Youth ambassadors bring Nunavut stories to Red Deer

By Jordan Bay
February 28, 2019 - 1:40pm

While many are focused on the competitions taking place at the 2019 Canada Winter Games, there is a group of unique volunteers here sharing stories about their homeland.

Nine members of the Nunavut Ambassador Program are in Red Deer as accredited volunteers and have been teaching people about some of the traditions of Nunavut.

Because Nunavut has a smaller congregation of athletes they were able to have these volunteers come down and experience the Games.

Members of the Nunavut Ambassador Program gathered at Bethany Collegeside Thursday morning to spend some time with some local seniors.



Katrina Anderson, one of the ambassadors, says the whole experience in our city has been amazing.

“I think it’s always fun to teach people because we can learn as much from the south, and you guys can learn from us,” she said. “I think it’s fun to close the gap, because it’s so hard to get down here, so when we’re down here it’s fun to have a platform and talk.”

Lynda Williams, a senior living at Bethany Collegeside, says she was blown away by the ambassadors’ presentation.

“I enjoyed hearing about the kids and their style of life, and to see that their just normal teenagers is really neat, and they did really well. I thought they spoke really well and gave us great information about up there.

“I’ve never talked to anybody from way up North so it was really interesting.”

Anderson comes from Rankin Inlet, which is only accessible by plane or snowmobile.

Alison Griffin, Manager of the Youth Ambassador Program, says it’s not easy for them to get to Red Deer, and they’re taking full advantage.

“We’ve done a lot of amazing things aside from volunteering,” she noted. “They presented to the students (at a local school), they showed some throat singing, some Inuit games, talked about the communities.

“I’m just so proud of them, watching them develop over the last eight months and I find their confidence grows every time that they try new things, meet new people, even just simple things like taking the bus around Red Deer. So we’ve taught them all how to take the bus to get to their shifts, and that’s not something they can do in Nunavut where there’s no public transportation.”

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