Canku Ota

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


May 19, 2001 - Issue 36



Arctic Bay Teen Tours Canada in Youth Corps


 by Jane George Nunatsiaq News

IQALUIT — The last seven months have led Kenny Allurut of Arctic Bay from one adventure to the next.

Allurut, 18, left Arctic Bay last October to join Katimavik, Canada’s youth service program.

"I wanted to travel and meet new people," Allurut said.

And that’s what he did.

Katimavik, which means "meeting place" in Inuktitut, is intended to help Canadian youth aged 17 to 21 experience different cultures and regions of Canada.

With Katimavik, Allurut spent two months each in British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec, living in communities and participating in volunteer work projects.

In B.C. he stayed in Keremeos on a First Nations reserve. In Alberta, Allurut worked at the recreational centre in Bonnyville, while in Quebec, he stayed in the typical Québécois community of St-Rafael.

"It was great — I met lots of friendly people," Allurut said.

Along the way, Allurut was able to tell those he met about Nunavut, and answer questions about the North, the most common one being, "Is it cold?" He also carried a map to show the curious where Arctic Bay is located.

He taught the nine other members of his Katimavik group — with whom he spent the entire seven-month period — a few words of Inuktitut, too.

The group of five young women and five young men came from Québec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan.

In each of the places he visited, Allurut picked up souvenirs, like a feather from new First Nations friends and several autographed T-shirts.

A First Nations pow-wow he attended in B.C., which was full of dancing and singing, remains his most powerful memory.

Caught up in his travels, Allurut said he had no time to be homesick.

"I sometimes forgot to call home," he confessed.

During his months with Katimavik, Allurut received room and board, free-of-charge, as well as $3 a day. All youths who complete the entire seven months receive an additional $1,000.

Allurut returned home May 2.

Since Katimavik was founded in 1977, more than 20,500 Canadians have participated in the program.

For more information on how to apply, consult Katimavik’s website at



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