Family planning made it onto a list of urgent priorities at meetings in Iqaluit this week on how to reduce poverty in Nunavut.

Each year in Canada, about 11 babies are born for 1,000 people. In Nunavut, that rate is more than double.

It was elders who raised concerns about too many young people having babies. 

"We're starting to find our house growing smaller, and here I have grandchildren and great grandchildren," said Louis Autut.

Peter Williamson was also at the meeting. He said the elders had a strong message that resonates today.

"I think it was kind of surprising to hear from them how important it was for young people to have the skills to support themselves and their families before they had kids," he said.

Israel Mablick, a father of six children, says his family is a happy one but providing for them is stressful financially. He had some advice for younger people. 

"Education first, then start a family," he said. "Especially to the younger generation who tend to get a relationship started before they finish school."

Public Health in Iqaluit, like all health centres in Nunavut, offers free condoms and family planning advice.