James was born and raised in Inuvik, NWT, where he lived for most of his life. He is the youngest of nine siblings. He was born with a debilitating skin disease and was in hospital much of his young life, so was unable to attend school full time. He gained valuable life skills while spending much of his time with his father, fishing, trapping and hunting, until moving to Whitehorse in 1996.

James has worked many jobs in restaurant kitchens and doing maintenance work. He has seldom been without work since he has a happy disposition and is a very hard worker.

James is an innovative thinker. He has learned to adapt to using pictures and visual cues in place of higher literacy skills. He has wanted to improve his learned ability to read and write for some time. It was when he was offered the use of his sister’s car if he passed the driver’s licence testing that he first came to Yukon Learn. He has been involved in tutoring with Yukon Learn for about two years, and is making good progress.

James’ present tutor says that James continues to show excellent progress with phonics and letter identification. “He is dedicated to the work we are doing,” she says, “He completes exercises on his own time, and his retention is improving more with each session. His perseverance, desire to learn, and overall growth has been beautiful to be a part of and is nothing short of amazing”.