My name is Pearlie Mae Howard and I am a 20 year old from a small town called Cambridge Bay, Nunavut with a population of 1,788 people. I am more than grateful to be accepted to the Northern Youth Abroad. Being a participant has taught me so many life lessons that I cannot wait to use very soon in my future. NYA has helped me gain leadership skills, they have helped me grow as a young adult all the way through to learning to travel on my own far away from my home community.
I was placed in Chilliwack, BC and I am a supervisor at the Chilliwack Central Elementary School Society with their Summer Fun Day Camp. My job is to look after children around the ages of 5-12 years old. I supervise the children with two very strong and inspiring women at the Day Camp. We plan and engage fun activities like arts and crafts, outdoor games and walks around the community from one park to another.
Chilliwack has a population of 87,000 people and what feels like hundreds of fun places to go; there are multiple water parks as well as lakes we can swim at and not only that but I’ve gone wake-boarding for the first time in my whole life, it was a great experience. There are multiple amusement parks that I’ve gone to, community libraries, skate and bike parks, recreational centres and tons of arts and culture museums. I’ve also gone through a food cycle where my host parents and I biked for 5 hours from farm to farm to learn a bit about what they do there and how they’re contributing all of it with the future. I also got to learn a bit whole bunch about this community; it is filled with bannock-loving Aboriginal people and during the summer breaks they hold pow-wows to show their community that their culture and people are still alive living among them. Archeological records date the presence of Aboriginal people in the area today known as Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley, to be approximately 10,000 years ago. At the time of first contact it is estimated that there may have been as many as 40,000 to 60,000 people living within Sto:lo territory. The Town of Chilliwack was incorporated in 1873, and is the third oldest municipality in British Columbia.
I have enjoyed my stay here and can see myself coming back here later in my future.