Turning Point holds AGM
Society expands its horizons

Daniel MacIsaac
Northern News Services

INUVIK (Oct 01/99) - Turning Point held its annual general meeting in Inuvik last week, and board chairman Dennis Inglangasuk described the society's situation as "border line."

"We're barely making ends meet -- but that's sort of like the norm," he said, adding, "we're a little better off than we were last year when we were really struggling."

Inglangasuk said the difference in 1999 has been an increase in the number of clients coming through Turning Point's early-release justice program.

"There's been more funding from the territorial Corrections Department and from Corrections Canada," he said. "They pay us a daily rate, so that the more clients we have the more money there is in our coffers -- we've been averaging about five a month, and that's our break-even point."

The chairman said that because of the expanding range of services being offered, the society will apply to formally change its name from the Inuvik Alcohol Committee to Turning Point -- but will continue to offer existing alcohol and drug programs.

Last Thursday's AGM also saw board elections go forward. Inglangasuk remains chair and Derek Lindsay became vice-chair, Rose Ann Snow was voted in as treasurer while RCMP Cpl. Brian Pinder stepped in as secretary. John Stevens was reaffirmed as board member while Clarence Wood, Violet Doolittle and John Nash were elected for the first time.

Inglangasuk and the other turning point counsellor, Marjorie Bain, both spoke of the increasing importance of the early release program. And the chairman said both federal and territorial corrections officials have been talking about extending the program to include female offenders as well as men. Inglangasuk said Turning Point is already considering a new home -- to accommodate the potential, increased capacity.

"We've set up a building committee and already have a pledge from the Frontier Foundation's Beaver Program to provide us with expertise and help with construction," he said, "but we have to organize private and public funding for materials."

Inglangasuk also had a piece of particularly good news to tell the assembly. He said that for its efforts, Turning Point last week was awarded the 25th anniversary medal of the Nechi Training Institute out of Edmonton -- an organization which also offers rehabilitation counselling. He said the medal will be officially presented at the Nechi awards banquet in November.