Blog

July 19th, 2019

Nathan in Ottawa

Hey, my name is Nathan Maniapik, I’m 17 and I’m from Pangnirtung, Nunavut. My buddy’s name is Lutie Kaviok and we’re placed in Ottawa with two other participants. I am one of many participants from the 2019 Northern Youth Abroad (NYA) group.

I’m on the Canadian Program and my work placement is at a day camp called ‘Winners Day Camp’. I’ve met pretty awesome people there and I love working there. My host parent and her family are great to be around! They’ve welcomed me so much, I’ve tried lots of new foods because of them. The best one yet right now I would say is the ghost pepper. Yeah, it was pretty hot obviously. My host mom has planned so much for us and I’m so excited to do activities with her and my buddy Lutie Kaviok. So far, I’ve been to Montreal and we’re planning to go to Toronto next week from now. Hopefully, I will go to Canada’s Wonderland and Niagara Falls. I’ve noticed that the weather is different in the North and South. It’s way hotter here in Ottawa than it is back home in Pang.

There was one day my host family and I went to their cottage. It was beautiful there. We went canoeing and swimming. We ate dinner at the cottage with my host mom’s brother and her nephew. It was pretty awesome. I’ll be back home in a couple of weeks and I’ve met the most amazing people here with NYA. The staff of NYA, the participants and I became a family in just under a week, and I truly love all of them. People in my placement area became one of my family too.

If you want to join or participate in NYA, I strongly suggest that you do. You’ll find the best people in your life, you’ll find a family and an adventure. And yeah it can be hard sometimes with homesickness with friends and family, but the staff and participants will be there for you like nobody else, so stick with your friends and family (NYA family and actual family) because life can be beautiful. You CAN do it!!

July 19th, 2019

Sharon’s first few weeks with NYA Next

Hello my name is Sharon Martin and I am from Behchoko, NWT. I am a participant of NYA Next of 2019. In this program, I get to live on-campus residence and take one course to experience how college really is so I can get ready to go to college on my own.

During my summer, I have to volunteer at The Ottawa Mission. I helped volunteer with picking up garbage off the ground. Also, we nexters have to do a presentation as a group to kids at a camp. We had to introduce ourselves one by one and tell them where we’ll all from. Then we told them about the wildlife, clothing, food, lifestyles and traditional games. I personally liked when we showed them the traditional clothing and games. They wanted to see the clothing more and wanted more time to play the games.

I hope to get out of this is more confidence to speak, plan more ahead and get involved in talking more.

This is Sharon and I want to say Masi Cho for taking the time to reading my blog.

July 19th, 2019

Enoosie’s fun time in Alma, New Brunswick

My name is Enoosie Allen and I am from Kimmirut, Nunavut. And I am a participant in the 2019 Northern Youth Abroad program. Thank you to everyone who supported and fundraised with and for NYA.

My placement buddy is Tonya Kenalogak and our host community is in Alma, New Brunswick. The community is so small, but the landscape is beautiful. There are lots of fun things to do in Alma such as hiking, kayaking, swimming, canoeing and a lot of other fun activities going on in and around the community. Alma is known for having one of the highest tides in the world. Alma is also the place where Molly Kool was born and raised, Molly Kool is known for being the first female sea captain in North America.

This summer I have volunteered to be working with the Fundy Guild National Park, working in the gift shop and sometimes planning and helping with different activities. I will also be doing different arts and crafts at The Devil’s Loft with two local artists in the community.

I enjoy spending time cooking, hiking and having camp fires with my host family Ryan, Becky, Oliver, Anita and Rosie. They are such a busy family, but still make time to play board games, take us out to the cafe, drive us out to Sussex or st.John to do some major shopping, and driving us to sports, stores, restaurants etc… I am loving this experience so far, it is opening my eyes for possibilities in the future.

And I am so thankful for the NYA staff, you’ve helped me become a better version of myself. Thank you!

July 19th, 2019

Alvin’s time in Ottawa with NYA Next

I am from Gjoa Haven Nunavut name is Alvin Oogak. The first week of Northern Youth Abroad Next went really great.


I had missed the camp at the MacSkimming outdoor education centre where we all get together as a group, and then a week later we get to our residence at the Algonquin College. The second few weeks we went to places like the beach, also the Ottawa Mission. We volunteered there to help out the homeless which was a great thing to do for them. And getting to experience Ottawa is fun for me. I think I would come here for school in the next 2 years to get my early childhood educator and I want to help out all students in my region and tell them about this program which is really great to find ourselves in the future.


I want to thank the Northern Youth Abroad for helping me out with this future, this is a life-changing experience. I wouldn’t have found myself today without it, it is really helpful. And I am excited to travel to Montreal very soon cannot wait to check it out and go for the explorer the place with my teammates it’ll be amazing memories.

July 18th, 2019

Xavier in Costa Rica

On Tuesday July 9th we travelled all day from Santa Ana to Cirenas. We travelled by bus, ferry and 4-wheel vehicle to remote location of Puntarenas. When we got here to Cirenas we meet a group of youth from Seattle, Washington and the Cirenas staff/volunteer.

At Cirenas we got to learn about sustainable living through hands on learning. The Grew family created Cirenas to transformative connections between people and the environment.

Cirenas is a very beautiful place because of the plants and the people. The plants are huge and very green, the palm tree is like 50 feet tall and they are a lot of fruits growing in the property. My favorite fruit so far is pineapple because it tastes a lot fresher than the ones back home. There is a very beautiful long beach that is not far from where we stayed.

We have been volunteering here in Cirenas. So far, we have learned about the perma-culture. We built a compost heap, fed the chicken, fed fish, watered greenhouse, watered trees, and planted rice. Every evening they do a turtle patrol where they go to beach and look for turtles that are laying eggs. We went to the turtle hatchery and planted ten trees. On our last day we went horseback riding, so that was a good ending of our week. After the two hours of hard work planting trees we went in the water because we were all sweaty. I got in the ocean and I decided to dive in to the wave and forgot to hold my glasses. When I went to the surface one thing was missing and it was my glasses. We spent time looking for them but didn’t find them. The dive was still worth it!

July 18th, 2019

Owen shares his time with Next

Hello, my name is Owen Wellin I am apart of the Next program. I also did the Canadian phase last year after I did a program called Outward Bound which took place in New Brunswick. It was awesome because we got to kayak and hike all along the beautiful seas and new forest that I have never seen before, so that made me feel amazing because we were surrounded by mother nature and some good people at the same time. It was a long trip with but worth it in the end because I’ve met some new friends on the program which was a pretty awesome experience for me to see new places and see new people.


Now I’m in Ottawa ,ON for NYA 2019 to get a chance to get out of my community where a lot of people suffer from alcohol and drug abuse which isn’t healthy and fair for others trying to make a change in my community.
And its been wonderful visiting Southern Canada for the second time. The Staff and Facilitators are really nice to all of the participants and they support us. They show us some really cool places and other amazing things like huge structures and a lot of stores and beautiful places like the beach and the mall I’m really enjoying my time with NYA 2019 Participants and staff/Facilitators.


NYA took us to the Ottawa Mission where I got to make candy bags to provide to homeless people who needed our support. I really hope everyone that joins NYA next year has the time of their lives!


Because it’s a unique opportunity for everyone across Canada to see new places, meet new people and learn new things and gain valuable knowledge that you can take with you in your future.


But the most important part of the program is to have fun!

July 18th, 2019

Alexandria and her time in Glencoe, Ontario

My name is Alexandria Banksland, I’m 17 years old and I live in Ulukhaktok N.T. I am participating in the 2019 Northern Youth Abroad (NYA) Canadian program! A BIG thank you to everyone that helped support NYA and me coming on this program, especially on short notice.


July 16! Already a few weeks since I left home. Aside from the hours and hours of travelling and the bumps along the road we made it to our more permanent summer placement about a week ago and it has been great. I have been placed in Glencoe, Ontario with an amazing host family and two of their Spain students for the summer! I have seen a lot and met a lot of new people, more than I can name. I’m currently working at my host family’s ranch, our drive every morning is around twenty minutes. Some of the things we do down at the ranch is taking care of the ducks, painting fences and putting them up for the horses, moving things around and overall getting setting it up so it is ready to use for the summer and equine therapy! 


I’ve also been running around doing community visits with my host mom, Jennifer. She has been teaching me more about her job as a mental health support worker, which is great because I’ve been looking into counselling and many other therapy options for a future career. 


Since we’ve been on the road my buddy and I have tried a lot of new things and been to new places. Since we reached Glencoe we have walked around town and got to know the community. We are very excited about what’s planned our host family is always on the run during the day, especially at the weekends. I’m looking forward to finishing my first week at work! 
My host family I am staying with over the summer are fun to be around because they always have something to talk about and can answer any question, they’re very welcoming and understanding. 


Being a participant for NYA has been great so far, this program has helped me realize what life is like outside of the NT and also with all the assignments It has help me with time management. It is very EXCITING showing/teaching other people about my culture and learning about theirs. 

July 17th, 2019

Ethan and his time in Ottawa with NYA Next

Aye my name is Ethan Tutcho, I am 17 years old, graduated from school, here for the next program, and I am from Norman Wells NWT. My experience here was a good time, first, we started at the orientation at McSkimming area meeting all the other participants and getting prepared for the summer and it was a great time. Meeting new friends, having new assignments (which is pretty boring for me) and doing the activities. We did it for a whole week.

When the Canadian participants left to their placements we and the International stayed behind and cleaned up for the participants and got prepared for the summer on Thursday afternoon, later that night we had dinner at Boston Pizza with the international group since it will be our last dinner with them. On Friday we arrived here at Algonquin college where we would stay for the summer, we got settled in, but we said our last goodbyes to the international group before they left to Costa Rica.

We had the weekend to talk about what we are going to do for the summer, then on Tuesday we started our first class of construction, ain’t gonna lie I like our teacher for the construction class. We started out making picture frames, it was pretty fun building stuff which made me realize that I really like construction, so I had a great time being in the class. Now we are about to start working on our mini picnic tables that we get to bring home and I am planning to put it at the local park in Norman Wells for the youth.

We did some presentation of our NWT and Nunavut’s culture to the kids and showed them and the staff some of the traditional games, they had a great time playing the games. During the weekend of July 13, we went to downtown Ottawa walked around to get the taste of the city, to prepare ourselves for the city when we go on our own, we killed it, later on we went to the movies to watch either Annabel returns home or toy story 4 and then I chose toy story 4. It was a great movie.

On Sunday, July 14 we were able to go on our own to the city to check it out, me and Owen went to check out the mall, then we wanted to check a little store we wanted to see the day before, and the clothing was nice, but the gold chains and watches were fake.

My summary of my experience in Ottawa, I am having a great time being here and I am thankful that I took this opportunity to go on this trip, and I am excited of what comes next later on in the summer.

July 17th, 2019

Aranxa shares what she has been doing in Stittsville so far

My name is Aranxa Tunguaq and I am from Baker Lake, Nunavut and I am a participant in the 2019 Northern Youth Abroad (NYA) Canadian Program. Without your support, my experiences with NYA wouldn’t be possible.

My host community is located here in Stittsville (Ottawa), Ontario. The things I know that we can do here is to go shopping at any store, go to the theatres, which is called Landmarks, also go to the beach that’s not far from where I am staying and other stuff we can do.

This summer I am volunteering at Altitude Gym, the things we do are rock climbing, play any group activities, go to the park and other stuff. My rules at work are to be on time, watch the kids, play with the kids, be careful rock-climbing and many more rules.

I really love my host family I am staying with this summer. The people are Loukisha who is the mother, and Pierson and Pierra who are Loukisha’s children. They were welcoming when we got to the house and they’re chill.

Being a participant for NYA is awesome and a lot of fun, we get to meet new friends who are family to me already. Also, we get to stay out of our home communities over the summer and get job experiences.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Sincerely Aranxa Tunguaq

July 15th, 2019

Alikammiaraq shares about her time so far with NYA Next

The Northern Youth Abroad Program was first introduced to me when I was about 16/18. I did my Canadian Phase last year (2018). I was placed in Ottawa and I volunteered at the Wabano Center and lived with a host family for about six weeks – and when I applied for the NYA Next Phase I thought it would be the same as the Canadian Phase, though it is not; it’s completely different. Being part of the NYA Next Phase, it really grows you as an individual.

My experience here in Ottawa with NYA Next has been amazing so far. When in construction class it’s really important to follow the rules, especially punctuality. Life on campus is fun, all of your favourite shops (Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Pizza Pizza…) are only 5-15 minutes away. Living at the residence, you have to rely on yourself. On the other hand, there’s a lot of fun/amazing stuff to do in your free time such as going to the gym, playing pool, going to the courtyard to play volleyball/ basketball, and watching movies in the theatre room, except you have to book some of the rooms in advance.

The type of volunteer work we did was at the Ottawa Mission – some of us stored candies in bags and attached sheets of hopeful messages, while some of us helped clean up outside the Mission building – their goal is to help homeless men get housing and jobs. The maximum time men can stay there are 30 days. Just recently we did a presentation about what it’s like living up North, what NYA does etc.

My experience, in general, has been wonderful! Life-changing experience – I recommend all of the youth all over NU and NWT ages 15-20 apply for this program! The Staff, facilitators and everyone you meet are such great and supportive people.

Thank you for reading my blog.