September 27th, 2016

Sally shares what NYA Next has had in store


Sally, right, with fellow NYA Next Participant Rahabi at NYA’s Orientation Camp in Ottawa. (Photo Credit: Thorsten Gohl)

My summer of 2016 is going well. I met new friends from NU & NWT and I already knew some from last year in 2015. At orientation we had fun activities like ice breakers to get to know everyone. We played one game where we were passing a ball to each other and memorizing who we gave the ball to. We had to say “thank you” and the name of the person who gave us the ball, then say “here you go” and the name of the next person we were passing it to. It was fun and we kept getting mixed up. The second week we met Mexican people also living at Algonquin College. It was their first day here and we were glad to meet them and we became good friends with all of them. Camping was a good experience too, cause it was my first time to camp in the city, but when we got there it was hardcore raining and we were setting up tents. The next day camping we went to the beach to go swimming then we got to go kayaking and canoeing. It was also my first time kayaking & canoeing and it was really fun. It’s always good to try new things. The last night of camping at around 1:35am our tent almost fell on us. It was raining too so four of us had to fix it. I went to go wake up the two leaders to go help so they did, and when we were done someone saw a frog that was almost going in the tent & she freaked out. She was like “omg omg the frog might go in!” while jumping hahahha! I thought she was going to faint or fall but she didn’t hahahha! but at the end it was ok. Bec the Executive Director had the NYA Nexters over for dinner and I loved it. It was sooo good, especially the desserts. When we were done we got to talk around with everyone. Summer is going well so far and I love it so much. We’re surrounded by good people and we support each other. Carpentry is going well too. I like learning new things and I finished constructing my picture frame. We learned how & what to use for the wood. Thank you for your time for reading this haha 🙂

September 27th, 2016

Napassi gives an update on her carpentry course


Napassi participates in a group activity on a sunny day at NYA’s Orientation Camp

Carpentry is now my favourite thing to do. I am thankful for Northern Youth Abroad staff for giving me this opportunity. I never thought I would like/love carpentry. I learned how to use tools but I still need to learn more about chiseling. I learned how to build a dog house and a picture frame. I cannot wait to attend carpentry classes next year. I also know where to go if I ever need help with anything. I learned how much it would cost to go to school here. $5200. I really enjoyed going to carpentry classes, although there were frustrations here and there but I still loved it. The most challenging thing I did was the picture frame, even built my frame crooked. I chose this program because I love the wood working. I will recommend this field work to the high school in Arctic bay. I found this carpentry because NYA introduced me to it.

September 27th, 2016

Robert talks about NYA Next


Robert (left) demonstrates Inuit Games with fellow Participant James during a presentation at Algonquin College. (Photo Credit: Thorsten Gohl)

Hi my name is Robert Isluanik, I’m from Arviat, NU.

During Orientation I met a lot of participants from other communities in Nunavut and Northwest Territories. We went to go see the Ottawa Champions baseball game which was fun to do again this year. That took place during our orientation week at Macksimming. We did fun activities at orientation like nature walk, team building activities, Let’s Talk Science, and jeopardy.

We ate our last orientation dinner at Boston Pizza, I had some delicious pizza there. After orientation camp, we moved into Algonquin residence. I like my roommate James a lot because we mostly speak Inuktitut to each other because I don’t usually speak a lot of English.

Soon after we moved in we started our construction trades class. We have built picture frames and animal housing structures. I’m really enjoying construction class because I really want to become a carpenter. I’m on a team with Chris and Justina building our house. My favourite tool to use is the table saw. Few days later, after we settled here in Algonquin, we went to camping at Fitzroy provincial park, we were having so much fun there, we went to beach, played some sports, talked about ghost stories. We had a great weekend there.

My favourite part of the program right now was going to the movie theatres and carpentry class. In the theatre we saw the Purge movie. It was a little bit scary but I was okay sleeping at night still. This program is fun because I get to see my Arviat friends and my uncle and my host parents from my Canadian Phase last year too at Parliament Hill.

September 8th, 2016

Olaf explores his future through his Personal Learning Project


(Photo Credit: Thorsten Gohl)

My Personal Learning Project was at the Algonquin College, learning about the General Pre-Trades program. I worked with John, he works at Algonquin, he’s the guy to talk to when you need any sort of help. I found this organization through NYA. I chose this Personal Learning Project because, well I’m really interested in Carpentry and also into Welding or Electrician, I’m just not very sure if I want to get into those courses so I chose general pre-trades for that reason. It will give me a little taste of all those courses and also they’re all hands on work which I really like to do, I love keeping my hands busy. After taking the that course I think I’ll choose the one that I feel more comfortable with and more happy with. What I did during the Personal Learning Project with John, was he was giving me a tour around the campus and also taking a look at the classes I might be taking, and talking about when I should apply for the course and also talking about where it would be best for me to get an apartment and yeah just mostly talking about general pre-trades. What I have learned through this Personal Learning Project is how to apply for college and where to apply and also getting to know what I’m getting into if I’m applying. Getting to know the campus more, knowing who to talk to talk to when I need it, and that they can give me support if I feel like I might drop out or fail a class. I would definitely recommend this to others, I think it’s a great course and also a great school, they have all the help you need, for example if you have financial problems, home sickness or if you drop out or fail your course/class they’re there if you need help, just don’t be scared to ask. This is what I’m looking forward to doing next fall.

I will be attending Nunavut Sivuniksavut this fall. After I finish NS I want to apply to Algonquin and go for general pre-trades. Yeah that’s about it for my personal learning project, hopefully you guys enjoyed it.

September 8th, 2016

Topsy shares her NYA Next Personal Learning Project


Topsy presents a skit to NYA Canadian Program Participants with fellow NYA Nexter Chris while at NYA’s Orientation Camp in Ottawa. (Photo Credit: Thorsten Gohl)

To explore my options I met up with our Participant Achievement Coach Jeff during my construction class. We talked about how I am interested in language learning and the arts. I could not decide if I wanted a language class or something to do with art. There were too many good options. Jeff started to make arrangements soon after the meeting to make my personal learning project happen. Since I was interested in languages, it helped that another participant was as well; so I chose to learn Italian with her.

Later, I was told I was set up with two Italian speaking people, Lisa and Jennifer. We sat at a library and they brought over some Italian text books. They taught us some introductions in Italian, such as “io sono…” “ ciao, come stai” “sto bene, grazie” and much more and we took notes. They also travelled a lot, which I am interested too. They mentioned where they’ve been to South east Asia and to a lot of places in Italy. They gave us travelling tips about Italy and Asia and what to be prepared for.

I encourage learning languages, especially your native language, to everyone because it can take you anywhere and it is very beneficial health wise and just fun in general.

September 6th, 2016

Lori-Ann’s great summer memories

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Loriann (middle-left) with her host family – Dad Brandon, Mom Cheryl and Host Buddy Chance.

Hi, my name is Lori-Ann Parr! I was placed in St. Catharines, Ontario and my work placement was at the YMCA Day Camp. I worked with lots of kids and learned many new things this summer. My host mom’s name was Cheryl and my host dad’s name was Brandon. They had 2 kids, 2 dogs, and 3 cats. My host buddy Chance and I really enjoyed staying with them in St. Catharines and did lots of activities together. We went to Marine Land and I was so scared to go on the sky screamer, but my host buddy and my host sister really encouraged me to go on it and I conquered my fears! Me and Chance also went to the beach many times and by the end of the summer I was super tan. I also cut my hair super short and I’m really excited to go back home and show my friends and family. However, although I’m going home very soon, I’ll really miss the kids at work and the other NYA participants. It’s been an amazing time and we’ve made such great memories this summer. I hope to see all of you again soon.

Peace out!

September 1st, 2016

Brandon Shares his NYA Experience in Ottawa


Brandon working on his assignments while at NYA’s Re-Orientation Camp in Ottawa. (Photo Credit: Thorsten Gohl)

My name is Brandon Okheena, and I’m 20 years old. I am from a community that goes by the name of Ulukhaktok, NT. Ulukhaktok, NT is a small community located on the west coast of Victoria Island. The population of the community is around 400 or more people. When I applied for the Northern Youth Abroad program, I was excited. When I got the acceptance letter, I was even more excited. As the time came closer, I started to get nervous and anxious, and that’s when the anxiety kicked in. When I got to the Camp, I started to meet a lot of people, and that is when I thought to myself, “there’s nothing to worry about”. I was still bit nervous, but not as much as before.

I was placed in Ottawa, ON. My volunteer work placement was at the Wabano Centre For Aboriginal Health. I had three main jobs at my work placement: Senior Support program, Student Summer Camp Support program and Kitchen Support program. There was also a few other things that I had done: Maintenance, Special Events, Cultural Nights and Community Kitchen. In the Senior Support program, my responsibilities were: serving the seniors, holding activities for them and assisting them with anything they needed. Working with the Seniors was a great experience; they were all very welcoming and respectful. It wasn’t even two minutes after I met them, and they were already cracking jokes, and trying to scare me out of the building. Working with the Student Summer Camp Support program was another good experience. The Student Summer Camp Support program was similar to the Senior program, except we did a lot more physical activities. They were all eager to learn and try new things. The Students didn’t have filters on them; they said everything that was on their minds. Sometimes the things they said were hilarious, random and weird. Overall, I loved working with them, they never failed to make me laugh. In the Kitchen Support Program, I would help cook and prepare the meals for the Seniors and the Students. Working in the kitchen was a good experience; it has taught me how to be more cautious while working around a stove top, oven and food.

I lived with my host family and my host buddy. My host parents’ names are Rika and Lynette, and my host buddy’s name is Elliot. Their house has four rooms and a huge basement. I lived in the basement, and Elliot, Rika and Lynette all lived on the main floor. The basement didn’t really look like a basement, because it has a couch, a rug, one room and a washroom. They also have a piano and weight lifting equipment in the basement. I like everything about their house, it’s very nice. My favourite thing about their house, is the wooden ladder that they had set up in the living room. They use it as a shelf for books and other display items, and I think that is looks really nice. RIka was involved in many things: Cross-Fit, MMA, Brazilian Ju Jitsu and also went to the Gym. Lynette was also very active, she was involved in a baseball league here in Ottawa. She was also a model, and she participated in competitions. She attended a competition in Vegas, and won second place. They have two pets, a dog and a cat. The dog’s name is Lyla, and she’s a bull dog. She snores very loud, so loud that I can hear her through floor that separates the main floor and the basement. But she is one of the cutest dogs that I know of. The cats name is Karma, and she is a grey cat. Almost every morning, when I wake up, she would come to my room and lay down on top of me.

Over the summer, I got to see and experience so many new things. I taught myself how to skate board within a couple of hours. I did fall many times, but it was all worth it. Instead of taking the bus to work, I would skate board to work almost everyday. I taught myself how to play the piano, and the first song that I learned was Hello, by Adele. I went to the Weight Gym three times a week. I joined a baseball league, thanks to Lynette. I went to Montreal with Rika and Elliot for a day trip; we went to a place called Old Port. While in Montreal, I convinced Rika to go hover boarding with me, and this is what I said to her, “I won’t do it, unless you do it with me”. I spent a majority of the time at the malls this summer, because back home, we don’t have any major shopping stores. I also spent a lot of time in downtown Ottawa this summer, skateboarding and exploring the city. That was probably one of my favourite things to do through out the whole summer.

Northern Youth Abroad has allowed me to learn and experience so many new things; it has taught me a lot about myself. I’ve got to meet and bond with people from different cultures, communities, territories, provinces and countries. When the program came to an end, everybody was sad to be leaving each other. The NYA staff did an astonishing  job with organizing the program.

August 29th, 2016

Kathleen’s summer in Wolfville, NS


Kathleen shows off her puzzle piece for NYA’s collaborative project at Re-Orientation Camp in Ottawa. (Photo Credit: Thorsten Gohl)

Hi my name is Kathleen Akikuluk and I’m from Arctic Bay Nunavut. I was placed in Nova Scotia to work at Wolfville Children Centre to work here for the summer to gain work experience. I was happy about where I’m going to work here at Children Centre and I enjoyed working with children. The people here are so kind and supportive and now I have more knowledge how to work with children. My host mother’s name is Sheila Richardson. She is a caring person. She also is enjoying us staying here with her for the summer. We went to shopping many times, went to the beach, and also to the theatres to see Finding Dory, Tarzan, Mike and Dave, Ghost Buster’s, Bad Mom’s, and Central intelligence. Also Sheila is a good host mother and I will miss her. I’m glad I was chosen to be with her for the summer.

Down south is very different than where I live. The population is very high but where I live the population is low, and the prices are very low here but where I live the prices are so high, for example 1 can of pop cost 6$! But the prices will go back to normal once the sealift comes and delivers a new shipment of supplies for the year. The weather here in Wolfville is so warm which bothers me sometimes, but sometimes I like the warm weather. There are so many different things between my community and in the south, I will name few of the differences. In my community we have two stores, no daycare, one school and a college, we have a gym and community hall where people can do sports and dances but both are closed during the summertime in my community. I enjoyed staying in Wolfville over summer with my placement buddy and host mother. We went to the Evangeline Beach look off where you can see everything up there, and we went to Halifax for shopping. And I like where I was working for the summer at Wolfville Children centre and I hope to be better now when I get my next job somewhere.

August 25th, 2016

Joan’s reflections on a summer of growth


Joan awaits the beginning of a campus tour at Algonquin College as part of NYA’s Re-Orientation Camp activities. (Photo Credit: Thorsten Gohl)

Hello, my name is Joan Lafferty and I come from a community called Behchoko, Northwest territories. It is located near Yellowknife. I was placed in Kitchener, Ontario this summer and it was quite an exquisite and beautiful city to be in for 5 weeks. I learned a lot about the people there and the city itself. My work placement was called Queen Street Commons Café, located downtown. Commons Café is basically involved with the ‘Working Centre’ which is quite popular in Canada. Not only that, I learned how to make lattes and smoothies, but I also learned hospitality, to speak kindly and show love to people who came in the café regularly. In return, I have seen kindness shown throughout the community. Don’t get me wrong, It was a physical job for anybody to do, you’d have to be on your feet all the time but it was for a good cause. I also had the opportunity to work in the kitchen, which makes the food for the café and I have also worked in a second-hand store called the “Green Door” labelling prices and talking to people if they’ve had a bad day or not, which was really fun. There was always new volunteers everyday from Kitchener, either working on their hours or just volunteering to get to know the community better. Being involved around new people and meeting different people constantly everyday reminds me of how lucky I was as a person to be placed in Kitchener, especially to work in the working centre. I loved it, I made beautiful friendships with my co-workers that I shall never forget.

Although, despite my positive-ness, I had my days where I felt like giving up and going home due to homesickness and my struggles. But I’m proud to say that I am proud of myself and the other participants who stuck through this 5 week journey. I plan to come back to Kitchener one day and reunite with the friends I made.

Overall, besides talking about my work placement that I enjoyed, I have been to Toronto for a blue jays game with my host buddy, Jayme. I have been to Niagara falls with my host family and went on the ‘Maid of the Mist’ (my hair got soaked afterwards) and also to Wonderland in Toronto. My fear was heights because I am 5’2 but I’m proud to say I am not scared of heights anymore. Other than that, I have been camping every weekend with my host family at a trailer site and we’ve been to places near by such as Stratford which was really exciting for me (because Justin Bieber is from there).

By being a participant of northern youth abroad, I had the chance to build healthy relationships with people surrounding me and improve myself as a person. Through this, I felt happy and supported. I feel like if the youth in the North applied for this program and had the privilege to do something extaordinary like being a participant, it would set their goals in better order as it did for me. Every individual has goals and their own certain paths of life and it takes the right choices to get there. I feel like I have gone through changes in the past 7 weeks but I can’t put it through words so I apologize.

August 25th, 2016

Megan’s summer from Arctic to Maritime


Megan displays her contribution to the group puzzle activity at NYA’s Re-Orientation Camp in Ottawa. (Photo Credit: Thorsten Gohl)

Hello, my name is Megan Maliki. I live in Hall-Beach, Nu. I was placed in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. My work placement is at Joes Food Emporium, people there are kind, the foods good. I like the program because I get to travel outside of Nunavut, gain work experience, meet new people, and get high school credits. It was kinda hard to deal being far from home but I made it through. At beginning of the week I really wanted to go home because I miss my friends and relatives, and I still went this far. When I finally met some people my homesickness got away. My host mother is Sheila Richardson, she lives alone but Kathleen and I were with her for the summer. We enjoy staying with her. She took us shopping, to beach and to Upper Clements Park, where Kathleen and I went on a roller coaster, Rocco planes, and pedal boats, which was fun. We also went to the theatres and saw “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” “Finding Dory” “Bad Moms” “Tarzan” “Ghost Busters” “Lights Out” and “Purge”.