A- A A+
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.

Watch a short slide show below about his first big canoe trip, narrated by Eric himself.
Watch a slide-show of Eric's life.

"Lives Lived” article -The Globe & Mail

"Lives Lived” article in The Globe & Mail

9 June 2015 My wife and I will never forget meeting Eric for the first time – or how quickly we fell in love with the little boy and his remarkable smile. .. The Globe & Mail featured Eric in the “Lives Lived” column.


Click or tap on images below to enlarge and read captions

Eric Ayalik beside the Slave River, Fort Smith, NWT

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

Eric Ayalik  in Italy, 2005

On Lago Maggiore, Italy, 2005

Eric Ayalik, Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013

Eric Ayalik, canoe trip in the Arctic, 2000

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

Eric Ayalik on his first long canoe trip in the high Arctic

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

Eric Ayalik plays hockey

He shoots, he scores!

Eric Ayalik sailing in Newfoundland

Sailing along the Newfoundland coast, 2010

Eric Ayalik ice-fishing

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

Eric Ayalik, fall 2014

Autumn 2014

Eric Ayalik on tractor in Prince Edward County

On a farm in Prince Edward County, Ontario, 2008

Eric Ayalik November, 2014

At cousin Kyle's wedding, November 2014

Eric Ayalik and girlfriend, 2014

Indira and Eric, 2014