The Ayalik Fund

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 special needs camps, on-the-land experiential programs, cultural immersions, 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.

Devastated by the loss of their son, Laurie and David Pelly decided to honour his memory by establishing the Ayalik Fund at Tides Canada Foundation. 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. The Pellys expect that every penny of this and all future donations will be used to further the aims described above. The intention is for the Ayalik Fund to provide grants for many years (even decades) into the future. This is a long-term project.

The Fund will be managed by Tides Canada Foundation, and all the usual protocols for charitable grants will be followed. Laurie and David Pelly will advise in decisions regarding the granting of funds to Inuit children and youth in consultation with northern advisors and Tides Canada’s northern program staff.

Our Mandate

The Ayalik Fund gives Inuit youth who would otherwise not have such opportunities a chance
to build self-esteem and confidence through challenging outdoor adventure,
meeting other young Canadians, and social-cultural exploration.

Criteria for Grants

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