June 1st, 2018

Getting Ready for an Exciting Summer

Here at NYA we are gearing up for another exciting summer! With Participants arriving next month, we are very busy but equally excited for the months ahead. Read below to see what’s going on this summer.


With almost month until Participants fly into Ottawa, we can’t wait to meet them all and welcome them to MacSkimming Outdoor Education Centre for Orientation. During this one week long camp, the Participants will engage in facilitated training sessions covering a range of topics including: communication, problem solving, and conflict resolution. These sessions provide Participants with the skills necessary to build positive relationships with other Participants, their host family, and their volunteer work placements.

Host Communities

We have selected our Host Communities for the Canadian Program this summer. These communities are where our Participants will call home for 5 weeks. The Participants will be volunteering in their host community and will have the chance to explore their home away from home. A big thank you to all of our Host Families for dedicating their time and efforts in supporting our youth!

International Program

NYA’s International team is returning to Costa Rica this summer! We are partnering with United World College, Outward Bound, and Serenis to give our International Participants a very rewarding travel and cross-cultural learning experience. Participants will spend 6 weeks contributing to local volunteer initiatives and engaging in cultural exchange. Activities completed will include: engaging in service learning workshops focused on conservation and permaculture; completing inter-cultural workshops with local NGOs; and taking part in experiential land based excursions.

Next Program

NYA Next is heading back to Algonquin College this year for more goal setting and achievement, educational opportunities, personal growth, cultural awareness and career preparation! Participants will be staying in the Algonquin Residences while completing a constructions and trades course and volunteering. They will also be completing individual Personal Learning Projects and will be going on group out trips like camping.

A Special Milestone

This year NYA is celebrating a very special milestone. At the end of the summer, NYA will have over 500 Alumni! On top of the over 5000 high school credits awarded, over 75,000 volunteer hours completed and 65 Alumni bursaries that will be awarded after this year, that means that over 500 Northern Youth will have successfully completed one or more of NYA’s core programs. We are so proud of all our Alumni and can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.


May 29th, 2018

NYA Welcomes Sean’s Arrival from AIME

The day has finally come! We have been working over the past several months with AIME, a leader in providing amazing opportunities for Indigenous Youth in Australia. We have put together an opportunity for one NYA Alumni to live and work in Australia this summer with AIME, and one AIME ambassador to come to Canada to live and work with NYA. After lots of preparations, packing, visas logistics, and a some long hours spent on airplanes… we are pleased to announce that Sean has arrived! We are so excited to have Sean here with us for the summer and feel it is an incredible opportunity for our organization to learn and grow! Read below for an introduction form Sean.

“Hi my name is Sean, I am staying in Ottawa and working with Northern Youth Abroad as part of an exchange program between NYA and AIME (Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience). I am 24 years old, I am studying a Bachelor of Arts at University. I work for an organization called AIME (Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience) who work closely with indigenous high school kids to see them develop and further there studies through high school, and help build a pathway from high school to university. I’ve been involved with AIME for 5 years, 3 years as a volunteer and 2 years as an employee. I am looking forward to working with NYA as a way of collaborating and learning new ideas from the similar programs.”

November 2nd, 2017

Hayven shares her experience in Ottawa

Hi my name is Hayven. I was placed in Ottawa and I worked at a bakery this summer.

Working at the bakery was fun. It was hard work but I love it. My boss Jeff was fun to hang out with and I would bake a lot of different things and every day I would do something else like cleaning. My host family is fun, they have really cute kids and its really fun. It’s different because I always have to be up in the morning to make a plan before doing anything. At first it was hard but I got use to a few things and it got easier.

My favourite thing about this trip was going for a long walk with my host mother, Jess and Komaki (my host sister). We walked to the Kontinuum which is a place where you see all these amazing lights then we walked thorough a street fair where we saw a lot of people dancing and doing cool tricks. It was my first time walking on a really long bridge and it was fun because we saw a lot of cool views like the parliament and the boats. Doing this trip was fun and I got to do new things, meet new people, live with an amazing host family, and work with amazing people. It is a good experience.

November 2nd, 2017

Tegan tells us about his summer in Collingwood

My name is Tegan Nitsiza and I am from the Northwest Territories and my work placement was at the YMCA in it was in Collingwood Ontario. The town was pretty big, bigger than any town/city in the north. There was about 22 thousand people living in Collingwood itself. The weather there was usually hot and at night it was usually chilly out.  The name of my host parents were Sandra Dodgson and Bruce Dodgson and the have 2 sons but they moved out and they have their own family, they had no pets. At my work placement I had to watch the kids and I had to do activities such as basketball, floor hockey, soccer, art and much more.My placement buddy is John Noksana and he is from Tuktoyaktuk NWT. We got along great.

I had the chance to use a stand up board and I had an amazing time at my placement.  and I tried DQ and Wendy’s for the first time. Me and John had the opportunity to check out the Elvis festival in Collingwood and it was there for the whole weekend so we went there through out that weekend. I had a great time during this program and I hope to encourage youth from my community to sign up for this amazing program.

November 2nd, 2017

Diana in Dartmouth

Hi, I’m Diana Williah and I am from Behchoko, Northwest Territories. I am a participant in the Canadian program for Northern Youth Abroad. And I’m placed in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

My work placement is at Cole Harbour Place summer camp. I work as a youth leader, and I work with kids aged 5-12 with almost 90 kids at the camp. It’s great working there because I would like to become a teacher one day. In my workplace there is at least 4 or 3 camps the kids could go to for one week and each week is different. I normally go with the “crazy chefs” and in that camp I help the kids make healthy snacks that could be made at home. Afterwards, me and all the other leaders take the kids swimming for an hour.

My host parents are Letitia and John Elliott. They have two kids but only one lives here because the other one is in his 20s. And they also have 5 cats. Cleo is my favourite cat My host family is great and so far they’ve taken me down to Saint johns, New Brunswick, Peggy’s cove, a trampoline park, and Halifax which is just across the ocean.

Living in Dartmouth is a lot different than from back home. That’s saying a lot coming from a community of about 2000 people. I live in a suburban type neighbourhood so everything is a 10 min ride or so, unlike back home where everything is in walking distance. It took some time getting used to, but I got used to it. Here I take the bus into town, and getting use to taking buses wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. The stores are so different because it costs a bit cheaper than in the north.

I have done a little bit of traveling. We went to a zoo, and also went to a trampoline park for the first time and I absolutely loved it. We also went to a farmers market and got a henna done there. If you don’t know what a henna is, it’s basically a temporary tattoo that lasts about a week or two. Also I have been to a “Maritime museum of the Atlantic” and it was so interesting to see, so much so I wouldn’t mind going to another museum. And I also went to a tall ship event where ships from all around the world which is an event that only happens every 4 years. So I was lucky to experience that. During the event you can go on the ships and take a look around. I also went go karting and saw a parade for natal where I got to see Sidney Crosby.

Being a part of the program has been great so far. I would definitely come back to Nova Scotia just because it’s such a beautiful place. I’d recommend NYA to my friends and family back home because it’s such a great way to get out of town and experience something different, try new things and also get you ready for when you go to college by becoming more independent and more confident with the city life.

Thanks for reading 🙂

October 12th, 2017

Kat tells us about a fun adventure in NYA Next

Hi my name is Kathleen Gill and I am from Fort Smith, Northwest Territories.

I am 22 years old and participating in the NYA NEXT program in Ottawa where we stay at Algonquin College for 6 weeks and do a variety of things like construction class, science class, mock trials, and present to groups of people who know little to none about Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.

Leading up to Nunavut Day, our schedule was busy so we didn’t have anything planned for that particular day. As the day goes on it’s early afternoon and one of our participants Allie knows the aboriginal singer Kelly Fraser was performing in downtown Ottawa.

So our group leader Lindsay rounds up a small group of us and we leave the college residence at 6:30 to make it downtown for 7:30. As we’re walking to the bus stop Lindsay goes “That’s our bus, RUN!.“ so we all take off and catch the bus. Then quickly realize we’re going in the wrong direction. We get off at the next stop, wait for the right bus and make our way. We wander around for a bit, find where Kelly is going to sing and start asking around where we can find her. Two nice ladies tell us “Oh…..she just finished up”. They pointed us in the direction she was performing and she was still hanging around the area so we briefly got to talk to her and got a group picture. Afterwards we got to explore a little.

We went to Parliament Hill, Rideau Canal, added some things to a scavenger hunt that is for next years’ NYA NEXT participants. All throughout the evening there were many times Lindsay made us run against our will but with good intention. After more exploring we got on a bus (the right one), head back to residence and crash on account of such a good night.

I look forward to more adventures with my group.

October 12th, 2017

Wally’s summer in Chiliwack, BC

Hi, my name is Wally Issigaitok, and I am from Hall Beach, Nunavut.

I was placed in Chilliwack, British Columbia, and I worked at the Salvation Army for three weeks and then moved to the YMCA for the rest of my placement.

At first I was working with adults at the food bank where those who needed it could get free food and at the YMCA I was working with kids who were very fun to be around. The YMCA was the best thing I have ever done! At first it was hard, but then I got used to it and planned some great activities which helped me not feel homesick.

During NYA, I learned that I could be away from home for a long time.

October 12th, 2017

James shares his experience in an auto shop

For my Personal Learning Project, I got to visit an auto shop called Takakis Auto Repair where I
got to work with mechanics.

I chose this as my PLP because I am very interested in hands on work and I like working with vehicles. While I was there I got to help with oil changes, taking apart rims and tires and changing one of the be it’s in a vehicle. Once I go back home, I plan on taking a trades program after high school.

I also got to do a second PLP where I got involved at the Nepean Sportsplex by playing badminton with one of the other Participants, Donathan. I hope in the future to be able to coach badminton and to get more people back home involved with the sport.


October 3rd, 2017

Donathan shares his Personal Learning Project

For my Personal Learning Project, I chose to get involved with playing badminton.

I chose this because it would help me get fit, be involved in the community and organize activities. I like the social aspect of the sport and would love to be able to teach the game to other people.

To play badminton, I went to the Nepean Sportsplex to play some drop-in games with my friend James, who also loved the sport. With the help of our group leader Dian, we were able to get all the proper equipment we needed to play such as shoes, birdies and a racket. We played with 12 other players of varying abilities, and got to meet lots of other players.

I am excited to be able to keep playing when I get home, and in the future, I would like to coach younger people and get involved with my community. This will also help me stay fit after the NYA program, and will help encourage me to stay busy so I can quit smoking.


October 3rd, 2017

DJ shares his hopes for the summer with NYA Next

Hi, my name is David Jr. Porter and I am from Gjoa Haven, Nunavut.

I first attended Northern Youth Abroad in 2014 as a Canadian Participant where I was placed in Bear River, NS. I volunteered at the Fundy YMCA at a day camp. I am now doing the NYA Next Program. It gives us the opportunity to experience life after high school where we complete a trades class for 4-5 weeks. It is a great opportunity, as we gain lots of experience and can earn up to 9 high school credits as well.

For the program, we travel from our home community to Ottawa, Ontario for 7 weeks where we all start at Orientation and get to meet all the other Participants. At Orientation we get to know everyone and we learn about what we will be doing in the summer while we complete group activities.

In the future, I would like to become either a hair stylist or a baker and I am hoping that by the end of the program I will be able to achieve the goals I have set for myself during Orientation.

– DJ