The voice of a young person: A blog by our 2021 summer student


June 11, 2021

What I've learned about Individual Advocacy

I spent my first four weeks at the Representative for Children and Youth’s Office working with the Individual Advocacy (IA) team. 

The IA team works with children, youth, and their families by making sure the children’s and youth’s rights are being followed within ­Government of Nunavut services. If their rights are not being followed, the IA team will work with the Government of Nunavut service provider to fix the problem. If children, youth, or their families have any concerns about government services, the IA team will give them information and resources, help them speak up for themselves, attend a meeting with them, or help them anyway that they can.

During my time with the IA team, I reviewed closed cases to learn how the advocates work to fix problems.

To review the cases, I first had to learn how to navigate Penelope. Penelope is a system where all confidential information about a case is stored electronically. With great support and patience from the IA team, I was able to learn to navigate this program quickly. 

As the office received new referrals, I had the opportunity to assign cases to advocates using Penelope. I also reviewed case notes to understand what information is important to include. Once cases were completed, I was taught how to close the file.

Working with the IA team was very beneficial as this is the work I hope to do once I finish my undergraduate studies. Although four weeks was such a short time with the IA team, I learned a lot.

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June 1, 2021

Trying to do it all and still have enough time for ME

Maintaining both work and personal priorities is always challenging, but lately it seems to be even more difficult. Although work requires a lot of our time and energy, it is important to find the time to take care of yourself as well. Since, organizing your time wisely can reduce stress, here’s what I do:

  1. On one piece of paper, I list all of the weekly tasks required of me as the Advocacy Summer Student with the Representative for Children and Youth’s Office. Say this is my “work list”.
  2. On a separate piece of paper, I list all of my personal tasks and things I would like to do for myself for the week. This is my “ME list”.
  3. Looking at my “work list” I block time in my week to complete the bigger stuff, the most time-consuming tasks first. 
  4. Then I look at my “ME list” and see what I can fit into the time I have left in my day. But, if something is really important to me, I’ve made a commitment to someone, or I really need to dedicate sometime to me, I schedule it just as I would a task from my “work list”. 
  5. Then, I start each day following my combined list for that day.

If I have many tasks to be completed one day and it feels like a lot to do, I plan to wake up earlier than usual to give myself a bit more time.

Also, I usually do the task a few days (or even weeks, depending on how big or small the task is) before it is due but I don't hand it in until the day it is due because that gives me enough time to proof-read before submitting it.

Having a plan for the week, allows me to finish my daily tasks on time and still have enough time to care for myself.

There are many ways to plan your tasks; you are the one who decides what works best for you!

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May 24, 2021

What it is like being a young person, in Nunavut, during COVID-19

Many of our communities in Nunavut are isolated and it often leaves us feeling overwhelmed with the COVID-19 pandemic!

Being a young person in Nunavut during the pandemic has its own challenges such as feeling bored, anxious, and not being able to visit friends and family.

Despite these challenges, there are things that you can do to manage your physical and mental wellbeing. Given our big beautiful land in Nunavut, I keep myself occupied by hiking, walking, camping, 'rodding', and going on adventures! There are more things that you can do to stay busy such as learning how to cook, sew, hunt, and more!

Always remember to take care of yourself and reach out to your family/friends if you need somebody to talk to.

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May 17, 2021

Do you know what your rights are as a young Nunavummiut? You should.

It is very important for young Nunavummiut to know their rights as children and youth. There are two types of rights, Universal Human Rights and Children’s Rights. Universal human rights apply to everyone, everywhere from newborn babies to elders regardless of their race, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, and nationality! Human rights give you a chance to be treated with equality and respect all around the world.

Children’s rights are similar to human rights but they apply to children and youth under the age of 19 years.

Children’s rights are special because children and youth are vulnerable and they depend on adults for their safety and protection in their daily lives! A few rights included in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child are protection from human trafficking, protection from sexual abuse, access to education, freedom of speech, and access to water and food. All children and youth in Nunavut have rights.

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