Guest blog written by Arctic 2017 alumna Allysa Felix.
Just a few of the SOI alumni in attendance at Arctic Net (left to right): Becky, Jukipa, LP, Rachel, Allysa, Marley, Rosie & Hannah.
Over 1200 people were registered to attend this conference. The population of my hometown, Tuktoyaktuk, is approximately 1000. So it was pretty cool to experience an event like this. December always feels like a lifetime, that final stretch until the new year. But the week of this event went by way too fast! My roommate, Jukipa Kotierk, and I were the first recipients of SOI’s travel grant for ArcticNet. This trip came full circle in a way because ArcticNet were the people who sponsored me for my Students On Ice expedition! It also mirrored SOI because of how similar it is. Especially the way we get to meet new people, you don’t really get to mingle with strangers the way you can at conferences.
It felt like an SOI reunion also because I got to see Geoff and all of the lovely staff and meet the 2018 Arctic alumni and they are pretty cool kids. One thing I really enjoyed was meeting new Indigenous people. We were playing a bunch of jokes on the non-natives which I loved. When Natives come together there is a lot of laughter and it’s very refreshing for the soul. It was also pretty refreshing to see the sun because in the Arctic she went away for the winter.
I also especially enjoyed all of the sessions, they were worth waking up early for. It was really insightful and inspiring to see what the researchers are up to. It’s pretty daunting to see how much of what we need to do to save ourselves on this planet. But I still have hope! Our world needs to change right now. Especially the current government in Canada. So if you are 19 and older please vote in the October re-elections!
I graduated high school this past June and I am currently upgrading or otherwise known as grade 13. I am applying for university for my undergrad of a Bachelor of Science in biology. I also want to eventually get my PhD, I do not know in what yet but I’m sure I’ll figure it out. It’s pretty daunting to figure out your place in this small but big world but you do have one, an important one. As it can take only one person to change things. Another thing that needs to happen is the decolonization of science. One way of doing that is more Indigenous scientists.
I hope I am making my ancestors proud but I know I am because I come from a long line of strong women. Also to note my great-great-great-great-great grandfather was the last chief of my town. I hope to continue making great strides as they did.
I’ve had so many opportunities thanks to the Students On Ice foundation. From the LGBTQI2S workshop I held in my hometown to this conference. I can only imagine the opportunities will continue. SOI continues to bring people together so props to Geoff and the team! Quyanainni!