By Caitlyn Baikie, Arctic Youth & Partnerships Program Manager
Photos: Lipman Still Pictures, Robert Kautuk, Natta Summerky
The 2018 Arctic expedition officially launched in Ottawa on July 23rd, yet participants from the North had already started their learning journey by attending the Saavittut program at Nunavut Sivuniksavut. In Inuktut, Saavittut means “taking off from the shore”, a process that our staff and students undertook over the course of 3 exciting days between July 21-23, 2018.
Together, we explored twelve different themes that are shared across Inuit Nunangat such as language, housing, geography, music, and our sense of home. It is rare that young people from regions of Alaska, Northern Canada and Greenland have the opportunity to gather and share the challenges and opportunities that they see in their communities, and what they are most proud of in the land that they call home. Students shared their similarities and many differences that unite us as Inuit and Northerners. Together, we built a community amongst ourselves before joining the larger expedition team of 200+ people from all over the world.
Highlights of Saavittut included the many ice breakers that allowed us to come out of our shells, the sea glass jewelry workshop where we learned how to talk about our mental health in a positive way while using our hands, and a special performance by Twin Flames that helped us all connect through music. We are very grateful for the Nunavut Sivuniksavut team who welcomed the SOI participants onto their campus and shared their expertise in educating Inuit youth to step into their roles as ambassadors for their home communities.