Eric Ayalik Okalitana Pelly


Eric was born in 1995. His hometown was Cambridge Bay in Nunavut. Eric had a difficult road early in life. As a toddler, he was fostered to Laurie and David Pelly, who were living in Cambridge Bay at the time, and was ultimately adopted by them. When Eric was 6½, the Pellys moved to Ottawa, although they continued to visit Nunavut. Eric kept in touch with his birth family and his roots. Eric faced challenges growing up, but his maturity, self-esteem and confidence were enhanced greatly by the sort of youth programs Ayalik Fund grantees will experience.

By 2014, Eric had graduated from high school and begun his first full-time job as a surveyor’s assistant, with a promising future ahead. He had become a fine young man. Tragically, at 19½ years old, Eric died unexpectedly, at home while asleep, of sudden cardiac arrhythmia.

To visit Eric's online memorial, click here.

To watch a slide-show of his life, click here.

Eric beside the Slave River, Fort Smith, NWT, at the end of day of whitewater kayaking, 2011

On Lago Maggiore, Italy, 2005

Christmas 2013

His first trout, during a three-week canoe trip in the Arctic, 2000

Eric, age five, on his first long canoe trip in the high Arctic

He shoots, he scores!

Sailing along the Newfoundland coast, 2010

Eric ice-fishing at Iqaluktutiak, near Cambridge Bay, spring 1998

Autumn 2014

On a farm in Prince Edward County, Ontario, 2008

At cousin Kyle's wedding, November 2014

Indira and Eric, 2014