The Seltzer-Chan Pond Inlet Foundation awarded its first grant in 1999. As of December 31, 2022, the foundation has distributed 296 grants to individuals and organizations in Pond Inlet totalling $658,000. Each year we support high school students, music workshops and the local food bank plus "special" projects. To all of our donors who made this possible, Qujannamiiraaluk! [really big thank you!]

Here are a few of the projects we have helped over the last 20 years. For more information, please read our annual newsletters.

Since 1999, the Foundation has helped 112 Pond Inlet students pursue their post-secondary education. Students must travel south to Iqaluit, Ottawa or other Canadian cities in order to continue studying after high school. Distances are long, costs are high, and the Foundation is proud to provide as much help as it can.

High school awards 2007
Nasivvik High School graduates with their awards, 2007.

More than twenty grant recipients have attended the successful Nunavut Sivuniksavut program. As well as studying in Ottawa, the participants travel to to other indigenous communities around the world. For example, in 2019 Pond Inlet resident Jillian Kyak travelled to Peru with 35 other Nunavut Sivuniksavut students. The students showcased Inuit culture in performances and learned about the rich culture of the mountainous Quechua communities they visited.

Nunavut Sivuniksavut 2019
Nunavut Sivuniksavut students performing in Misminay, Peru, 2019.

To encourage high school students to work hard at their studies and stay in school, the Foundation launched an annual award program in 2006. The Awards Committee in Pond Inlet set the criteria of attendance, effort, attitude and academic achievement for deciding which students in each grade will receive prizes at the end of the school year.

High school students with bicycles
Deserving students received bicycles, 2009

The foundation also provides annual assistance to the Tusarnaarniq Sivumut Associationís "Music for the Future" workshops. Since 2007, master fiddlers from Nova Scotia have taught fiddle and guitar in Pond Inlet (and more recently in other Baffin Island communities too). The young participants show dedication, perseverance and talent. In the months between the workshops the students continue to practice to prepare for performances in the community and schools.

Fiddle Class
Fiddle practice during the first Winter Workshop, February 2019


Fiddle Performance 2014
Fiddle workshop participants, 2014


Fiddle Class
Fiddle workshop participants practicing, 2008


Fiddle Performance
Fiddle workshop participants perform on top of an iceberg in 2007
while community members watch from below. Photo by Rachel Hanna.


The foundation has an ongoing relationship with the Mittima Food Bank to help Pond Inlet residents who experience food insecurity. During the coronavirus pandemic the Food Bank switched from providing bi-weekly food hampers to providing vouchers redeemable for food at the local stores. More information can be found about the critical issue of food security in the north at these websites:
PROOF and Nunavut Food Security.

Mittima Food Bank 2020
Mittima Food Bank volunteers prepare to fill hampers, 2020.

As well as these ongoing grants, the Foundation supports one-of-a-kind projects that are recommended by our dedicated committee in Pond Inlet. Below are photos from some of these initiatives. More information can be found in our annual newsletters.

In 2000 Samson Ootoowak, a Pond Inlet resident and University Engineering student, used an award from the Foundation to help fund his participation in an exciting NASA project on Devon island where scientists studied the Haughton crater to prepare for a future Mars mission.

In 2005 the Foundation provided a computer equipped with American Sign Language software to a 26-year old resident of Pond Inlet who has severe hearing and speech impairments.

Foreground: Mimi Kasarnak. Background: Lena Koonoo (ASL interpreter)
with her son Cain Koonoo in the amouti and Napatsie Kasarnak (Mimi's daughter)

The Pond Inlet archives had a collection of precious video footage that the Foundation helped to transfer to digital format. The Foundation also purchased a digital projector for use in the community centre. Archivist Philippa Ootoowak explains "The content included performances ... from 1988-2004. Others include films taken in the 1940s by an Anglican Missionary showing today's elders as children and community life as it was then. These films have brought so much enjoyment to people here and can now continue to do so in the future."

Videos transfered to digital format and a digital projector, 2007

A donation from the Seltzer-Chan Pond Inlet Foundation in 2008 was used to build a fence around the playground of a Pond Inlet day care centre to make sure no children wander onto the nearby road.

Children playing inside the fenced area at the day care

In 2016 the Pirurvik Preschool opened to provide child-centred education. To enrich language development and Inuktituk literacy, the foundation has helped fund Inuktitut resources as well as healthy snacks and other supplies.

Inuktitut Language Learning
Hands-on Inuktitut fun

Inuktitut Language Learning
Learning to Read in Inuktitut

Inuktitut Language Learning
Reading in Inuktitut

Participating in sports after school keeps students busy and healthy. The Foundation has provided support to the Pond Inlet basketball, hockey, soccer, volleyball and table tennis teams.

Volleyball Team
The Pond Inlet 2018 Volleyball Team at a tournament in Iqaluit.

Table Tennis Team
The Pond Inlet 2018 Table Tennis Team at a tournament in Iqaluit.

Hockey Team
Five girls from Pond Inlet played on this team during the 2017 Toonik Tyme Hockey Tournament in Iqaluit.

Hockey Team
The Boys Basketball Team came First in the 2015 Territorial Tournament in Iqaluit.

The Pond Inlet Ravens wearing uniforms provided by the Foundation, 2012

The Pond Inlet Soccer Team 2009 wearing uniforms provided by the Foundation

Water safety is an ongoing concern in Pond Inlet. Foundation funds have been used to provide floater suits and educational materials to promote safety around the water.

Floater suit
Educational display about boat safety, 2012

Floater suit
Floater suits provided by the Foundation, 2012

A number of projects have supported elders teaching traditional skills to younger members of the community.

measuring for a kamik
Sewing circle, 2013

measuring for a kamik
A kamik-making workshop, 2015

preparing caribou
Learning how to prepare caribou meat, 2014

The Pangaggujjiniq dog sled race, 2014

© 2023 The Seltzer-Chan Pond Inlet Foundation.