November 4, 2019
Visit to Nunavut
In July 2019, several partner organization representatives of the Harnessing Talent project travelled to the Capital of Nunavut, Iqaluit to visit the Nunavummi Disabilities Makinnasuaqtiit Society (NDMS), one of our regional partners. The visit was an opportunity for some of our project partners to learn more about the society, and to begin to identify how we can work together to support their employment recruitment and retention services.
The organizations participating in this Nunavut trip, along with the Nunavummi Disabilities Makinnasuaqtiit Society, were Canadian Council of Rehabilitation and Work, Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, Canadian Mental Health Association, Vocational Rehabilitation Association of Canada, and Work Wellness Institute.
Discussions with local organizations in Nunavut provided a deeper understanding of how the intersection of culture, work and disabilities impact opportunities for meaningful employment and retention of those with disabilities including:
- Gaining a general understanding of employer business operations and work practices
- Listening to public and private employers with an interest in implementing best practice around local employment issues
- Increasing our understanding of the challenges and risks confronted by local businesses
- Meeting with other organizations and identifying other key potential collaborators that share common interests.
- Identifying the factors affecting the neighborhood and local economy
Aside from strengthening our partnerships and better understanding the unique perspectives of each of the partner organizations, one of the key takeaways from the visit was a further understanding of the power of collaboration, and how each of the partners have experience and expertise to bring to the table. Meeting with local people and the identification of other key stakeholders set the foundation for next action steps.
One of the many non-work-related highlights of the trip for the partners was the ability to participate in Nunavut Day, where many of the team tried to be unofficial judges in the local chili making contest and trying to decide whether they preferred baked or deep fried bannock. While there wasn’t a consensus pick to either decision we did all agree the trip was a rewarding experience that gave each of us a new perspective on the challenges faced by those with disabilities in the Nunavut and of the benefits of working together.