Formerly the Ottawa Inuit Children's Centre, our agency name is now Inuuqatigiit Centre for Inuit Children, Youth and Families
In partnership with parents and the community, Inuuqatigiit Centre for Inuit Children, Youth and Families, fosters strong and proud Inuit children, youth and families.
To provide Inuit children and youth with a learning environment that will enhance their overall development; to foster positive parenting through support and education; and to promote the retention of the Inuit culture and language.
To serve Inuit children, youth and families.
Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit are the values that are understood to be “the Inuit way of doing things: the past, present and future knowledge, experience and values of Inuit society”. Inuuqatigiit reflects these values in the way we work.
Inuuqatigiit strives to be a strong part of the Inuit community as an advocate and provider of exceptional services and benefits to urban Inuit children, youth and families. Guided by the Inuit value of “Pijitsirniq” — serving and providing for family and community — Inuuqatigiit will continue to promote the Inuit Way as we come together to help one another. The name change reflects the Inuit societal value of “Qanuqtuurniq” — being innovative and resourceful. Inuuqatigiit reflects the Inuit community’s ongoing commitment to help one another, for the future and betterment of our children. The best way to serve our community is to come together as a team, as a family and as a community to support one another in ways that are uniquely Inuit. Working together towards a common cause is what builds a stronger family and community.
Inuuqatigiit’s Early Years Programs are committed to supporting young Inuit children’s learning, development, health and well-being in a loving, caring, holistic and cultural context that promotes the preservation of the Inuktitut language. Inuit view children as unique gifts to a community. Through a process called Inunnguinig, which relies on interconnectedness and relationships, children develop their capacity to live a good life and contribute to their community.
Inuuqatigiit was chosen in 2018 to be an Indigenous Centre of Excellence (ICOE) for indigenous education in Ontario. The ICOE has a mandate to provide professional learning supports across the province and to support culturally relevant programming and the delivery of high-quality Indigenous child care and early years programs in Indigenous communities.
Our Youth Programs serve children in elementary and high school and beyond: Tukimut After School provides culturally-rich after-school programming for children from 6 - 13 years of age, 5-days a week; a System Navigator works with a variety partnering agencies to help children and their families seamlessly negotiate various support systems; Akwe:go and Was-nabin are self-development programs for urban Indigenous, at-risk children aged 6-13 years and 13 - 18 years; the Youth Life Promotion Program is for Inuit youth aged 13-24 years to support staying in school, gaining employment and improving life skills; the Right to Play Program promotes healthy lifestyles for Inuit youth through play-based learning and art; the Silatuniq Inuit Youth Engagement initiative focuses on supporting Inuit youth aged 14-24 years living in Eastern Ontario. The overall goal is to break the cycle of poverty by supporting youth to complete high school, enroll in post-secondary education or gain meaningful employment; Bridging the Gap Program (BTG) provides critical supports to Inuit students and increases the knowledge and awareness of all students about Inuit history, culture and values.
The Family Well-Being Program uses a holistic approach to bring a variety of cultural programs that support families, including wellness programs, safe spaces and programs specific to Inuit families and children. The Inunnguiniq Parenting Program developed in Nunavut, utilizes the strength of Inuit culture to engage and build parenting capacity.
Inuuqatigiit's EarlyON program offers programs and services to children 0-6 years of age and their families. Known as the Ilagiinut Kativvik Program, it focuses on supporting the bond between child and parent/caregiver by fostering cultural knowledge, pride and identity, supporting healthy pregnancies, enhancing child development and promoting early literacy skills.
Mental Health Programs offered at the centre address a gap in the mental health services available for Inuit children, youth and families and youth living in Ottawa. Support for mental wellness is provided through individual and crisis counselling, a trauma and addiction group for parents, and groups for youth and focuses on accessible, trauma-informed, culturally and linguistically relevant mental health counselling services to Inuit youth and families.
The Tasiuqatigiit Program works to support Inuit children, youth and their families who are receiving care at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario or who are residing in group homes or foster homes for the medically fragile.
Inuit Well-Being: Support for Inuit and their Families Affected by Gender-Based Violence is a 5-year project testing Inuuqatigiit’s Inuit-specific wrap-around model of services which addresses family mental and physical health, childcare, housing, culture and language.
The Language program supports all of our programs in ensuring Inuktitut is spoken and heard in all of Inuuqatigiit's programs. Teaching culture through language and stories is an intrinsic part of all aspects of programming at the centre, and the program develops resources and teaching tools not only for those attending programs in Ottawa but for other indigenous centres across the province.