Children & Parents

IIlisaqsivik Society runs a variety of programs to help parents gain the skills and resources they need to facilitate healthy child development and deal with the challenges and stresses of parenthood.  Our programs for children help them gain skills in Inuktitut language, connect with elders in a positive way, learn Inuit cultural practices and traditional skills, and access healthy foods and develop healthy lifestyles.  We are always working to enhance our programs to meet the needs of parents and children identified by the community.  All of Ilisaqsivik’s children’s programming is overseen by our Children’s Programming Committee, and we also hire a Counselling Elder who works with our children’s programs to help kids develop strong bond with elders and to teach Inuktitut language and Inuit knowledge.  Currently, we offer the following programming:

Children’s Programming Committee – All of Ilisaqsivik’s children’s programming is overseen by a committee of parents, teachers, elders, and other community members.  The committee meets monthly and provides important guidance for Ilisaqsivik’s children’s program staff.

Piruqsiakkut (CAPC and CPNP)Through our Community Action Program for Children (CAPC) and Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program (CPNP), Ilisaqsivik serves healthy meals and snacks six evenings a week to women, infants and children from pregnancy through age six.  These programs emphasize knowledge needed to make healthy choices, from information about Fetal Alchohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) to diabetes to the health benefits of country food.  Participants learn in a fun, supportive environment where they do sewing and crafts.  Elders share stories and knowledge about traditional parenting and offer parenting advice.

PreschoolIlisaqsivik Society offers preschool five days a week with instructors who are trained early childhood educators and Ilisaqsivik Society’s Counselling Elder. Through cooperative play and interaction, the children develop fine motor skills and learn traditional crafts, songs and stories.  Children are taught in Inuktitut, and are introduced to numbers, syllabics, and the Roman alphabet.

Parents and TotsIlisaqsivik offers a Parents and Tots program five afternoons a week for parents and their infants and toddlers up to two years of age. The program is designed to strengthen the relationship between parent and child and promote the parent as the child’s first and most important teacher.

After School Program – Ilisaqsivik provides after school programming to more than 100 children from the community every afternoon.  The programming includes literacy in Inuktitut and English, crafts, having fun, and providing healthy snacks and basic nutrition and healthy lifestyle education.

Parent Support GroupConcurrently with preschool, Ilisaqsivik Society also offers a Parent Support Group that meets twice per week.  Parents share advice and anecdotes while working on projects for their kids (e.g. Halloween costumes, traditional clothing, slippers, mittens, scarves, hats, pencil cases, puppets).  It is a quiet time for parents to regroup, build supportive and mentoring relationships, and relax.

Inuktitut Literacy –  Ilisaqsivik Society seeks to empower children in our community by improving Inuktitut language skills.  We run a variety of programs to encourage children to read and enjoy books, magazines, newspapers, and their own writing.  These include our After-School Literacy Project, our Tutoring Initiative, our Pre-Literacy Program, and our Literacy Circle.

Home Visits – For parents who need extra support or who are unable to attend programs at Ilisaqsivik, a trained early childhood educator conducts 45 minute home visits two to three times a week.  Many of our The Home Visits teacher brings activities, books and snacks to the home and shares learning with parent and child.  An important aspect of Home Visits is to improve children’s Inuktitut language skills and to practice motor skills as appropriate for their age group.

Special Needs – Ilisaqsivik Society employees a special needs tutor who conducts speech and language therapy in Inuktitut and English five days a week with young children (1 – 5 years old).

Radio Show – Community radio is a very important means of communication in Clyde River.  Many households keep the radio tuned tuned to the radio throughout the day, stopping to listen to their favorite shows and calling in to share news and stories.  Once a week, Ilisaqsivik teachers and instructors host a two-hour Children’s Literacy Radio Show for parents and preschool children (daytime show) and school-aged children (evening programming).  The shows features stories in Inuktitut from teachers, visiting community members, Elders, and children, as well as literacy games and call-in contests with prizes.  The games and contests challenge local children to practice their Inuktitut in a fun and supportive way, and rewards them for their participation.  The show also features call-in segment for parents or guardians to share a story about their child with the community, and a weekly activity that parents and children can do at home together.  The hosts share knowledge with the entire community about healthy childcare practices and responsible, effective parenting techniques.


2011 Awards

In 2011, Ilisaqsivik was selected as one of Tides Canada’s” Tides Top Ten.”  The Tides Top 10 recognizes the nation’s most innovative and forward-thinking projects and organizations that have demonstrated outstanding leadership, vision and real-world impact in addressing today’s most pressing environmental and social problems.

Ilisaqsivik was chosen for:

  • Creating a place for the community in Clyde River to learn and be actively involved in Inuit culture, developing programs on the premise that “the people themselves know best.”
  • Engaging all parts of the community – from Inuktituk language classes, to Inuit youth summer work experience programs and traditional hunting training.
  • Teaching that wellness often begins with changes to one’s thinking and actions – with the goal to better relationships, with oneself, with family and with the community.

Ross McMillan, CEO of the Tides Foundation, described this year’s Tides Top 10 as “ground-breaking in their approach to social change.”

2010 Awards

Ilisaqsivik is proud to have received the 2010 Kaiser Foundation National Mental Health and Addictions Award for Excellence in Community Programming.  The Kaiser Foundation awards recognize individuals or community groups who have made exceptional contributions in the field of mental health and addictions.

“All of Ilisaqsivik’s programs are based on respect for Inuit traditional values, and are designed, run and evaluated by local people for local people.  This is a wonderful example of a community that has come together to address its own needs.”

– The Kaiser Foundation

Programming Milestones

Since our founding, Ilisaqsivik has launched a number of innovative programs based on community interest and need.  In 2001, we developed the North Baffin Suicide Prevention Program in which we trained counsellors from communities across the North Baffin region.  In 2002, we developed the Nunavut Wellness Initiative  (link to www.nunavutwellness.ca), a network of communities and individuals interested in supporting the expansion of wellness initiatives across Nunavut.

Beginning in 2005, Ilisaqsivik supported the establishment of the Ittaq Cultural Heritage and Research Centre, which purchased a building next door to the Family Resource Centre in 2006.  Ilisaqsivik has collaborated with Ittaq to develop local leadership of research and heritage activities, including working with outside researchers to promote Clyde River as a research destination and offer community members the chance to be involved.

In 2006, we partnered with the Ottawa-based Blueprint for Life to offer youth outreach and support through hip hop.  Our innovative hip hop program integrates Inuit cultural practices like drum dancing, offers skill-building opportunities and peer and adult support, and teaches about healthy  lifestyle choices like avoiding cigarettes, drugs and alcohol.

Ilisaqsivik and Ittaq have collaborated to develop an innovative media training program, teaching Clyde Residents media skills and helping create jobs in the community.  In 2009 and 2010, we hosted television and media training programs for Nunavummiut from across the territory.

In 2011, the Government of Nunavut opened the new Piqqusilirivik Cultural School in Clyde River.  Ilisaqsivik played an integral role in helping bring Piqqusilirivik to Clyde River, leading the community’s application process to host the school.

With the help of the Government of Nunavut, federal funding agencies, and corporate and foundation supporters, Ilisaqsivik looks forward to continuing to develop innovative programs to meet the needs of community members in Clyde River.  We are actively seeking partners and sponsors that are interested in working with the community to support locally defined goals and visions of development and health.

Our Mission

Incorporated as a non-profit, community-based Inuit organization in 1997, Ilisaqsivik Society is dedicated to promoting community wellness in Clyde River, Nunavut.  Ilisaqsivik provides resources and programming that enables families and individuals to develop their strengths, contribute to community wellness, and focus on health and healing.  Ilisaqsivik strives to support community development and wellness in a way that maintains respect for traditional Inuit teachings and learning and is accountable to the community.  

Founded, led, and staffed by Inuit residents of Clyde River, Nunavut, Ilisaqsivik owns and operates the Community Family Resource Centre and Ittaq Heritage and Research Centre.  We offer a wide range of culturally based programs that support the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs of all community residents from infants to Elders. We actively promote Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (Inuit Knowledge) and Inuuqatigiittiarniq (the healthy inter-connection of mind, body, spirit, and the environment) as a path to healing. We achieve our mission by:

  • Providing access to educational, health and nutrition, cultural, and counselling programs.
  • Promoting the participation and leadership of Elders in all programs and activities.
  • Promoting and demonstrating healthy lifestyle choices, positive attitudes, creativity, and resourcefulness.
  • Providing a safe, healthy and accepting place for Clyde River residents to meet.
  • Promoting Inuit culture, values, livelihoods, knowledge, language, and traditions in all programs and activities.

Contact Us

Ilisaqsivik Family Resource Centre
Ilisaqsivik Society
P.O. Box 150
Clyde River NU X0A 0E0
Phone: (867) 924-6565
Fax: (867) 924-6570

General email inquiries:

Staff email directory:

Malcolm Ranta, Executive Director

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