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!

 

 

Jane Bates
Representative for Children and Youth

Jane’s story starts in Mississauga, Ontario in a quiet neighbourhood with her adoptive family. She has always been passionate about helping young people, which lead her to earn her Bachelor of Social Work from Ryerson University. Early in her career, she responded to the call of the north and moved to Whitehorse.

While working in Yukon, Jane touched the lives of many young people and their families through her contributions to child protection, family services, critical incident investigation, youth justice, crisis intervention, and restorative community conferencing. Throughout her career, she has been guided by the principle of the best interests of the child.

A Winnie the Pooh and Star Wars fan of the highest order, she appreciates the diversity that life has to offer. Her husband Russ, and her dog Gizmo are extremely supportive of her move to Nunavut. Jane is honoured to serve young Nunavummiut and to ensure their rights are supported.

 

 

 

 

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 spent her childhood in Azilda, a small community in Ontario. She grew up in a house with her parents, brother, and grandparents. She credits her parents for her desire to always try new things.

At university, Lynn earned an honours Bachelor in English and History and an International Studies Certificate. She later went to Newfoundland to earn a Master’s degree in Folklore. She enjoys travelling and has worked and studied in some interesting places in other countries, including in an English castle. All this means Lynn is an excellent storyteller!

Lynn has called Nunavut home since 2011. Here, she fell in love with the Arctic and Kevin, her husband. She has two beautiful step-children and a son. She spends her down-time sewing or cozying up with a book.

 

 

 

 

Christa Kunuk (Education Leave)
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 Arts in Counselling Psychology (MA). 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.

 

 

 


David Korgak
Child and Youth Advocacy Specialist

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 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 RCYO after successfully completing 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. 

 

Kim Foster
Manager of Communications and Public Awareness

Kim was born in Hemet, California, however, her family moved back to Canada when Kim was just 2 years old. Along with her sister and brother, Kim grew up in Nova Scotia and Alberta. Kim arrived in Iqaluit in September 2017 and although she is new to the north, she is no stranger to advocating for children and youth. In fact, prior to joining the RCYO Kim worked as the Senior Marketing and Communications Advisor for Ronald McDonald House Charities® Southern and Central Alberta for more than five years!

Kim received her degree in communications from the University of Calgary and her diploma in journalism from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (S.A.I.T). Kim loves to learn about and experience different cultures, so travelling is always high on her priority list. She really hopes to explore more of Canada’s north in the upcoming years.

Kim says she is grateful to work at the RCYO and that she wakes up excited to come to work each day because of the meaningful work the office does to support young Nunavummiut and their rights. The RCYO is equally excited to have Kim join our team —we love the enthusiasm and positive energy she brings to our office!

 

 

Sharon Reashore
Child and Youth Advocacy Specialist

Sharon grew up in Dundas, Ontario, a little town near Hamilton, in a home that had been in her family for more than 60 years. It was there that she developed a fondness for knitting, quilting, and a good game of cards!

Her first visit to the north was to Goose Bay and Northwest River, Labrador. This is where she learned to ice fish and participated in seal hunting.  Her favourite country foods are caribou stew and pipsi.

Sharon earned an LL.B. degree at the University of New Brunswick and practised law in Nova Scotia, focusing on elder law. She has also worked for the Government of Nunavut, planning long-term care for Elders in the territory, and had a senior management role with the RCYO in the organization’s early years.            

Sharon is passionate about promoting human rights, advocacy work, and supporting others in developing their own advocacy skills. She is a great fit for our office and we are excited to have her rejoin us!

 

 

 

Rhea Monteiro
Communications Coordinator
(Summer 2018)

Rhea moved to Iqaluit from Mumbai, India, in May of 2017. Moving to the Arctic was a huge change for her having lived her whole life in a warm tropical city with many people. Her love of singing lead her to join the Inuksuk Drum Dancers which she says has been, “really great for me because it has helped me learn some Inuktitut and a bit about Inuit culture.”

Rhea’s summer employment at RCYO was her first job ever!

As the communications coordinator she was responsible for daily media monitoring and coordinating public outreach opportunities in Iqaluit at local grocery stores and summer camps.

Rhea also learned about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and helped choose the right that would be the focus of the 2018 Your Story, Your Voice contest. Rhea was also heavily involved in visually highlighting youth voice in the office's review of mental health services.

Rhea says “working at the RCYO has not only given me a better understanding of how important children’s rights are, it has also helped me to be more responsible and get out of my comfort zone, mainly by sharing my thoughts and information with the team. I am so glad that I had the chance to work with such incredible people who believe that children and youth voices matter.”

It was our pleasure having Rhea join the office, if only for the summer!


Caroline Angalik
Assistant Systemic Researcher
(Summer 2017)

Caroline Angalik loves helping others and giving back. She is passionate about working with children and is fulfilling her goal of becoming a teacher by working toward her Bachelor of Education through the Nunavut Teacher Education Program. Caroline will enter the second year of her program in September 2017.

With time spent in Arviat, Baker Lake, and most recently Iqaluit, Caroline has lived in the territory all of her life. Caroline loves living in Nunavut – especially the beauty of the land, the abundance of wildlife, the culture, and the people. She also enjoys sewing, baking, and spending time with her family, especially her children.

Caroline’s ability to do research and share valuable input with her co-workers are just a few reasons why Caroline is a welcome addition to the RCYO as the 2017 summer student.

 

 

 

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 RCYO. We are thrilled to have her with us!

 


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.