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We remember well the first time we saw Eric, at just over two years old, when Social Services brought him to our home in Cambridge Bay. He was wearing only polo pyjamas and a frightened countenance, which soon gave way to his irrepressible, unforgettable smile. As a little boy, that smile seemed almost bigger than his body, but he grew into it beautifully as he matured.

On Lago Maggiore, Italy, 2005

Eric bore the pain of his ancestors who lived in the decades before him. He carried this burden through his own life in the form of difficulties that were not of his own making. Eric is representative of many Inuit children in Canada who have suffered as a result of what the dominant society historically inflicted upon First Nations and Inuit, and the collective failure even in the 21st century to understand, acknowledge, and accommodate. We hope to do something about this – one child at a time.

Through the Ayalik Fund, we help Inuit children and youth who face the challenges of growing up in difficult circumstances, by providing some of them with experiences we believe benefited our dearest Eric. We lost our beautiful son, but we invite you to join us in helping other Inuit youth follow in his footsteps toward success.

We have been familiar with Tides Canada (now MakeWay) and its very worthwhile social and environmental work in the North for several years, and we are pleased to have this opportunity to add a new element to those efforts, as a way of honouring the memory of our beloved son Eric.

The initial donation came from Eric himself: his savings of about $5000 were used to open the fund. The Fund's value has continued to grow steadily through the generosity of many donors. People from across Canada and around the world have stepped forward to support this effort to help Inuit youth. The intention is for the Ayalik Fund to provide grants for many years (even decades) into the future. This is a long-term project.

It has grown well beyond memorializing Eric, although of course for us, this will always be his legacy and his wish come true. His spirit lives on.

Please join us.

We will never be the same