A- A A+
Eric Ayalik Okalitana Pelly, like so many Inuit children in Nunavut, was born into difficult circumstances. In a society with “a foot in two worlds” and parents often lacking sufficient resources, many Inuit children in Nunavut today are unable to achieve their potential. The Ayalik Fund aims to give Inuit youth a boost as they navigate modern adolescence in the challenging environment of the North. We believe that if youth are provided adequate support and guidance during these critical developmental years, a young person has a much greater likelihood of growing his or her self-esteem and confidence, learning how to set and achieve personal goals, and flourishing. This approach certainly worked for Eric.

Seemingly simple experiences can make such a big difference. Youth programs centred on self-examination and confidence building — such as on-the-land experiential programs, canoe trips, backpacking treks, sailing adventures, cultural immersions, special needs camps, international programs, and others — have an immeasurable positive impact. The Ayalik Fund was created to enable Inuit youth from Nunavut to benefit from such experiences, in order to help them find the maturity, confidence, and success that Eric achieved…..

Cambridge Bay, Nunavut
Eric's hometown, Cambridge Bay, Nunavut

The Fund is managed by MakeWay Foundation (formerly Tides Canada Foundation); all the usual protocols for charitable grants are followed. Laurie and David Pelly advise MakeWay Foundation on the grants to allow Inuit children and youth to participate in selected programs.

The Ayalik Fund has local liaison volunteers on the ground in several Nunavut communities, at present eleven and growing. With some guidance from the Ayalik Fund, these volunteers identify Inuit youth who fit the Ayalik Fund criteria: kids who are likely to benefit from the opportunity, and need the boost in self-confidence; kids who would otherwise not have such opportunities. For more detail, please see: Criteria for Grants. Every effort is made to match participants to suitable programs, allowing the individual youth to choose from the ever-expanding suite of available possibilities (see Youth Programs).

Each year, depending on funds and program options available, the Ayalik Fund grants approximately $100,000 toward participation of Inuit youth. This allows us to send 20 or more youths to a variety of programs. Administrative costs for the Ayalik Fund are subsidized; every dollar donated works directly to support Inuit youth, one child at a time. Laurie and David are happy to discuss financial details further with any donor – please contact us directly.

Stacks Image 126
Ayalik has established an informal partnership with the Leanne Children’s Foundation, with the hope that we can collaboratively:
  • Extend Leanne’s reach to include more Inuit children;
  • Expand Ayalik’s reach in the donor community;
  • Work together to provide additional opportunities for Inuit youth.