May 1st, 2020

Update on 2020 Programs

Today we are making the announcement that we will be putting NYA’s core programs (the Canadian Program, International Program and NYA Next) on hold. As you can imagine this decision has been a tough one, but it is also the right one at the moment. We are still offering a number of supports and opportunities and will work tirelessly to get core programs back as soon as possible. 

Our hearts are with you – please know that NYA is here – whether it is to take part in what we can offer, to ask for help, or to reach out to a friendly voice – we remain deeply committed to supporting the youth that we serve across Nunavut and the NWT.

Full update and program options as of May 1st, 2020

Follow us on social media if you want the latest updates on programs this year. We will directly contact all Participants, Alternates, Mentors, Host Families, and Supporters if and when we have more information.

March 17th, 2020

NYA Update : Covid-19

Today the NYA team finds ourselves, along with the rest of the world, in a new and changing situation, and we understand that there are likely questions about how this could affect NYA’s 2020 programs. The well-being of Participants and also of Volunteers, Mentors and stakeholders always comes first. As travel dates for this year program remain more than 100 days away and the situation continues to change rapidly, we have set May 1st as the date that we will communicate any necessary changes to this year’s programs. We are reaching out to every mentor by phone and email about the next steps and will continue to keep the lines of communication open.

We will continue to keep everyone updated on any changes, and will do everything we can to do what’s best for our Participants. We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding 💙 We encourage anyone with immediate questions to contact us directly. Right now, the best thing everyone can do is to listen to and follow directions from their local health teams, and to make sure that the information they are sharing is coming from credible sources like the Public Health Agency of Canada or the World Health Organization.

Let’s be kind to each other, and let us know if there is any way NYA can help!

August 16th, 2019

Ayla’s top 10 summer moments

It is now August 4, and today is a free day. I think most people are just packing up and finishing assignments like I am. We’re also leaving for Montreal tomorrow. I have no idea whether or not I should spend my remaining money at Bayshore Mall or for Montreal. Other than money stuff, I have no roommate and the empty room is used as storage- so I have a lot of things to help put away, I think. I wish we could’ve stayed longer.

I got to have an amazing and hilarious time with my friends, especially Shavanna Ashevak, Victoria Piryuaq, and Jeannie Kalluk. The other Participants were good, but I shared a lot of fun experiences with them. Almost everyone has boldly said “I love you” to one another.

I also did my Personal Learning Project! As I mentioned in my other blog, it was about improving my knowledge in drawing buildings and more on colour theory. During my time at the art studio, I learned that they mostly teach about painting, which I find is too much effort for me. I also don’t have the space or money to do painting at home. I completely forgot about the buildings part because I had such a fun time going out of my comfort zone, (I rarely use this work) artistically.

There was many MANY things that happened throughout the summer, but I think it would be better to narrow it down with a top 10 list:

10. Meeting Monte the therapy dog. 9. Going on a train. so smooth. 8. Visiting the Ottawa Art Gallery. 7. Going on a Ferris Wheel. 6. The shopping spree with Shavanna JUST before curfew at Loblaw’s. 5. Seeing the cool dance competition with so many aesthetically appealing people at the Chinatown Night Market. 4. Walking along the Alexandra bridge at sunset. 3. Doing a presentation and hanging out with OCISCO. 2. The AG7 camp, overall. 1. Being at the Just Add Milk cereal bar, the first one in Ottawa.

And that’s the best experiences of the summer. I have a lot of packing to do today, and the last bit of assignments to finish. Thank you to everyone who has worked with Northern Youth Abroad this summer. I hope y’all have a great life.

August 16th, 2019

Alikammiaraq’s Personal Learning Project

For my personal learning project, I chose Acting–during the session 1 attended, we did vocal movement and physical exercises, after that we did a small scene. The scene that we did, we all had to do three discoveries, which were:

1) Expecting our family to be at the dock before leaving (by ship) for a year

2) Being shocked/ heartbroken to find out the ship has already left

3) Discovering that it hasn’t actually left, and that we’re able to say “bye.”

The reason why I chose acting for my personal learning project is that ever since I was young, I always wanted to attend an acting class–and Nunavut being “isolated” from the rest of Canada, I never had the chance to take an acting class.

When I say Nunavut being “isolated” what I actually mean is, Nunavut is the only territory that doesn’t have connecting roads to other communities, and the cost of flying from one community to another is crazy expensive.
After taking the Acting session, I learnt that I get afraid of public speaking in huge crowds.

What I found interesting is that you don’t have to take Acting to try and become an Actor, you can also taking Acting to be better at doing presentation, or to just get creative/ expand your creativity, or if you just want to learn to be a clear speaker in general.

August 16th, 2019

Lucy’s summer in Dartmouth

Hello, My name is Lucy Anne Okheena.

I’ve been in Dartmouth for over 2 weeks now and I can honestly say I am having a good time, even though there has been a few bumps along the way. I’ve experienced a lot of new things like taking public transit. I’ve never done that before. I’ve only ever taken a school bus which I guess is basically the same? I’ve also taken a ferry for the first time which was very cool and a lot quicker than the Bus to Halifax.

My host mother’s name is Leticia. She has 6 cats and they are all very cute although I’m not used to that many all at once. My favorite cat is named Peta. She is very cuddly and jumps a lot, she’ll literally jump from the countertop to the table in the kitchen… Her daughter’s name is Kayla who is travelling at the moment and one son named Brecken.

I work at a Boys and Girls club and I honestly didn’t know if I would actually like it or not because I’ve never worked with a lot of kids before and I didn’t know how my co-workers were going to be. But once I actually started I LOVED IT. The kids are just so adorable and beany. They are just little beans. My coworkers are very nice and they’re very funny. I don’t think I’m ever not smiling or bored at work unless one of the children are misbehaving. But yeah, I’m having the best time.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog


August 16th, 2019

Lynn in Manotick

Hello, my name is Lynn, I’m 16 and a participant in the Canadian program of northern youth abroad, I’m from the small community of WhaTi, and my placement is in a part of Ottawa called Manotick.

I used to stay in Owen Sound, but due to a little interruption of a little miscommunication, I had to move to another family. My new host mother name is Ruth B. (Nickname) and her husband Dave, they have three beautiful daughters that are kind of close to our age, and they are pretty nice, understandable and patience with us, as we try to wake up in the morning, we still arrive to work on time, and tired. 

My work placement schedule is different, we both have to work at two different libraries, the manotick public library is ten minutes away and only Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, because Monday is close and Friday is half off, and I only heard the other is more bigger and yeah, lots of books.

The things me and my buddy Sheena has done so far, is kayaking, went to the movies and watched the new Lion King, Toy Story 4, and soon to be the new Spider-Man; far from home. As we go to manotick, we went to the three story mall called Bayshore and only thing came out of there is a build-a-bear, which I got a pikachu named my own, then went to a centre called Byward, it has the sign Ottawa and took some pictures. And the arcade, Fun haven’, it has a mini rollercoaster that spins around, laser tag, and bumper cars. And for the first time, we went to Ikea, and laid on beds for a nap.

To be honest, not long ago, I was homesick and wanted to go home, I felt sad and all, but they say I only have less then two weeks and can do it, I talked to my sister about it, saying to call or tell her if something like this happens again, but now I’m pretty excited to go back to Re-O and reunite with others, hoping that they have a good time traveling.

Thanks for taking the time for reading my one of a kind blog. Eh?

August 7th, 2019

Crystal’s summer in St. John’s

Hello, My name is Crystal Enoogoo and I am from Arctic Bay, Nunavut, and I am Participant in a Canadian program 2019. Thank you to everyone who supported the program and especially my mentor Paulette Campbell, without your support my experience with NYA wouldn’t be possible.

My host community is in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. There are many things you could easily access in St. John’s. It’s not isolated like Arctic Bay. In St. John’s, I would have to go to bus stop at 8:30 am and it would take half hour to go to my work placement and back to host parents, but I didn’t mind because it got me over my fears of learning how to use the bus alone.

All summer I volunteered at the St. John’s First Light Native Friendship Center. I worked with 10-15 kids at day camp. We mostly go to the park with swimming pool and without out the pool so we bring crafts such as sewing supplies, painting rocks or papers, coloring, key chains and bracelets. They play games, water fights, and play with instruments. I supervise kids and help the other staffs clean up and help the other staffs organize the activities. At my work placement, I learned lot of things more than I thought, like being more patient, being more flexible and open-minded, and my time management has improved a lot since orientation.

I really loved my host family I stayed with over the summer. My host mother is Erin, my host father is Kent, and the dog named Molly. They’re super fun to be around because they’re pretty open. It feels like I’m home because of they’re pretty welcoming and warm, which made the stay very comfortable.

Some of the fun things I did over the summer were: I joined the local soccer team and its 15 and under, I find it so much fun, lots of running we play every Mondays and Wednesdays. I started playing 2 weeks ago and I couldn’t get a goal.  On this last Monday I finally had a goal and my teacher/mentor was watching me with her friend and her husband. I met up with Leetia Kalluk and Paulette at the mall.  It was good to see Leetia and her boyfriend bought a new SUV the day we meet up. Dawn, Erin, and I also went to unexpected Ferry trip to Bell Island, we went to go watch whales and puffins they were lots of puffins but we didn’t see Whales but it was still fun.

Being a Participant for NYA has been a lot of fun and challenging so far. The program helped me so much my English is improving so much since I left Arctic Bay, being more open about my feelings, learning how to work as a team, learning about the city life.

What I’ll be doing with my experience with NYA when I get home. I’ll try to let the teenagers amazed about my experience with this program so that they’ll be interested in going NYA and I’m going to have presentation when I get home and its very important for our future.

Thank you for reading my Blog!


Crystal Enoogoo

August 6th, 2019

Sky in Newfoundland

My name is Sky Kalluk. I am 18 years old and I am from Resolute Bay, Nunavut. I am placed in Flatrock, Newfoundland. My placement buddy is Renee Okalik. I am a participant in the 2019 Northern Youth Abroad Canadian program.

My work placement is a BNB Farm in Pouch Cove, Newfoundland. I fed baby goats, planted some flowers, walked dogs, met a lot of people from all over the world, and made a lot of jam and cakes out of rhubarb. Working with animals this summer made me so happy. Rhubarb is an interesting fruit. It’s so sweet but it’s good when you don’t have a lot and there’s a lot of it here. My bosses name is Elke and she’s from Germany.

I love my host family. My host parents are Willow and dave Anderson, host brother is Dexter and they (as in Willow and Dave) adopted him from Arviat Nunavut and he is 2 and a half years old. He is so cute, I’m going to miss him. I’ve only met Dave briefly because he works on a ship during the summer and he left two days after Renee and I arrived. I love being around them so much. They make me feel I’m home. I’m going to miss them so much.

Some fun things I did over the summer were going to a camp for adopted Inuit babies in Lewis Porte and met a lot of good people, went to a beach in Lumsden for the first week we were in Newfoundland.

Being a part of NYA 2019 has been fun. This program helped me with a lot of things like being more social, my mental health, I feel happier now, and going to work on time.

I want to thank everyone who helped me and thank everyone who supported me, and my host family for looking after me.

August 6th, 2019

Johnnybou in Windsor

Hello, my name is Johnnybou Taukie, I am 16 years old and I am from a small community called Cape Dorset. It sits south of Baffin Island in Nunavut. I am one of the many participants in the Northern Youth Abroad program. First of all, I would like to thank all of the people that have supported me throughout this amazing journey.

The first week of this program was life-changing! I met some very nice and heartwarming people, I made some life long friends and created bonds that will never be broken. I find other peoples cultures to be pretty interesting and cool. Getting to meet new people was the best part of this program, the staff is very nice and loving. While I was at orientation the people there helped me come out of my shell, they opened up my eyes and gave me hope. 

They will always be in my heart. After orientation, all of the participants spread out all over Canada to try new things and explore new places. I was placed in Windsor, a city south of Ontario. when I first arrived in Windsor I was warmly welcomed, we started off slow but each and every day we spend together, we became closer and closer. We are family and we have each other’s backs. 

At my work placement, I volunteer as a camp counsellor at the University of Windsor. I love working with the kids and hanging out with my co-workers.

In my spare time I love going out for walks to the park, visiting the mall and doing things I wouldn’t be able to do back home like going to the water park. There were times when I went through some “low” times, my gears were grinding and I didn’t know what I was doing, all I have to do is move on and have as much fun as I can. I have the adventure to go to.

Overall participating in this program made me feel better about myself and made me an ongoing person who likes to try new things. I made unbreakable bonds with people and like I said this program really opened up my eyes and helped made me the person I am today. I highly recommend it will prepare you for the future, you will meet new people and you’re gonna have one crazy adventure. 

Thank you for reading my blog.

August 5th, 2019

Dawn’s summer in Newfoundland

My name is Dawn Siutinuar. I am from Coral Harbour, Nunavut. I am part of the 2019 Canadian program.

I was placed in St. Johns, Newfoundland and I work at Paul Reynolds Community Centre. It is a summer day camp and I enjoy being a part of this work placement. I work with a small staff team, taking care of 40 kids (there are 9 of us in total). We do all kinds of things together such as swimming, playing active games, art crafts, go to the playground, and go to the gym at least once a day. Sometimes we go on fieldtrips too. Everyday I go to work through the city bus.

On my free time I go to the mall, watch movies, play soccer, and baseball (I will play in a baseball tournament this weekend), do things with my host parents and buddy, and sometimes just rest at home.  My buddy and I did a 2 day program called YWCA Young Women Leadership Program. We learnt so much and met quite a few people.

My host parents, buddy, and I do things whenever we have time. We went to a pride parade, a bonfire, BBQ in Flatrock, Whale watching, Ferry trip to Bell Island, and went hiking in Cape Spear, which is the most eastern part of Canada. We are planning on squeezing in more activities – as many as possible!

I’d like to thank my mentor Alyssa, my mom Doreen, my auntie Faith, host parents Erin and Kent, and everyone else who helped me get through this program.