Meet Our Staff


The words above describe the people below. 

Each and every one of our staff represent the spirit of our organization: welcoming, cooperative and supportive.

This spirit guides how we work with each other and how we work with children, youth and their families. We are all driven by the confidence we have in young Nunavummiut and the hope we have for their future.

We also like to think outside the box and get a little creative! So instead of writing our own bios, we wrote each other’s. It is with great pride and pleasure that we introduce our amazing and diverse team!


Sherry McNeil-Mulak
Representative for Children and Youth

When Sherry talks, you’ll notice she has an accent of some sort. Something about the way she says her “H’s.” Unless of course, you are also originally from Cape Breton. In that case, you’ll not notice any accent at all.

As a child, Sherry rode her bike on the streets of New Waterford and spent Sundays at her grandparents’ house surrounded by family, which is where her love of a good cup of tea was born. Growing up she watched her mother and aunt push for the rights of children and miners in her community. She credits these women for her passion for advocacy.

At university, Sherry earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology and later went on to complete a Master of Health Administration. In 2004, Sherry moved to Iqaluit and worked for the Government of Nunavut for 10 years. In 2014, she became Nunavut’s first Representative for Children and Youth. Somewhere along the way she met and married Paul. They now have three amazing children: Sophia, Elliott and Ruby.

Sherry holds many things important and dear. But she only told me a few. She loves Nunavut; its beauty and its sense of community. She appreciates the power of determination and hard work. She believes children flourish most when they have the love and support of family. She knows that heroes are simply ordinary people doing ordinary things, despite big challenges.

 

 


Jeffrey Kheraj
Intake Specialist

Jeffrey grew up in Resolute Bay and is very proudly of Inuit and African descent. Jeff’s mother was an avid hunter. Like her, he has grown up to love being on the land and hunting. However, Jeff is not as excited about fishing (insert Jeff’s unimpressed look here).

Jeff left home at 18 to pursue a Certificate in Criminology at Yukon College in Whitehorse. After he earned his certificate, Jeff moved to Iqaluit. There, he began working as a community service worker for the Government of Nunavut’s Department of Family Services.

Jeff's daughter and family are extremely important to Jeff and he makes sure to take the time to look after them. As well as hunting, Jeff enjoys basketball, ultimate Frisbee, and reading up on Star Wars in his spare time.

Jeff began working for the Representative for Children and Youth’s office in the summer of 2015. He wants you to know that he’s here to support children and youth in Nunavut.

 

 

 

Lynn Matte
Director of Child and Youth Advocacy Services

Lynn is smart, knowledgeable and passionate about the work she does. She’s a real asset to our office! Lynn was born in Azilda, a small community in Ontario. She grew up there with her parents, brother and grandparents. She credits her parents for her desire to always try new things.

At university, Lynn studied English and history. She earned a Bachelor of Honours and a Certificate in International Studies. She also had many opportunities to travel. She once even lived in an English castle. She later went to Memorial University to earn her Master of Folklore. All this means Lynn is an excellent storyteller!

Lynn came to Nunavut in 2011. Here, she fell in love with the Arctic and, Kevin, her future husband. Lynn is now a wife and stepmother to two beautiful children. She spends her down-time sewing or cozying up with a book.

 

 

 

 

Christa Kunuk
Child and Youth Advocacy Specialist

We think Christa was made for this job and we are lucky to have her as part of our team! She’s a natural when it comes to working with children and youth and it shows.

Christa was born in Qikiqtarjuaq. She moved to Victoria, British Columbia at a young age with her adoptive parents. Some of her fondest childhood memories are simply being outside and playing with her brothers. Christa was very happy to return to the North in 1994. It felt like she never left.

Christa’s work background is in early childhood education and mental health. She worked as a counselor at Nakasuk Elementary School for seven years. Rumor has it that past students would return to Nakasuk just to visit her. Now, that says a lot!

Christa believes identity and culture are key to a young person’s well-being. Her infectious laugh is regularly heard throughout the office. Outside of work, Christa loves hanging out with her family; husband David and children Alana, Emily, Manu and Peter.

 

 


Nancy Pellerin
Senior Systemic Investigator

Nancy is originally from a small village near Trois-Rivières, Québec. Her passion for discovering new places and cultures brought her to Nunavut in 2006. She quickly fell in love with its people, land and pace of life. She continues to explore her vast Northern home via snowmobile, kayak, camping and hiking.

Nancy’s passion for children’s well-being has driven her education and career. She has a Master of Social Work. She is certified to offer specialized training for young people and the people who work with them. This includes Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), healthy relationship training, and abuse investigation training.

Nancy is an avid athlete with a growing family and penchant for large dogs. She is a good listener and will speak up for people who are finding their own voice.

Occasionally, she finds a moment just to herself. If you catch her at one of these times, she’s probably curled up with a good book and good cup of coffee.

 



Colby O'Donnell
Child and Youth Advocacy Specialist

Colby grew up in Sherwood and Avondale, Prince Edward Island. He has three brothers, and one sister. His fondest memories as a child were time spent with his grandmother in Avondale and with his grandparents in Sherwood.

Colby attended the University of Prince Edward Island where he received his Bachelor of Arts. He has also earned his Child and Youth Worker Diploma from Holland College and his Bachelor of Social Work from Dalhousie University. Currently he is trying to complete his Masters with Memorial University.

Colby moved to Iqaluit in 2014. He moved north to diversify his cultural knowledge personally and professionally. He loves it here because it has a small town feeling that he grew up knowing. He also loves that he can walk five minutes out of town and feel completely isolated. Colby is married to a wonderful woman named Tara, who works as a nurse in Iqaluit.  Colby and Tara have a Saint Bernard dog named Kenny and a cat named Holly.

Colby is very excited to be working for the Representative for Children and Youth’s office!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David Korgak
Child and Youth Advocacy Specialist Intern

David was born and raised in Iqaluit, Nunavut and his happiest memories of childhood are from when he was a student in Iqaluit’s elementary and middle schools. As the oldest of seven children, David is a natural when it comes to working with children and youth.

David enjoys playing volleyball and soccer, as well as classic board games (he admits to having a competitive streak – especially with Monopoly and Connect Four). As a youth, David participated twice in the Arctic Winter Games. His involvement in sports has also given him the opportunity to visit Alberta and Newfoundland. In fact, David has travelled to all territories and provinces in Canada, except New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Most recently, David’s love of travelling and trying new things drew him to Australia, where he lived for two years.

Our office is thrilled to have David join the RCY team as an intern through the Sivuliqtiksat Internship Program. 

 

 


Katie Didham
Senior Systemic Investigator/Researcher

Katie grew up in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia with three sisters, three brothers and many, many cousins. One of her fondest memories from this time was tending to her grandfather’s garden with her siblings and extended family.

After graduating from high school, Katie went on to earn her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Saint Francis Xavier University. Katie’s desire for adventure took her to Nunavut in the summers of 2001, 2002, and 2003. A love for the North has led to Katie calling Iqaluit home since 2004.   

Katie also has a Bachelor of Social Work from Dalhousie University and a Master of Arts in Disability Management from the University of Northern British Columbia, which is where her love of helping people stems from.

Before coming to work for our office, she worked with the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission in Nunavut for nine years, helping people with their early and safe return to work after illness or injury.

On Sunday afternoons, if she’s not busy with her husband and two children, she’s probably curled up with a coffee and a good book. 

 

Megan Blair
Youth Engagement Researcher

(Summer 2015)

Originally from Nova Scotia, Megan moved with her family to Iqaluit in 2004. As a long-time resident, she has enjoyed every aspect of growing up in Nunavut. She completed her schooling in Iqaluit and will soon earn her Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights from Carleton University. After completing her degree, Megan hopes to stay in Nunavut and continue human rights work at home.

Megan is an avid traveler and has enjoyed the many travel opportunities that have come her way. She hopes to one day travel the world and experience its unique cultures and histories.

Working as the summer student for the RCY has been an educational and eye-opening experience for Megan and has sparked a new passion for the rights and interests of children and youth. She is excited to see and contribute to the development of an advocacy office for children and youth in Nunavut. 

 

 

 

Clara Akulukjuk
Communications Officer

(Summer 2016)

Clara Akulukjuk is originally from Panniqtuuq, Nunavut where she was raised by her mother and her family. After completing high school, Clara lived in several places in Ontario to study post-secondary education. She attended and received diplomas from Nunavut Sivuniksavut at Algonquin College and the Early Childhood Education program at Georgian College. Clara is currently earning her Bachelor of Education through the Nunavut Teacher Education Program in Iqaluit. She will enter her third year of the four year program in September 2016.

She enjoys spending time with her family in Iqaluit and Panniqtuuq, camping with her grandparents in the summetime, traveling and photography. Clara strongly cherishes her Inuit culture and hopes to get to know more Indigenous cultures across the Arctic nations.

Clara says being a part of the Representative for Children & Youth’s office as a summer student has helped her understand how important children’s rights are and how we all can benefit from promoting and respecting them.

Clara has brought her strong organizational and planning skills to the RCY’s office. We are thrilled to have her with us!