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Atmosphere of 'control and fear' drove Nunavut's languages commissioner to resign

Nunavut's former languages commissioner says the territorial government’s lack of openness and responsiveness drove her to resign from her post.

‘I started to doubt decisions I was making and I started to second guess myself'

'It’s not a good environment to have Inuit and to really advance our society if the systems in place are run on control and fear,' says Sandra Inutiq. (Sima Sahar Zerehi/CBC)

Nunavut's former languages commissioner says the territorial government's lack of openness and responsiveness drove her to resign from her post.

"I got burned out," Sandra Inutiq told CBC Qulliq host Kevin Kablutsiak. "For my own well-being I had to step back and reflect."

Inutiq said the tense working relationship that she had with the premier and the government made it hard for her to be effective in her role.

"The atmosphere, I think... is very much based on ego and control and fear," said Inutiq.

"I started to doubt decisions I was making and I started to second guess myself and I knew that those are indications that I should leave."

Inutiq says in the course of her work, various government departments often ignored her requests or failed to fully provide the documents she required to do her job.

Too stressful

The job became too stressful, with too few supports, Inutiq said. 

"I realised that the issues that I'm facing are much bigger than my mandate."

Inutiq said the legacy of colonialism continues to haunt the government of Nunavut.

"Nunavut was created to advance Inuit and improve the lives of Inuit — for Inuit to have control over the decision making," said Inutiq.

"But it's not a good environment to have Inuit and to really advance our society if the systems in place are run on control and fear."

Inutiq said she's not the only one who had negative feelings about working with the territorial government.

"When I hear MLA Pat Angnakak talk about people throwing up in the morning before work,' said Inutiq.

"Just imagine how widespread that is: going to a workplace where fear is the main energy."

For the time being, Inutiq is going to take some time off for herself before she decides what to do next.

With files from Kevin Kablutsiak

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