The Pulaarvik Kablu Friendship Centre (PKFC) is armed with a new board of directors and a youth representative following its annual general meeting in Rankin Inlet on Jan. 10.
The AGM had been previously postponed on Nov. 21 and Dec. 6.
The elected board of directors comprises Stanley Adjuk, Iqklu Killulark, Bobbie Saviakjuk, Delphine Shouldice, Samson Aliyak, Johnny Ayaruaq and Zallysha Sateana Tologanak.
Dora Simik Tatty is the centre’s new youth representative.
The organization’s mandate is to promote cross-cultural awareness through programs and special events, to develop short- and long-term programming and special projects in all seven Kivalliq communities, and to encourage community and individual self-reliance and responsibility.
The PKFC is the only friendship centre in Nunavut and, based on funding, offers a variety of programs that support different target groups/audience in communities.
Incorporated in 1979 and a member of the National Association of Friendship Centres, Pulaarvik programming serves the needs of the region in a way that showcases the history and culture of Rankin Inlet and surrounding communities.
Pela Sharp came on board as the PKFC ‘s executive director in May 2022.
Sharp said growing up in a small town, the territorial and municipal (hamlet) governments always provided employment for community members.
She said the PKFC is another organization that has always been around since she was a toddler.
“It inspired me to know that an Inuit organization created by Inuit in 1973 has provided Inuit-specific programming to its community members, and continues to grow each year to serve and support a bigger population,” said Sharp.
“I was with the Government of Nunavut’s Department of Health for more than 20 years in the Health and Wellness Division, and that experience with funding, contracts and health promotion has given me the opportunity to lead a non-profit organization that is guided and supported by a board of directors.
“The questions that came from the floor proves to me that the involvement from community members in PKFC programming makes a huge impact on all community members.
“Having questions from the floor tells me that people are involved with our programs. It would concern me if we didn’t have questions from the floor.”
Sharp said Tatty’s role as youth representative is to provide input, recommendations and information to the board of directors from a youth’s point of view.
She said Tatty will be the voice of youth in Kivalliq communities.
“In today’s society, youth are so involved in technology. We need to make a connection between our older population and our youth by having a youth representative on our board of directors.
“Youth need to remember they have a voice in our communities.”
PKFC recently launched its new men’s program. The centre has spousal abuse, preschool and prenatal and community counsellor (mental health) programming in all seven Kivalliq communities.
As well, Pulaarvik’s on-the-land addictions program will launch its first intake in the fall of 2023.
Sharp said PKFC programming essentially covers each target group to some degree, from prenatal to Elders, supporting all ages, genders and gender-specific programming.
She said all programming is offered in Inuktitut and English.
“We know delivering sessions in our official language is absolutely important.
“We also acknowledge that the younger generation is losing its language and offer programs in English, as well.
“But, we encourage Inuktitut as much as possible.”