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Crime, Cultural Reintegration and Community Healing: Narrative of an Inuit Community

Burkhardt, Kate J.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research Through the Department of Psycology in Partial Fulfillmentof the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Windsor. Windsor, Ontario, Canada

The magnitude and severity of violent and sexual assaults committed against Inuit women in the Nunavut Territory (NU) is tremendously alarming. This is of particular importance when considering the paucity of programming initiatives designed for Inuit offenders that target such offences. Current rehabilitation strategies for offenders in Nunavut emphasize the importance of victim-offender reconciliation and traditionally based healing programs. However, such approaches often ignore the needs of female victims, and may subject them to secondary harm. The birth of Nunavut has empowered Inuit to tailor correctional initiatives to meet their needs, and created the opportunity for tremendous reform within the existing justice structure. Research related exclusively to criminality amongst Inuit would greatly facilitate this process.
The purpose of my project was to seek insight and understanding regarding Inuit experiences of violence against women, while highlighting aspects of such violence that were distinct to Inuit. I conducted semi-structured interviews in Iqaluit, NU with male inmates at the Baffin Correctional Centre (B.C.C), female victims at Qimavik Women’s
Shelter, as well as employees in justice-related position. I utilized qualitative methodology to analyze the interviews, with grounded theory techniques as my primary investigative framework. Ultimately, my objectives were to provide suggestions for intervention programming with Inuit offenders that would not re-victimized women. The treatment guidelines I developed focused upon personal and community healing of Inuit, largely through cultural redefinition and reintegration.


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