Mary Simon has been a key part of the SOI Foundation since its beginning in 1999 as an Inuit leader and educator on our Arctic expeditions, as well as a member of our Board of Advisors where she supports the Foundation’s many educational and outreach initiatives, including its upcoming Canada C3 expedition.
She recently published a report titled, a new Shared Arctic Leadership Model based on months of interviews with Arctic leaders, youth, land claims organizations, scientists, representatives of industry, and non-governmental organizations. Her report assesses the strengths and challenges in the Arctic across education, housing, language, research & indigenous knowledge, infrastructure and conservation with a particular focus on Education.
“To move forward in any aspect in life and in our society, we need to be educated. The youth want to be well with who they are and where they come from. Youth also understand the importance of quality, formal education so they can become active members of their communities and society and have access to all levels of employment in the communities, region or elsewhere if that is what they choose.”
Overall, this new report provides advice on two important topics:
- New ambitious conservation goals for the Arctic in the context of sustainable development, and
- The social and economic priorities of Arctic leaders and Indigenous peoples living in remote Arctic communities
“This was an extraordinary assignment. After more than 40 years of leading, negotiating and observing the processes that have shaped the political, social and economic development of the Arctic, my MSR role challenged me to take a critical look at where the Arctic is today, and what is next for this exceptional region of Canada,” says Simon.
To view the full report:
Mary Simon’s interview with the Nunatsiaq News:
“Improving educational outcomes in the Arctic and supporting Indigenous languages to survive and thrive after years of destructive education policy is, at its core, the highest test of nation building.”