Skip to main content

Federal Government and ITK announce the development of a new Inuit-specific Child First Initiative

By September 11, 2018 No Comments

News release

Inuit-specific framework is currently being developed, to be finalized this fall

September 10, 2018 — Ottawa, ONTARIO

All Inuit children deserve equal access to essential services and supports without delay. This necessitates removing barriers that many Inuit children face in accessing services and ensuring that there are specific policies in place that address the realities faced by Inuit families.

Today, the Minister of Indigenous Services, Jane Philpott, and the President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), Natan Obed, announced that an Inuit-specific Child First Initiative and framework is under development and that interim measures are available for Inuit families to submit requests to Indigenous Services Canada on behalf of Inuit children requiring access to the health, social and education products, services and supports they need.

Families of Inuit children, living anywhere in Canada, who require access to these services, can seek more information through:

– The website ( which includes a list of regional representatives to contact
– Local Service Coordinators – contact information available through regional representatives
– Call Centre:
English: 1-855-572-4453
French: 1-833-753-6326
– Teletypewriter: 1-866-553-0554

While interim measures are in place, work continues with Inuit partners, and provinces and territories to develop and finalize the framework for an Inuit-specific Child First Initiative.


“Today marks an important step forward in improving access to quality services and ensuring that Inuit children receive the supports they need. The Inuit-specific Child First Initiative will help families access necessary services without delay. Interim measures are now available as we continue to work with Inuit partners, provinces and territories in the development of the Inuit-specific Child First Initiative and framework.”

The Honourable Jane Philpott, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services

“I was pleased to be able to announce in June that we would begin work to develop an Inuit-specific component to the Child First Initiative. This announcement allows Inuit families to access key health, social and education-related services now, under the existing Child First Initiative framework, while an Inuit-specific framework is being developed. For Inuit families, these services are life-changing and long overdue.”

Natan Obed
President, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami


Rachel Rappaport
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Indigenous Services

Indigenous Services Canada Media Relations
[email protected]

ITK Communications
[email protected]