Cross Country Checkup·checkup

How do we provide a future for young people in the North?

The Checkup team headed North! We broadcasted live from the Anglican Parish Hall in Iqaluit with guest host Duncan McCue. It was all about how we can empower Northern youth, strategies for Northerners, and what role the South can play to help provide a future for young people in the North.
People walk along a path in Iqaluit, Nunavut on Tuesday, December 9, 2014. A long-running study concludes that the well-being of northerners in Canada's Arctic compares poorly with those in many other Arctic regions around the world. (The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick)
Checkup guest host, Duncan McCue. (CBC)
Checkup was in Iqaluit on Sunday for a live broadcast of our program. On special occasions we take to the road to get a closer look at an issue that affects a specific part of the country. This show will look at the challenges faced by young people in the North, and we'll hear from some of those voices directly.

The future of Nunavut lies in the territory's youth. More than half of the population is under the age of 30. Many leave for the south to find education and jobs, and some never come back. How can we help the young acquire the skills to power an economy that will sustain their communities in the North?

Our question: "How do we provide a future for young people in the North?"

With guest host Duncan McCue, live from the Anglican Parish Hall in Iqaluit.

In Iqaluit, we welcomed a live audience to share their perspectives on the radio. We also had our team taking calls from across the country.

Nunavut is a young place, created with great hope for the future and a sense of destiny almost 17 years ago.

It's a place with lots of youth--the youngest population anywhere in Canada--with more than half the population under the age of 30.

It's a place of optimism and pride, but it is also a place of great challenges. It's isolated, cold, and nature has a way of reminding you who is boss around here. High school drop out rates are high. So are suicide rates.

Many who want a good education feel they have to go south. Some don't come back. Many who stay find it tough to strike out on their own due to the shortage of housing and job opportunities.

The dream of Nunavut was to offer better government and self-determination. But is the future for too many young people in the North dependence on government?

Young people everywhere challenge the traditions of their parents. But in the North, learning to live with--and from--the land and sea is a vital part of cultural identity. How do young people in the north today balance the teachings of Inuit elders with the need to earn a living in a modern economy?

We're going to hear today from young people living in the north, and folks in our live audience about what's working for youth and what's not. But we also want to hear from some of you listening in other parts of Canada. Does YOUR Canada include the north? What needs to happen to help the north grow a sustainable economy?

Our question today: "How do we provide a future for young people in the North?"


Monica Ell-Kanayuk
Deputy Premier Nunavut
​Twitter: @MonicaEll

Terry Audla
President & CEO of Nunavut Housing Corp. Former president, ITK (Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami), Canada's National Inuit Association
Twitter: @taudla

Jesse Unaapik Mike
She's worked with young people in Nunavut all her life. She is currently Director of Nunavut Stars Hockey Camp, a past President of the National Inuit Youth Council and a past President of the suicide prevention organization, Innusiq.


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