The Aullak, Sangilivallianginnatuk (Going Off, Growing Strong) program was designed to build the resilience of a group of Inuit youth facing widespread social, environmental, and cultural change. The overarching goals of this program are to:
- Enhance the mental, physical and emotional resilience of a group of ‘at-risk’ youth
- Build social connections between the youth and other community members
- Transmit environmental knowledge, skills and values from experienced harvesters to youth.
Resilience is facilitated through programming via two primary mechanisms:
Providing social supports
- Youth participants are typically socially isolated when they become involved with the program. The Going Off, Growing Strong (GOGS) staff engage with youth during program activities and build relationships with the youth.
- Harvesters use time off on the land to connect with you in an experiential setting of doing and teaching.
- Youth use the program office area, which acts as a base for land-based trips, food processing and food delivery in the community, as a drop-in centre.
- Social supports are available and provided by program staff who aid youth with coping skills, life events, as well as resume writing, program and job applications and inclusion in community activities.
Promotion of traditional knowledge and skills
- Youth participate in activities on the land with harvesters who teach and facilitate intergenerational learning of traditional Inuit skills.
- Youth participate in community-based activities including the processing of country foods for delivery to community elders.
- Youth learn how to make traditional Inuit crafts and clothing items in the program office.
- Through the engagement of youth via the traditional skill transmission, youth build relationships with harvesters and outreach staff, both outside of the community – off on the land – as well as within the community, at the program office, as well as through inclusion in various community events.
These mechanisms work in tandem to foster relationships while enhancing and promoting cultural connectedness and skill development.