Photos: Lipman Still Pictures, Natta Summerky
After months of planning and coordination, Monday marked the beginning of the 2018 Arctic Expedition! Over the course of the last couple of days, 130 students arrived to Ottawa from near and far. With some itineraries including multiple layovers and weather delays, seeing all the smiling faces arrive in Canada’s capital signified a major accomplishment for our staff and students. Most exciting of all is that it’s only the beginning of the journey!
This year’s participant list is truly global, with SOI-ers coming from locations such as Brantford, Ontario, Nuuk, Kalaallit Nunaat / Greenland, and Paka, Malaysia, to name a few! Throughout the day, students connected by taking part in ice breakers and Inuit games like Blanket Toss at Carleton University. The group also had the chance to explore the Museum of Nature before our first expedition briefing that evening.
After an opening land acknowledgement and welcome from artist and journalist Sarain Carson-Fox, expedition leader Geoff Green addressed participants, outlining the founding principles of the organization and code of conduct. We were also joined by special guest Natan Obed, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. He offered inspiring and encouraging words to the group as they prepare to embark on their life changing journey. Natan reminded students that the ship is a “safe space of learning, moving into the future and respecting indigenous people and the environment”. Jess Bolduc, Executive Director of the 4Rs Youth Movement, also shared words of wisdom with the students, emphasizing that the best learning often happens when you push yourself outside of your comfort zone. This sentiment was revisited later by 3 SOI alumni who participated in a panel discussion, reflecting on their lives post-expedition.
To wrap up the evening, Greenlandic artist and performer Vivi Sørensen took to the stage, where she shared traditional Greenlandic songs and drumming. Folk duo Twin Flames closed the event with an energetic performance that had the students up and dancing!
All in all, a rich day of programming to spark the expedition spirit! We are so looking forward to boarding our flights to Kangerlussuaq tomorrow morning. After a number of hot and humid days in Ottawa, the team is ready to feel the cool Arctic air!
Student & Staff Blog Posts:
Victoria Grant, Consultant
Students On Ice 2018- The Journey of Life, many roads, many turns, hills, some steep up and downs, and some very gradual, all this interspersed with many long straight runs. This describes my path to this place, and the opportunity to travel with Students on Ice 2018. This particular journey began on Friday July 20, 2018 with 44 Arctic youth, the majority, Inuit youth. A unique opportunity, two and half days, learning from and with these young people about Inuit culture and history. The program was led by Nunavut Sivuniksavut https://www.nunavutsivuniksavut.ca . So from Friday until noon on Monday , through stories, laughter, organized play and other interactions, we all have come to know more about each other. Looking back to our first circle, we were asked to use one word to describe how we felt. The words most used were “anxious and/or excited” As we closed today, the youth were much more expressive, and more inclined to share, ‘excited” was still used, but no so much the word “anxious”. Not everyone shared in Circle, but all were comfortable to share with each other. Some who read this may understand when I say, what will stay with me are the words “ijuktunga (I am laughing). Thank you, Tiivii. We are now joined by the balance of staff and students of Students on Ice 2018.
Bev Sellars, Author
Spent the morning at the Inuit school in Ottawa. I was honoured to be included in this group. I only spent a morning there but learned a lot from everyone. I am stoked to be part of Students On Ice. Looking forward to being on the ship.
Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada
Today is the third day that we’ve spent in Ottawa, and one of the biggest highlights so far was the Saavittut program that we just completed. Today was our final day at the Nunavut Sivuniksavut. I learned a lot of new things that i did not know before we had got here, like the NS curve. We walked over to the park today on Chapel Street and one of the SOI Staff, Grant brought the traditional Inuit Blanket Toss and it was amazing! A lot of us got to try it out and were thrown up so high! I really enjoyed it.
I have met so many new people from all over the world, and have already made soo many great friends. I am beyond excited to see whaat the next two weeks has in store for us! Go Students! 🙂
Cape Dorset, Nunavut, Canada
My Blog (Saaki Nuna)
What you should know about me:
Hi my name is Saaki, Im from Cape Dorset Nunavut
My community is mostly known for its famous artist, I am also an Artist.
Swimming, Photography, Drawing, Traveling, and Technology.