July 25th, 2017

Jayme shares her experience at NEXT

Jayme in downtown Ottawa

Hi, my name is Jayme Nerysoo I am from Fort McPherson, NT. Last year I completed the Canadian Program and was placed in Kitchener, ON. This summer I am participating in NYA Next, in Ottawa. This is the second year that NYA has ran the NEXT Program. NYA Next is all about the next steps after high school. It gives you the opportunity to stay on a college campus and to take a construction course for 4 weeks, and to explore a bigger city.

So far we have gone to the malls, camping, canoeing, exploring parts downtown, such as Parliament Hill, and even tried a beaver tail. We also went to the Jerry Cans concert at the National Art Centre, they are an Inuit band from Iqaluit and Pangniqtuuq, Nunavut.

In our construction course we made a picture frame in the first week. Now we’re working in pairs of two to make dog houses, which I am looking forward to.

I am looking forward to exploring more of Ottawa and going to Montreal next month for a weekend. I will also be taking a Spanish class to learn some more Spanish, which I think will be very interesting.

I am really enjoying myself this summer here in Ottawa, making new friends, and great memories with the rest of the participants in the program!

July 25th, 2017

Charmaine tells us all about her time in Ottawa, ON

Charmaine, her host parent Kari, and buddy Shavanna

Hi, my name is Charmaine Putulik. I am from Naujaat, Nunavut, and I am 18 years old.

My host mom is Kari, she is wonderful. Kari is beautiful, loving and caring and does so much for us. I am so thankful that she helps us when we are feeling down and takes great care of us when we get sick.

My placement is in Ottawa and I working at the YMCA-YWCA. It is a cool placement, and it is amazing working with children 6-12 years old. We go to the park for lunch and do a lot of different activities like swimming lessons, science projects, and arts and crafts.

There are quite a lot of different things in the South compared to up North. Here we can go shopping pretty much any where and can buy things a lot cheaper. The biggest difference is the heat, sometimes it feels like the desert during summer. Culturally it is different because they hunt other animals then in North.

So far we have went shopping at the Rideau Centre, Bayshore Mall, and to other stores. We went to a restaurant called Colonade Pizza which was very good, and we were able to watch the workers make our pizza. We also saw two Jerry Cans concerts, a P!NK concert, and watched a football game.

I took this program to gain experience living away from home and prepare myself for college, as I will be going to Rankin for Management Studies in September. I am also improving on becoming less shy.

I am so proud of myself for doing NYA. This is an awesome opportunity for all the youth to come and try get use to travelling and getting the hang of things, in their own way. It really helps if you are going to go to college to learn to be organized and learning how to be away from home. If it wasn’t for this program I wouldn’t have become so independent. To all the 2017 Canadian Phase, NEXT, and International Phase Participants, thank you all for the memories and an awesome summer.

July 21st, 2017

Doyle shares an update on things from Bear River, NS

Doyle and his placement buddy Chris

My name is Doyle Algona and I am 19 years old from Kugluktuk, Nunavut. I was introduced to Northern Youth Abroad by a friend of mine. She was a past participant in the 2016 Canadian Program. She told me all about her experience with NYA and It sounded interesting and fun. I decided to fill out the application and applied. A few weeks later I had my interview. Then I was so happy when I finally heard that I was accepted as a Canadian Program Participant. I was excited because I would be spending the summer in southern Canada with more teens from all over Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.

My placement is in Bear River, Nova Scotia and I am volunteering 35 hours per week at the Fundy YMCA. At the YMCA I work with the youth camps. It is my first time in the province. It’s a new experience and very exciting. My host family is Holly Meuse and her three boys. I am thankful that she is willing to open up her house for the summer to me and my placement buddy Chris. This experience is giving me the confidence to be more independent and teaching me how to live on a budget.

I encourage teens from the North to try NYA because you never know where it may take you in the future. It is also a great way to experience our diverse country and gives the opportunity to share your culture to a part of Canada who doesn’t know much about the North. You also get to try something new and make great friends along the way.

July 20th, 2017

Skye shares her thoughts on Abbotsford, BC

My name is Skye Boucher and I am a 2017 Participant in NYA’s Canadian Program. My placement is in Abbotsford, B.C until July 30th, and then I go to Sooke, B.C for the last 10 days of my placement. I was a couple days late to Orientation in Ottawa because my high school graduation, convocation, and prom were on June 30th, so I had to travel by myself on the following Saturday. I did not mind traveling by myself, I was a little worried I would miss a flight and be stranded somewhere for a few hours, but luckily I made it. I had a good time at Orientation, I was definitely anxious to come to my placement because it has been a long time coming.

I take the bus to and from my work placement which is at a heritage site. It is a home of one of the pioneers that came to Abbotsford. His name was Joseph Trethewey and his Lumber company became the biggest employer in B.C and the third biggest employer in Canada during its time.

My host mom bought me a pass for the Rec Centre here so I can use the facilities like the weight room and pool. Last weekend I got to go to Vancouver to visit one of my friends from home who lives there, which was really cool. She took me swimming in the valley and to some waterfalls.

I love it here, I am considering coming back to B.C for my second year of college, depending on how the rest of the summer goes and how my first year goes. I’ve had a good experience here so far, and I can’t wait to hear about everyone else’s!

July 20th, 2017

Jessica talks about living in Ottawa and representing Tsiigehtchic

Hi, my name is Jessica Andre VanLoon. I am from Tsiigehtchic, Northwest Territories, and I am 16 years old. My placement is in Ottawa, Ontario. My work placement is at a daycare working with toddlers and babies. It is nice because I want my career to be in Early Childhood Education. My host family is very nice and supportive and always asks if I’m okay which makes things better. They have 3 children that are triplets. They are super cute and we are slowly getting to know each other.

There are so many things that I find different here in the south, coming from a small community of around 160 people. It’s so big you have to take a bus to go downtown, and there are malls with so many stores. I love shopping so I am happy to have the opportunity to do so.

The culture is different, especially the food. It’s hard to get used to. I love the prices though, the fresh fruit is so cheap compared to the North.

So far we have went shopping at the Rideau Centre, and a lot of other stores. We have also eaten out at restaurants. Once we went out to watch a movie, which was a lot of fun.

I want to take this opportunity with NYA to prepare myself for college. I have two more years of high school, and then I have to think about colleges. I want to be read for it when the time comes.

I am a member of the Gwichin Regional Youth Council, which means I sit on a council and represent my community and we work together to try to find ways to keep Youth motivated and with things to do. We are working on getting a youth centre. I want to show them that there is a big world out there and that there are so many opportunities, you just have to go for it and make that change.

This trip has shown me how strong you can be and you can do whatever you put your mind to. I’m slowly learning about myself and learning to love myself. I hope that I am making my community proud, because I am the first Participant ever from Tsiigehtchic.

July 19th, 2017

Mikaela talks about her experience so far at Algonquin College

Mikaela and Dallas during their trades class

The Northern Youth Abroad Next Program is helping and guiding individuals to take the next steps after high school, or at least lead participants in the right direction. This is exactly why I applied to the program, and it has been great so far.

On the first day arriving to campus, I was pretty excited because knowing at the end of the summer I would have gained knowledge about post-secondary and how the whole experience works. I became comfortable pretty quick with being on a college, in the city, and using the bus routes. There’s lots of help and guidance along the way. We were given a tour of Algonquin College so now I know my way around. The gym tour was my favourite part, and learning new exercises with our Group Leader Lindsay.

Mikaela’s picture frame

On the first day of construction class I had no enthusiasm whatsoever, since I have little interest in trades. However, once I finished all the hand sawing, wood filling and sanding I realized that I had made something all on my own and I was proud of it. I was able to complete it even though I didn’t want to do it. Now I have a beautiful picture frame that I built, and will eventually have built a dog house too.

Let’s Talk Science is my favourite sessions. It is a refresh of some of the classes that I enjoyed in high school, but also learning new material. We also had a session about the power of transformation and a few of the things the lady said really stuck with me.

There’s still so much to do and to learn. It’s a great experience overall, and we are all going through it together – the ups, the downs and all the fun!

July 19th, 2017

Quentin shares his experience in Windsor, ON

Quentin and his placement buddy Jacob

My name is Quentin Sala. I am a 2017 NYA participant in the Canadian Program. So far, my experience down south has been really awesome because I’ve seen things that I have never seen before at home. Sometimes the weather is really hot, and when I’m at work or I go out, I start to sweat right away because I’ve never experienced this heat in my hometown.

My host family has been taking care of me well and I like them because they are funny and awesome. Together, my host family, buddy, and I went shopping and for a ride through the city.

My work placement is at Corberet’s Pet Shop. The pet shop is owned by the nice family and the boss goes to work at 4 or 5 in the morning because he loves his job. At our work placement my buddy and I have been feeding animals, cleaning cages, cleaning the warehouse, and organizing.

I like Windsor, Ontario because it’s a beautiful place. On the other side of the river is Detroit, it’s a big city.

This opportunity has made me feel proud because I am experiencing other communities and gaining a lot of experiences.

July 17th, 2017

Trinity tells us about her first week in Dartmouth, NS

My name is Trinity Cayen.

I’m in Nova Scotia with my placement buddy, Diana. We are staying with Letitia and John Elliot. They also have another girl staying here, Penelope, from France. She will be here for 3 weeks.

The second day here, we went to New Brunswick to pick up their daughter, Kayla, at a camp. The drive was 5 hours there and back. Once we arrived to the destination we had to go on a boat in order to get on the island Kayla’s camp was on. On the way, back we decided to go to the zoo.

We saw lions, monkeys, lamas, etc. There was a section of the museum that showed extinct animals. They were in statues with writing by them.  We saw an elephant bird (it was huge), dodo birds, and more. I read a note that said humans are the main reason for the animals’ extinction. Afterwards we got ice cream and drove back.

A picture from Peggy’s Cove

We went to Peggy’s cove. There was lots of rocks and big waves. We saw the light house but couldn’t go in. We also saw a nice dog there, it was white and fluffy.

Yesterday I went bowling with Letitia, Kayla and Penelope. The bowling equipment is different than home. You have to push a button to restart the pins. And you had to do the adding up yourself. It was different.

The weather here isn’t really, really hot like I had imagined. But it’s a bit breezy and nice here.

While I was here I wanted to try something. I put gummy bears in a popsicle tray, then put sprite in and put it in the freezer. It was good when I first tried it but after a while you get tired of it. It was a great experiment though.

I can’t wait to be done this program and feel so accomplished. I feel a little home sick but
I’ll be home before I know it!

July 11th, 2017

NYA 2017 Orientation Camp

This year has been particularly special for two major reasons: the first being that NYA is celebrating its 20th year anniversary, and secondly that NYA is running three programs for the first time in NYA history.

Once again, Northern Youth Abroad held this year’s Orientation Camp at the MacSkimming Outdoor Education Centre. Running three programs at the same time meant we had a massive group of Participants, Staff, and Volunteers all together this year at MacSkimming. With participants totalling at 58 this year, it was awesome to finally get everyone together and the summer started!


Orientation was a great mix of fun and learning delivered by our facilitators, group leaders, and several guest speakers. Sessions covered a range of topics. For the Canadian Program participants, sessions focused on goal setting, cultural awareness, communication, job preparation and leadership. Our NYA Next participants focused on goal planning and execution, teamwork, career or post-secondary opportunities, leadership and budgeting. Lastly, the International Program participants focused on cultural and language learning, international citizenship, travel, and tourism. 

Orientation also included a variety of guest speakers who spoke on a range of topics including: smoking cessation & sexual health, first aid certification, work place safety, and financial literacy.

We also had some fun outings! Canadian Program Participants had the opportunity to spend an evening at the pool completing a swim lesson. Afterwards, the group was able to walk from the pool to the nearby Parliament buildings in downtown Ottawa. Also, the whole group travelled one afternoon to take in an Ottawa Champions baseball game.

We were also thrilled to take time one night to award Angela Nuliayok Rudolph our 2017 Outstanding Alumni Award in recognition of her outstanding personal and professional achievements. NYA is so proud of all of our alumni and were so happy to have 8 alumni join us this year in facilitator/volunteer roles this Orientation.


All in all, Orientation was once again an incredible experience this year! We feel our participants are now prepared and poised to have incredible experiences throughout their summer placements!

March 23rd, 2017

Northern Youth Abroad recognizes David Joanasie for Outstanding Achievement

David Joanasie, from Cape Dorset Nunavut was presented with the Northern Youth Abroad (NYA) Outstanding Alumni Award. The award recognizes a member of Northern Youth Abroad’s alumni community who demonstrates leadership, excellence and contribution to their community. 

David completed the NYA Canadian Program in 2002, and went on to complete NYA’s International Program in 2003. He was elected in 2013 as a Member of the Legislature of Nunavut, as the member for South Baffin. He was the youngest person ever elected to this role. Before his election Mr. Joanasie held positions with the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, the Government of Nunavut, and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. He has also attended Nunavut Sivuniksavut, Saint Mary’s University and Algonquin College, and held volunteer positions in his home community and beyond.

Northern Youth Abroad is a non-profit organization that was created in 1998 to offer both Canadian and International travel and education programming to youth 15-22 living in Nunavut and the NWT. NYA’s Programs are designed to help participants increase their self-confidence, gain a better appreciation of their own culture while learning about others, and develop skills and experience that invests in their preparation to set and achieve education, career and personal goals. One of the many objectives of NYA is to help inspire young Northerners to complete secondary and post-secondary education and to take on leadership roles in their home communities. The Outstanding Alumni Award was launched in 2007 to commemorate the organization’s 10-year anniversary, and has honoured seven members of the alumni to date.

In celebration of NYA’s 20th Year Anniversary 2017 will include a number of events and activities aimed at recognizing NYA’s alumni, participants, volunteers and partners. In addition to the presentation of the Outstanding Alumni Award long-time volunteer Lois Philipp of Fort Providence, NWT was presented with the Outstanding Volunteer Award, in the Builder category, in recognition of her substantial and significant contributions to NYA and its Participants at the same ceremony. We congratulate both David and Lois, and offer our deepest thanks for their contributions.

For more information or photos please contact:
Rebecca Bisson, Executive Director