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History

The Inuvik Youth Centre Society was born in 1996 as a result of a grassroots initiative to meet the needs of the youth of Inuvik. The initiative itself originated with an informal survey of Inuvik Youth between the ages of thirteen and nineteen. The anonymous survey revealed that many of the youth in the community were turning to drugs, alcohol and tobacco to entertain themselves. The survey also indicated that there was a high population of students between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, of aboriginal ancestry, who considered themselves at risk, experienced a high level of boredom, and had little or no resources to partake in organized sports or after-school programs. The youth polled specifically requested a youth centre where they could hang out in an alcohol and drug-free environment, play pool and video games, do homework and generally get away from the monotony of living in an isolated community.

The results of the survey triggered a huge community-wide push to make the youths'
dream a reality. A volunteer board was struck, and initiated the process of securing funds for the centre. In time, the Town of Inuvik donated the used of the abandoned library, local contractors donated the renovations and services, and several youth helped renovate the building. Equipment including pool tables, computers, televisions and furniture were donated by several local businesses. A coordinator was hired, and the centre was staffed with volunteers form Aurora College's Recreation Leaders Program.                                                                                                            

Since that time, the centre had grown into a stable organization employing a full-time director, a centre coordinator, activity facilitators and youth workers. Mentors, coaches, artisans and elders are brought into the team on an event-specific basis. The demand for the centre and the services it provides, however, has remained unchanged. The need for the centre is as great as it was in 1996, prompting community members, staff, board members, local businesses and agencies to work tirelessly to maintain and support the Inuvik Youth Centre.

In January 2012, the youth centre hired a new executive director who worked to open the youth centre in its newly renovated building. Now located between Aurora College and the Midnight Sun Complex, the centre is surrounded by educational and recreational facilities. The new building has a large kitchen and drop-in space, a separate program space, a sound-proof music room and is adjacent to a skate park.

The Inuvik Youth Centre reopened on June 29, 2012 and is now open six days a week from Monday through Saturday.

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