Hi, my name is Hayley Totalik and I’m from Taloyoak, Nunavut. This is my second year with Northern Youth Abroad. I completed the Canadian phase last year and I was placed in Truro, Nova Scotia. This year I’m taking the NEXT program along with 13 other participants from across Nunavut and The Northwest Territories. The NEXT program offers many great opportunities and our placement is for about 6 weeks. Currently we are staying at the Algonquin College and taking a construction trades class. We learned how to build picture frames and are now starting on dog houses. As simple as these projects sound, the picture frame was far more different than I thought, but I love the learning experience and getting comfortable with tools.
It’s been three weeks since I left home and I’ve gotten to do so many fun activities. For Nunavut day we took a bus to explore a little bit of downtown Ottawa and saw an Inuk artist perform. Last weekend we took a two day camping trip and I got to swim in a river for the first time. We also have sessions with “Let’s Talk Science” and learn cools things about different topics based on science. As a group we did a presentation to children between the ages of 5 to 13 where we talked about the northern life and its rich cultures; language, traditions, art, and climate.
In the next three weeks I’m looking forward to travelling to Montreal, seeing The Jerry Cans, and getting my first tattoo.
NYA has given me the opportunity to grow as a person in many ways I wouldn’t have imagined, including building my confidence, independence and self-motivation. Thanks to the staff and my mentor Lauren McFAdden for helping me get to where I am. Quyannamiik.