Monday, August 17, 2009

Up All Night In Iqaluit

I first heard of this story a couple days ago and meant to comment on it but moving preparations got in the way. And there's a lot going on this story and I wanted to give it some thought. Having spent some time in Nunavut and having worked with young people, I can appreciate first hand that Nunavut lacks social workers. Having met and talked to a number of social workers I can tell you that they do a good job. The problem is that more often than not, they are working in isolation (particularly in the smaller communities) with very limited resources. Really, I tip my hat to them. I don't know how they handle it. I know I couldn't.

While more social workers and other such front line workers would be a definite help, I think a large part of it ultimately boils down to good parenting. I know this might not be a popular opinion in this day and age where people offer up any number of possibilities to explain society's shortcomings. Don't be the child's friend. Be a parent.

I should also like to add that with Nunavut we're talking about a population of a little over 30 000. Things stand out in a small population. It's hard to be anonymous. Problems with kids on the street can be found in any major Canadian city. They just tend to be more noticeable in the North.

I'm not saying this is the case here by any means, but in some instances, the street can be a better place than some households. If any good can come of all this I hope its that people and governments at all levels are more aware of the challenges and the problems. Perhaps rather than simply building careers, politician and bureaucrats will focus more on building a strong territory. Perhaps parents will be parents.

I know this post is a little scatter-brained and perhaps a little contradictory, but I just wanted to add my two cents. And I'm a little distracted here too. We're packing up to start our drive across the country tomorrow...and I should set this computer down and check and see where the kids are.