Welcome message from Keenan Lindell, 2017 Arctic Expedition Indigenous Artist Resident (IAR)

Quvianakunni ilauniarama umiajuarmit!

Woohoo! I’m so happy to be joining the Students On Ice ship! I am so honoured to be selected for this artist residency position. As an artist who is inspired by the Arctic I call home, this is a dream adventure! And as a person who works in wildlife and environment this is also a dream adventure! Aw its hard to explain how awesome excited I am for this trip… But I will give it a shot!

I love living in Nunavut. And yet most of us who live here don’t get to see most of this massive, beautiful territory. I’m fortunate to travel with my position as a Government of Nunavut Wildlife Technician, but this is will be my first time in Pond Inlet and around the Northwest Passage. I have read a lot about explorers Sir John Franklin and John Rae, so getting to travel to these areas such as Beechey Island is going to be pretty darn cool. I find that it is always exciting to visit communities you haven’t been before as well so I look forward to visiting and learning from my cousins in Pond Inlet and exploring communities in Greenland!

(c) Hinaani Design

One thing I am very passionate about is making panas, the traditional snow knives used to make iglus. I also love to make ulus, they are known as the traditional women’s knives, but are also used by men – they are very useful for cooking! I love getting to see ulus and panas from different communities because every community, even every family, tends to have their own unique style. I really enjoy talking around with people about their knives, finding out who made their ulus and panas, and what features make them preferred or easier to use. It is a great conversation starter with people, you can hear some amazing stories, get some really beneficial advice, and make some friends!

Being on board a ship with so many enthusiastic people will be quite a cool experience as well. Whether you are an Arctic resident, a student, a scientist or an elder, we can and will learn so much from each other. I will be running some art work shops as well as sit on some panels where I can share my knowledge of art, Arctic wildlife and environment, and Inuit History. I am looking forward to this program and also a bit nervous! It is my understanding that the K Zone will be partly my domain as well. The K Zone be an area of the ship that promotes creative expression!

My hopes for this trip…good weather, good food, good people, and see a lot of cool animals 🙂 I am very interested in wildlife, especially arctic animals. And I can not wait to learn from Elders and others with expertise in arctic wildlife. I would love to see some Greenland sharks! I have never seen them before and I have been wanting ever since I heard that they existed!  I also hope to create while I am aboard the ship. I do not have a clear vision of what yet but I like to get inspired by what is around me. I will bring a few tools and materials and just let my imagination and inspiration guide me to create some unique and cool stuff. Hopefully my workshops and relationships with people aboard will help and or inspired people to create some things as well. Being able to go to communities too and hear stories and or find materials to work with should make things even more interesting. Last hope but not least I hope we get to jump in the water! 🙂

Students on Ice is proudly supported by bv02.

This website was made possible by a generous contribution from the Leacross Foundation.