Aleashia Echalook was elected President of the Qarjuit Youth Council in 2019 and since then has been active working with and for youth in the region. As her term ended on August 31, Taqralik magazine asked her some questions about her time leading the organization.

When were you first elected President of Qarjuit, and how did that feel?

I was elected as President of Qarjuit Youth Council on February 12, 2019, and I was very excited yet nervous but was ready for
a new challenge in my life.

What are some of the Youth Council’s successes of which you are most proud?

The proudest moment I had was when we found a solution for office space in Kuujjuaq when QYC was losing hope in finding a secure space to work from. I am still very thankful for the Berthe family and Adel Yaasa at KRG who was very supportive in making the office
building renovation possible.

What, if anything, did you learn anything from being President of the Council?

Being President of Qarjuit Youth Council has taught me so many things. I learned to lead an organization and a team, I learned about the different organizations here in Nunavik, I also learned that if you put your mind into something, you can achieve anything you want. It has been such a rewarding experience to lead a beautiful young organization.

What were some of the challenges you faced as QYC President?

The most challenging thing was that Qarjuit Youth Council did not have an office space available anywhere in Kuujjuaq after the demolishing of the old Makivvik building that was rented out to the youth council.

How can youth make a difference in Nunavik?

Youth can make a difference if they start working together. Join youth groups, taking chances, continuing education and getting involved in your communities.

What advice would you offer the incoming President?

Being President of an organization is a big responsibility, it is also a lot of fun and you’ll have to be very open minded and
be ready for some challenges.

Did you accomplish all of what you hoped to as President? If not, what remains?

I accomplished most of the things I wished to do as QYC president such as: Securing an office space for the next eight years, creating a solid team, held Nunavik youth consultations, negotiating new funding agreements with both federal and provincial governments, signing an MOU with Makivvik, and receiving a voting right as well. I would’ve loved to work on a partnership with other organizations such as KRG, but was not able to succeed, but I hope QYC will be able to accomplish that with the new leadership.

What advice would you offer Youth in general?

I would like to start by saying, I would love to see more youth getting involved, applying to positions and start taking the initiative to voice their issues and needs in Nunavik, we need you to take part, we need youth to be the voice and decision makers. On a more personal note, I would like to say that nothing is permanent, don’t stress too much, no matter the situation, it will change… have hope.