port of Montreal in the middle of the shipping season has added additional stress to Ontario region officials as they use this port to transport their containers to Nunavut. Despite all this, we were able to get aid to 18 communities in northern Canada. As for the Quebec region, preparations are well underway and the project is expected to restart before the end of the year.
I would like to thank all the individuals and organizations who have given generously to allow the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul to continue to help those in need in this part of the country. I would also like to thank all Vincentians, who again this year, have put their hands up despite the pandemic to ensure that the food collected reach their destination.
The Western Regional Council shipped eight sea containers this year by truck from Edmonton to Hay River where they were transferred to barges to sail down the Mackenzie River and then by ocean barge for movement across the Beaufort Sea.
The Western Region of SSVP serves the following Arctic Communities:
- Sachs Harbour
- Fort Good Hope
- Fort McPherson
Peter Ouellette, North of 60 Team
Western Regional Council
This summer has indeed been very different for all our councils/conferences struggling to gather food items amid the COVID-19 pandemic. School and parish closures created a huge loss in food donations as well as financial support.
COVID-19 created new dilemmas - bare grocery shelves, limited purchasing power. Regardless, we will be sending five sea containers northward. There will be no community without assistance; however, the volume of goods sent will be reduced for most communities.
Rankin Inlet (Ottawa CC) will receive one sea container. Gjoa Haven (via pandemic donations), Taloyoak (St Patrick’s Conference in Markham), and Kugaaruk (Peel PC) will be receiving crates of food. Whale Cove (St Raphael’s Conference), Arviat (Peterborough PC), Chesterfield Inlet (Kitchener-Waterloo PC) and Naujaat (St Catharines CC) will receive their containers. + Baker Lake
We have helped eight communities in Nunavut, sending five sea containers and three crates of food.
Pegg Leroux, North of 60
Ontario Regional Council
In Western Canada, Vincentians were quick in sending containers with goods to Nunavut. In Quebec, however, for lack of means, the Regional Council is still at the preparatory stage in responding to the needs of the Nunavik population. The first attempt, sending a few boxes of clothing via Air Inuit in 2019, aroused great interest in the communities of Kuujjuaq and its surroundings and now that the project is better structured, the people are eagerly awaiting the containers from Montreal to meet their needs.
The Quebec Regional Council (QRC) needed to ensure that all safety measures related to COVID-19 would be in place and they received the support of the following organizations:
- the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services;
- the Tulattavik health centre in Ungava;
- Kuujjuaq city council, which, through its resolution of June 17, 2020, committed $100,000 to the project;
- the airline company Air Inuit, whose contract was extended until May 31, 2021 for the transport of products.
All arrangements have been made by the QRC to start the project this fall. The thrift store, which serves as a transit centre to receive and sort donations for the North, has now reopened under COVID-19 safety measures. Hundreds of boxes of clothing, children’s clothing and other items requested are ready to be sent to Kuujjuaq. The QRC is only waiting for the financial contribution of the Quebec Aboriginal affairs secretariat and believes that it will be received soon.
Baudouin Kutuka Makasi, Coordinator
Quebec Regional Council