Life in the North

The Arctic Rose Foundation has researched and gained frontline experience with the communities we partner with. This has helped us to identify the following four key areas of need in northern communities:

Gaps in education

After-school programs

Cultural disconnect

Access to safe spaces and healthy food

The Indigenous youth population in the north (both Inuit and Northern/First Nations Reserves) are the youngest and fastest growing population in Canada. They have the highest high school dropout rate, the highest suicide rates (the rate of suicide in Nunavut is 11 times higher than the rest of Canada), the worst housing conditions in the country and are in a near constant state of food insecurity.

The youth in these communities are among the most vulnerable in Canada, but they have little to no access to programs, supports or safe spaces. The Arctic Rose Foundation seeks to help address these challenges.

A traumatic past
The legacy of the residential school system has left a mark on families who struggle with social issues as well as having the highest rate of suicides.

Population growth
The population growth rate in Nunavut is three times the national average. The stress on the system creates many challenges.

Health and wellness
Northerners face challenges due to income and housing discrepancies, access to healthy food, and culturally relevant mental health supports and counselling

Another pressing reality in many northern communities is a lack of housing resulting in over-crowding in many homes, and a shortage of safe spaces for programs. The majority of our current participants come from overcrowded homes where they do not have their own space, and almost 100% of our participants have experienced or witnessed abuse in some form. By offering them their own space that they control, they are given power and choice: control over their project and creations, thus helping to awaken their own sense of power. They are also taught healthy interactions with adults and peers, and strategies to cope with the challenges they face. Furthermore, this project provides families with respite by providing safe, supervised after-school programs in welcoming and creative spaces.

Education is consistently an issue that is flagged by government and community-based organizations and individuals alike. As detailed, in an indictment of Indigenous Services, in the Spring 2018 Reports from the Auditor General regarding socio-economic gaps on First Nations, the Department lists education as critical to improving well-being in communities, yet the gaps in high school graduation rates is increasing in Indigenous communities. One reason for this is lack of meaningful engagement by the department with the communities in order to improve services. Money is provided, however opportunities to meaningfully transform education, and work in partnership with the community providers, is not. The Arctic Rose Foundation works with the community school to ensure our programs are led and implemented in partnership with the community and its participants.

We believe that providing creative and culturally relevant after-school programs, combined with a supportive network of peers and staff, youth will become more engaged in their education which will help support their future success. The ARF monitors and tracks participant outcomes for all its programs.

Contact Us

200 North Service Road West, Unit 1, Suite 355, Oakville, ON, L6M 2Y1

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The Arctic Rose Foundation is a charitable organization that was founded by Susan Aglukark in 2012 and officially designated as a registered charity in 2016. The mission of The Arctic Rose Foundation is to instill hope for Northern Inuit, First Nations and Metis children, youth and their families through the creation of physically, emotionally, mentally, culturally safe places and the provision of holistic, adaptable programming that engages, nurtures and supports them in healthy and meaningful ways.