This is page numbers 2743 - 2774 of the Hansard for the 19th Assembly, 2nd Session. The original version can be accessed on the Legislative Assembly's website or by contacting the Legislative Assembly Library. The word of the day was health.

Topics

Oral Question 740-19(2): Government of the Northwest Territories Response to Spring Flooding
Oral Questions

Page 2752

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I'm at a bit of a loss as to how the Minister can say she has had no requests for money on the ground. Perhaps she needs to friend some people on Facebook, including the mayor of Fort Simpson who has been all over social media asking for money in the hands of people now. So I just find that to be kind of a ridiculous answer.

Moving forward, can the Minister tell us what she is doing to get the federal government to provide more flexibility for the disaster assistance programs? What are you doing to -- sorry. What is she doing to impress upon her federal counterparts that the Northwest Territories is already behind the 8-ball when it comes to our extraordinary circumstances here and we need better assistance from the South, not just the typical that's afforded to the rest of Canada. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 740-19(2): Government of the Northwest Territories Response to Spring Flooding
Oral Questions

Page 2752

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I just want to go back to the question as well too, that, you know, MACA did provide food hampers to the communities. We did provide the evacuation centres as well too. And we also did provide the navigators that are on the ground that are looking at what may be required for the residents, for the flood victims, what can we further support. And looking for the financial contribution, we have provided it through assistance through looking at home repair for these individuals, looking at the environmental assistance. But right now, the department is concentrated on how do we return these individuals back to their homes and how are we going to further repair those homes.

But going back to the question that the Member had asked, preliminary discussions have taken place between the GNWT and federal officials on the GNWT's needs related to the 2021 flood season and the experience. We need to do a full review of our experience with this summer and the engagement more fully with the federal government when we have this information, and we are currently in the middle of the emergency and our attention is focused on the response and working recovery.

I'm committed to be doing a full review of the actions that we have taken this summer and where we could have done better. That work has already started and will continue as we recover. Community governments and their input will be a key part of this work, finding the related -- what's related to the federal funding programs will be discussed with them as well too. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 740-19(2): Government of the Northwest Territories Response to Spring Flooding
Oral Questions

Page 2753

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary. Member for Great Slave.

Oral Question 740-19(2): Government of the Northwest Territories Response to Spring Flooding
Oral Questions

Page 2753

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I'm glad to the hear the Minister commit to a lessons-learned type exercise. I would ask that actually a third party look into the handling of our flood response and providing an independent analysis of what's happened here.

I'm also glad to hear the Minister bring up the navigators. We all expressed that we would like to see more people in the communities interacting with community members and being interpreters, for lack of a better word, between the GNWT and community members. However, it's my understanding that only two people have been hired, and they're likely out of Yellowknife.

So will the Minister commit to contracting a community member in each affected community to act as a liaison with the assessors? And I would prefer that that person be someone who has construction or building experience. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 740-19(2): Government of the Northwest Territories Response to Spring Flooding
Oral Questions

Page 2753

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Great Slave. Minister responsible for Municipal and Community Affairs.

Oral Question 740-19(2): Government of the Northwest Territories Response to Spring Flooding
Oral Questions

Page 2753

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Currently, there are two people on the ground this week, and that, you know, we call them "pathfinders", but I don't know what they're -- if we've actually given them the flood response officers or whatever, but to meet the residents and answer the questions. But also MACA is hiring contractors as well to look at preventing further damage to the structures. And one of the examples is removing wet siding and drywall and to decrease the amount of mold that could be evolving from the water damage.

The assessment services also have started this week in Jean Marie and are supported by MACA. And I just wanted to be clear that the assessment that is being done right now, this is a team of people. It's not just one individual. So they do come with the expertise, and it's information that we are going to be relying on as a department and looking at their technical experts as well too and also supporting the construction and the rebuilding of these units that may be required.

And that's -- and any further information as well. I did provide information to the MLAs as well, and I look forward to providing any additional information as we go forward. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 740-19(2): Government of the Northwest Territories Response to Spring Flooding
Oral Questions

Page 2753

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Kam Lake.

Oral Question 741-29(2): Doula Services in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

June 1st, 2021

Page 2753

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, before I get started, one thought that came to mind of a few people over here is that we do have GSOs in communities, that we've got them in 23 of our 33 communities that might be able to provide some assistance to getting information out and helping people access funds hopefully.

But further to my statement today on doula services, I'm very excited to ask some questions to the Minister of Health and Social Services today about the NWT Birth Work Collective and the work that they're doing to make doula services more accessible in the Northwest Territories.

So my first question today, Mr. Speaker, is for the Minister of Health and Social Services, and I'd like to know, during the 18th Assembly, then Minister of Health and Social Services, Glen Abernathy, made reference to a pilot doula training course in the South Slave and indicated that an evaluation of the pilot course would be the department's next step. So I'm wondering what did this evaluation find? Thank you.

Oral Question 741-29(2): Doula Services in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 2753

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Kam Lake. Minister responsible for Health and Social Services.

Oral Question 741-29(2): Doula Services in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 2753

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you for the question. In February 2019, the Department funded an Indigenous doula maternal support training session that had a number of Indigenous governments as well as the Health and Social Services Authority involved, with a total of 16 participants. The key findings from the participants from this pilot were, first, participants want to support Indigenous women and their families to reclaim their identity, their health, and exercise greater control over their own childbirth and parenting experiences.

Second, doulas and birth work can contribute to the healing and strengthening of families and communities.

Third, locally developed doula training should be tailored to meet the needs of Indigenous and NWT communities.

Fourth, professional certification and credentialing needs to be clarified.

And, fifth, supportive infrastructure needs to be in place for mentorship, funding, connection with community resources, and integration with existing programs and services. Thank you.

Oral Question 741-29(2): Doula Services in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 2753

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Kam Lake.

Oral Question 741-29(2): Doula Services in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 2753

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I think that's great news, and I'm really excited to hear the synopsis of the evaluation from Health and Social Services. I think that's all really good news, and I think it lends well to the direction and the support that we as an Assembly would like to provide to the people of the Northwest Territories.

My next question for the department, which kind of plays off that, is does the department recognize doula services as a viable prevention tool for the people of the Northwest Territories to support healthy families? Thank you.

Oral Question 741-29(2): Doula Services in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 2753

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the short answer is yes, doulas and Indigenous birth workers are welcomed now in the maternity care setting as an important support for expectant parents and families. They're sometimes -- doulas are members of the family or extended family. Sometimes they are contracted by the parents to be there to provide the support service. So they, it's important to note, are nonmedical personnel. They are not regulated. But they are hugely respected for the role they play with birthing in the North. Thank you.

Oral Question 741-29(2): Doula Services in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 2753

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the Northern Birth Work Collective is all about accessibility. The First Nations Health Authority, the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, and the BC Ministry of Health, currently work together to provide $1000 grants for doula services for Indigenous families living in British Columbia.

To make doula care accessible in the Northwest Territories, the services needs the financial support of Health and Social Services here at home. So will Health and Social Services provide financial grants to NWT residents to support doula services? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 741-29(2): Doula Services in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 2753

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Yes, thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, to take a step back from that question, the department first needs to learn what services are going to be provided. So in the last fiscal year, the department funded the Northern Birth Work Collective to create an Indigenous doula and birth work training program. And we see a lot of potential in this, and we're looking forward to the results of this training and development. And once that's in place, then the department will be in a better situation to learn what the service model is, how communities are going to access the services, and then make an informed decision about what kind of support to provide for families. Thank you.