SOI Arctic 2016: Day 6

We walked, talked, sang, danced, fished, or sat in silence, solitude and serenity but above we all we learned about ourselves and each other in a most magical place, Ramah, in the Torngat Mountains National Park in Nunatsiavut, Labrador.

Today is Tuesday, our third full day at sea on Arctic 2016 and early this morning we sailed into Ramah Bay. This was an ancient Inuit village. There are the remains of ancient sod houses and a nomadic campsite alongside a Moravian Missionary Cemetery that goes back about two hundred years and a time when people lived here and Missionaries brought a new world and a new religion.

Ramah is now one of the treasured attractions in the Torngat Mountains National Park. Because of the remote location, the Torngats get few visitors every year, but over the last decade it has emerged as a unique park for several reasons.
It was created as part of the Comprehensive Nunatsiavut Inuit Land Claim agreement that was signed in 2005 between the Inuit of Labrador, The Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Government of Canada.

Park Superintendent Gary Baikie told us at the morning briefing it was one of the conditions Inuit insisted on in the modern treaty in order to protect this region from development. The Inuit of Labrador also say the Park is their gift to Canada.

What makes the Torngats unique, is that it is the only National park in Canada that is made up of 100 percent Inuit employees. Gary who was born here, gave us a preview of a new Parks film on the Torngats, which is the name of the ancient Inuit legend sprites who lived here. It’s a magnificent video that captures both the spirit and beauty of the park. Its produced in a style will allow thousands of people go experience the Torngats who otherwise would not be able to afford to visit here.
Parks Canada is one of SOI’s valued partners who joined with SOI on a three-year program, now in the final year, that sponsors thirteen summer students to participate in SOI while at the same time gain experience and knowledge about the national park system through internships with Parks Canada. Seven of the students are from one of the three northern Territories and the remaining six from across southern Canada. The program has been incredibly successful and we hope it will continue.

This afternoon we took a break to give students quiet time to write, reflect and gather on the decks to view and photograph some of Canada’s most majestic scenery.

The wildlife cooperated because barely were as all hands on deck when a mighty Minke whale appeared as if to salute us.
We continue to see polar bears daily! Today we were fortunate to see three polar bears – one walking on the distant shoreline, but visible through binoculars and one, swimming in open water, miles from any shoreline, a little curious at our presence but certainly not alarmed as we passed in opposite directions.

This evening just before dinner, our Captain, Denis Radja, officially welcomed us on board the Ocean Endeavour. The Captain and crew of about 100 people have made this voyage pleasant, comfortable and above all safe. He and his crew on the bridge keep a constant eye on the water and shoreline for wildlife and often the polar bears and whales we do see are because of their vigilance.

The loud applause they received from the students and staff was an indication their efforts are greatly appreciated.

At this evening program Savikuk Thomassi from Kangirsuk, completed what many would call mission impossible or name that expedition. Only a few days after the entire expedition was assembly she named all 196 participants. A remarkable feat for sure.

Overnight we are sailing southward toward Hebron on the east coast of Labrador.

Follow the journey on our website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Abhayjeet Sachal – Surrey, BC, Canada

It’s been about 4 days without having any internet access, which means I’m not going on Snapchat or Facebook at all, and I don’t miss social media at all. With everything that’s been going on, I’ve really realized how much everyone feels like they need their phones in their daily lives. For the past few days, I’ve just been enjoying being with everything and everyone around me.

That’s exactly what I was doing at Ramah Bay earlier today. We had an hour to explore the beautiful area, and after learning about some plants from Roger (Plant Dude), taking some stunning pictures, and going to the waterfall, I sat at the shore of the beach. All I heard was the sound of nature: the gentle wind and calming water. Coming from Surrey, I have never experienced that level of silence and serenity anywhere else in the world. The mountains that were soon hidden by fog were stunning, and I loved absolutely everything about where I was.

Soon, we had a workshop on shore about Truth and Reconciliation of Canada’s dark history with residential schools. With only nature around us, it was definitely the greatest classroom in the world.

After taking a Zodiac back to the boat, we sailed through Nachvak Fjord, which I thought was literally the most beautiful place in the world. The sun soon cascaded behind the tall and colourful mountains.

Finally, I played the piano once again at night in the lounge and everyone began singing 🙂 Everyone here is so friendly, so I feel like students and staff are really my new family.

Aiden Cyr – Ottawa, ON, Canada

Hello from Ramah Bay! The Endeavour was on the move all last night and early this morning we got to our location which was another beautiful bay in the Torngat Mountains National Park. I can really say that this park is one of my favourite places in the world. The history behind it ( second oldest rocks in the world found here). The people (great talks with local elders and bear guards about this beautiful land). The wildlife (Saw a seal pop his head out of the bay!) and bien sur (I’ve been practising lots of French lol) the scenery. I’m sure it gets tiring reading about the scenery but if you were here you’d be in the same predicament. For example we will be watching a video surrouding the history and culture of the Inuit who call this place home. The video by Parks Canada was premiered to the group and the history and stunning aerial shots make you feel spiritual inside ( Which is what Torngats means ” Beautiful Spirits” or spirit place along those lines).

I’ve been getting great sleep despite the rock ultra rocky boat last night but the 7am wakeups are bittersweet. I prefer the summer sleep in’s until I’m up and don’t want to miss a thing! Met even more people today! People think I’m going for the name contest but I’m not as dedicated as a fellow student who is actually studying the “face” book pamphlet of everyone. Hey well if you’re doing that then you deserve to win. Just got back from a beautiful Zodiac Cruise and wanted to write to you guys! Did an awesome Truth and Reconciliation discussion circle with youth from around the world. From people like Jess and I, Inuit Youth and people from across the world who have no idea about the TRC or residential schools so it was definetly really cool.

Jess has invited me to do a panel with her and some Other Inuit youth leaders on social change and youTh and what the experience means to them later this week. COuld be soon!. Cool Stuff right? Pray for good Weather as we apparently are  going straight into some heavy fog. More workshops and luNch now!

Far Away, Near IN Spirirt,

Aiden

Alexis Rousseau – Baie-Comeau, QC, Canada

Enfin la terre ferme! Nous sommes partis pour notre deuxième excursion en zodiac de l’expédition et j’avais hâte de marcher sur un sol qui ne tangue pas. Et oui, le mal de mer fait partie de l’aventure.

Pour une deuxième journée consécutive, nous avons pu admirer les montagnes du Parc National des Monts Torngats, à Ramah Bay, au Labrador. On se sent tellement petits et sans importance devant ce paysage plus grand que nature. C’est la première fois que j’ai pu fouler une terre vierge, sans traces de la mondialisation humaine. Il y avait tout de même des preuves du passage des Inuit, comme la présence d’un ancien cimetière. On se sentait tout de même dans la nature, sous sa forme la plus pure.

Nous avons ensuite été dans des ateliers, le mien étant à propos de l’histoire et des défis que confrontent les communautés Inuit. Nous avons abordé principalement la vérité et la réconciliation. Les actes posés par les missionnaires ont suscité beaucoup de discussions, puisqu’on se demandait s’ils n’ont fait que du mal ou bien s’ils ont réussi quelque chose auprès des Inuit. Nous en avons conclu qu’ils ont agrandi leur espérance de vie en les plaçant dans des bâtiments et les sédantarisant. Malheureusement, ils ont cessé de pratiquer la chasse et la pêche et sont devenus dépendants de la nourriture provenant des Européens. Les missionnaires leur ont tout de même enseigné en Inuktitut, préservant ainsi une partie de leur culture.

Pour finir la journée, nous sommes allés sur le pont du bateau pour admirer le fjord Nachvak. Ses eaux d’une couleur bleu-vert étaient magnifiques. Les montagnes avaient aussi une place prédominante dans le paysage, elles étaient tout simplement majestueuses.

Une petite pensée pour ma mère qui fête son anniversaire, bonne fête Maman!

 

Allison Dyson – Makkovik, NL, Canada

Today was a bit of a weird day so far. A good one – no doubt about that, but a weird one! We went ashore in Rahma Bay, where we spread out to explore. It amazed me that the snow there was the first that some students on my expedition had ever touched. It was a small snow patch, but there were some kids sliding down it! It was so great to see people who weren’t used to snow sliding down the small hill, laughing so loud, and taking photos of each other. In Ramha Bay, there was a gorgeous waterfall that me and my new friend Will from Rhode Island ran through. I wish that my siblings were here with me though, and my parents. I love to experience new things, but doing those things with my family (and dog, I love you, Mox) would really be something else… We’re going through Nachvak Fjord now, and I’m going to head up on deck for a look! Bye for now,

-Mae

 

Amy Johnson – PhD Student

Hello again! Today was our second day exploring the Torngat Mountains. We started off this morning in Ramah Bay where we went on shore to see an old Inuit settlement. It was really interesting seeing the gravestones and sod houses that were built so many years ago. We learned about the history of the people who lived there and their lives. The settlement was right beside the beach, surrounded by beautiful mountains, with a waterfall flowing into the sea. There were various workshops on shore, including oceanography, beach combing, Inuit games, truth and reconciliation discussion, and art/crafts. This afternoon, we travelled through the amazing Nachvak Fjord and then into Tallack Arm on the ship. This region was carved by glaciers thousands of years ago and today has spectacular mountains – we saw a polar bear swimming and a minke whale! Tomorrow we head to Hebron and I’m sure it will be an incredible experience.

 

Blake Russell – Lewisporte, NL, Canada

A very awsome day so far. No wind this morning and overall pretty warm. Dropped anchor at 2 AM in Ramah Bay (Torngat Mountains). Breakfast at 8 and starting to leave for shore around 10.

When we got to shore, fishing rods were up for grabs so I took one and caught 2 char. One small one and one larger one (2 lbs). There were around 25-30 caught in less than an hour ranging from 10-12 inches up to around 3 1/2- 4 lbs. While on shore we saw some partridges (ptarmigan) and just recently spotted a polar bear swimming while we are steaming to Nachvak Fjord.

There was music and several workshops happening while we were on shore for a few hours. I visited one on culture and the influences from outside people on Labrador Inuit. We are currently still steaming, having quiet time and waiting to hear plans for this evening. The scenery here in the Torngats is very rugged (huge mountains and only bushes or grass). It is hard to describe the beauty and the type of place this is in writing, the only way to know is to experience it yourself!

Claire Sutherland – Castlegar, BC, Canada

Hello to everyone back home and around the world! Today has been such an exciting day! This morning after breakfast we were told that we were going into Ramah Bay, which for thoses of you who don’t know is on the north coast of Labrador, though it is still in the Torngat Mountains National Park. We all very quickly put on our waterproof gear and jumped into the zodiacs. While we were heading over, my zodiac group managed to see two seals! Everyone on the ship always very excited when we get to see marine life, myself included. When we got to the shore we had about an hour to walk around and explore. In my hour, I managed to drink fresh water from a waterfall, see one of the sod houses that are spread around the bay, and see the many people who couldn’t seem to stop catching fish. I then ventured over to see that the musicicans had started to play. Many people started dancing and singing, which was very fun to see!

When we got back to the boat in the afternoon there was a polar bear swimming right next to the ship! It was so amazing to see! We are also just leaving the Nachvak Fjord. The cliffs and mountains were amazing to see. As well when we were in the fjord had our first whale sighting! I unfortunantly did not get a photo of it, but hopefully we will get more chances to see more whales! So far we’ve seen so many polar bears, whales, and other marine animals. We’ve been very lucky with the chances we’ve had and hopefully we will get more!

Well that’s it for now, I hope that all of you are enjoying following our journey and are excited to see what we do next!

-Claire 😀

Cory Fournier – North Bay, ON, Canada

There are few things in life thst can be intensly humbling yet bring about an enormous amount of spirit in a person. That is exactly what Raman Bay in Torngat Mountains National Park does. There is somthing about this place that brings people together, through land and culture.

In a natural ampitheater formed out of rock I sat down to listen to Miki, a Greenlandic Inuk, play his wooden flute, after a few moments he was organically joined by Tim with a guitar and a voice that filled in the silence between the crashing waves ashore. The music brought so much life to the land, the land that already has spirit woven into every rock, shrub, and drop of water. As the music continued fog started to roll in, laying a blanket over the water, it was as though spirits were joining us from the Torngats. The space we occupied was so full of beauty, art, culture and passion it was impossible to keep my eyes dry.

The people I’m meeting, the places I’m seeing, the experiences I’m sharing are all so much more than I was ready for. Every part of it changes you ,it all creates more depth, passion, and motivation to do more, protect more, and experience more.

Edouard Toma – Gatineau, QC, Canada

Je me suis levé ce matin, extrêmement fatigué pour aucune raison avant d’aller déjeuner. Le bateau avait arrêté de bouger vers 2h du matin alors personne n’a eu le mal de mer, à l’opposé de hier! Pendant le déjeuner, je me suis assis à une table où je ne connaissais personne et j’ai parlé avec eux, c’était très amusant. Par la suite, on s’est dirigé vers le salon pour entendre les messages du matin, nous avons été les premiers à voir une vidéo de Parcs Canada sur les Torngats Mountains, l’endroit où nous étions. Il y avait énormément de brouillard dehors et nous n’aurions pas pu accoster sur l’île s’il ne s’était pas levé. Sans une bonne visibilité, y avait un danger de ne pas voir des ours polaires qui seraient sur la rive. Une rencontre avec un  ours peut être dangereuse alors nous avons des gardes qui doivent débarquer avant nous pour être certain qu’il n’y en a pas dans les environs. Mais finalement le brouillard s’est levé juste à temps pour nous permettre d’aller sur l’île. Nous avons mis nos bottes et notre veste de sauvetage et nous avons étrangement attendu un peu avant de nous diriger sur l’île. Une fois arrivé, je me suis dirigé vers la cascade pour gouter l’eau car elle était supposément très bonne et fraiche, c’était effectivement le cas. Après avoir gouté l’eau, mes amis et moi nous sommes mis à marcher pour aller un peu plus haut sur une montagne pour avoir une meilleure vue. Nous avons marché environ 20 minutes avant de nous asseoir sur un rocher. J’ai observé les alentours car tout était simplement majestueux et tellement grand. Il y avait des montages tout autour de moi et il y avait la petite rivière qui coulait entre elles. Après avoir pris un moment pour me reposer et regarder le paysage, j’ai marché en bas. Je suis par la suite retourné près de la cascade car plusieurs personnes jouaient de la musique. J’ai écouté un peu et j’ai découvert qu’un petit groupe de personnes étaient en train d’escalader une petite montagne de neige et s’amusaient à glisser. Je suis allé les rejoindre et je me suis bien amusé car il y avait un Indien qui n’avait jamais touché à de la neige avant. Il a enlevé ses souliers en haut de la butte de neige et il a été très surpris de voir que la neige était froide. J’ai glissé quelques fois avant de me cogner sur une roche en descendant. Je suis par la suite allé au point de rassemblement car on devait se diviser en ateliers. J’ai choisi d’aller dans un atelier pour raconter des histoires. Nous avons tous raconté une petite histoire et après nous avons joué à essayer de raconter l’histoire de quelqu’un d’autre, c’était très difficile. Nous sommes par la suite retournés sur le bateau pour manger le diner. J’ai été très surpris de voir qu’il y avait de la poutine au buffet, je suis tout de suite allé en prendre. J’ai été très surpris de voir que les personnes ne mettaient pas de sauce sur leur poutine. Je leur ai immédiatement expliqué qu’il était essentiel de mettre de la sauce sur la poutine. Après le diner, je me suis finalement assis pour relaxer et penser à tout depuis le début du voyage. J’ai fait cela jusqu’à temps qu’on soit tous appelés au salon pour se diviser en petit groupe pour essayer de mieux se connaitre. L’activité consistait à écrire un fait sur nous et deviner qui l’avait écrit. Après ce petit jeu, je me suis dirigé sur le devant du bateau pour admirer la beauté du Nachvak Fjord pour le reste de l’après-midi. C’était un des endroits les plus magnifiques que je n’ai jamais vu! Il y avait les montagnes qui étaient en forme de U à cause des glaciers présents il y a plusieurs milliers d’année. Un des moments les plus amusants de toute l’expédition s’est alors produit, il y a eu un vent extrêmement puissant qui s’est mis à souffler sur le bateau. Nous avons alors eu la brillante idée de lever nos vestes pour ressembler à des chauves-souris, le vent battait tellement fort qu’on devait se battre contre le vent pour ne pas tomber. Nous sommes par la suite allés au salon et nous avons fait une rencontre avec le capitaine et ensuite l’heure du souper est venue.

Elise Pullar – Calgary, AB, Canada

Yesterday, I felt my career and my heart collide. As a member of the Parks Canada Northern Engagment Team, I’ve been sharing stories about Canada’s northern national parks all summer. Now I finally get the opportunity to explore one of the newest and most remote national parks in Canada: Torngat Mountains national park.

Gazing out at the Torngat Mountains from the deck of our ship was like a dream.  The thick fog drifted around the bright blue sky as we began sailing into Eclipse Channel. With lifejackets on and excitement in the air, we hopped on our zodiacs to explore this incredible landscape. Within minutes of the landing, I was hiking across mossy rocks and even spotted a little lemming run by.

Words can’t nearly describe how it feels to be surrounded by these 4 billion year old mountains. Photos can’t capture the rumbling sound of the waterfall we got the chance to experience. So, to capture the emotions, sounds and scenes of the Torngats, I sat down with an easel, a canvas, and a paintbrush. There is something special about painting these magnificent mountains while feeling the wind on your face and smelling the fresh ocean breeze.  Plus, it was amazing  to finally shake hands with Gary, the Torngat Mountains field unit superintendent, and explore the waters and land that he watches over. I can’t wait to continue to travel through this beautiful Arctic landscape.

 

#SOIArctic2016 hand made Inuit qajaqs (kayaks) on the beach. Photo (c) @lipmanstillpics #FloatingClassroom #NatureforAll

A photo posted by Students On Ice (@studentsonice) on

Emma Lim – London, ON, Canada

Yesterday after blogging I watched a few highlight videos on the trip so far. I was amused to see that I was featured in one of them, pointing at some polar bears! The sunset was absolutley stunning, in all shades of pink, blue and purple and offset with some geometric icebergs. I played some games on deck and worked on learning more Inuktikuk. I can now have some basic conversations and say some assorted words and phrases.

Today after breakfast we immediately left for Ramah Bay. Yesterday we were in the Eclipse channel. We will also be sailing into the Nachvak Fjord today! (These are all places in the Torngat Mountains National Park)  So, we all went into zodiacs and made the short trip to the shore. The landscape was sprawling Tundra fields and then huge mountains covered with small waterfalls. A large waterfall also fell from the steep sloped hills. There was also a large snow chunk on the side of the hills that I slid down on my jacket because I didn’t have rainpants. I learned that the site we visited was covered in the remains of the German and Inuit people (there was a word for them that I can’t remember.) They tried to convert the Inuit people in the area. I saw the remains of a cast iron stove and porous yellow bricks that looked like sponges. I also learned how to use the inside of shells as makeup to make pretty white designs on the face. The area also had a graveyard and a large stream. I tasted the water, which was very nice and clean. After, I went to an oceanography workshop where we collected plankton samples to send to the Tara Project in Trance which is mapping the ocean genome. (again, I may be misinformed). Additionally, the boat moves so much! It’s sometimes hard to walk without falling. I love you mom, dad, marcus,anna and obi!

Gia Lundblad – Sisimiut, Greenland

Haluu tamassi,

Utoqqatserpunga ulluni kingullerni allattarsimannginnama, naatsunngorluguli susimanigut oqaluttuareqqaalaassavakka.

Ullut kingulliit nuannit! 

Ulloq 23. juli 2016

Ulloq taanna Ottawamiit Iqalunnut aallarnialoorpugut. Ullaakkut arfineq marlut eqqaani aallartussaagaluarluta arferngup eqqaani aallarpugut, aqqarnullu eqqaaniunnguatsiarpoq Iqalunnut tikilluta. Tikikkatta Iqaluit taartuinnaavoq, taamaammallu iluamik takunagulu gummibådinut ikeriarluta umiarsuarmut ikiartorluta

Ulloq 24. juli 2016 

Frobisher Bayimiippugut, ullorlu taanna nannunik qulingiluanik (!) takulluta. 

Ulloq 25. juli 2016

Torngat Mountainsimi pisuppugut, gummibådinik angalaalaarpugut, aammattaarlu qajartorluta. Assaa pinngortitaq kusanaq! Soorunaminaasut qaqqallu Kalaallit Nunaannut assingusinnaagaluarpoq, kisiannili qaqqat ilusaat maninnerujussuullutik.

Ulloq 26. juli 2016

Juulut inuuissiorpoooq! Ullumikkut angerlarsilaarpunga, ilaquttakka eqqarsaatigeqaakka. Kisiannili misigisarpassuakka nuannareqaakka! Ulloq taanna Ramah bayimiippugut. Ramah Bayip sissaa tupinnaq. Ujaqqat “saatsukujuuinnaapput” manillutik. Taakani aamma qilaatersorlunga kalattoorlungalu misilippara, aammattaaq fiskestangimik aalisarlunga, tassanilu paasivara fiskestangimik aalisarneq itikkakuuffigalugu. 

Ullumikkut ulloq 27. juli 2016

Nangeqqippara allatara.

Ullumikkut Hebronimiippugut, Nunatsiavormiut assaqutaani. Ullumikkut ulloq Nunatsiavormiunut pingaartuuvoq. ITK(Inuit tapiriit Kanatami) ullumikkut imminortarneq akiorniarlugu suliniutissartik saqqummiuppaat. Ullumikkullu nunap aqutsisui Hebronimukaratik silap ajornera peqqutaalluni katersuunnissaraluat Kuujjuarmut nuunneqarpoq.

Angalanerput uannut eqqarsalersitsinaqaaq. Silaannaap kissatsikkaluttuinnarnera pillugu imatut sammisaqarpianngilanga, Inuit piorsarsimassusaat soqutigineruleqqagakku. Pre-programernitsinni nalunngeriissavarsi Inoqatigiit avannarlermiuusugut katersuussimasugut. Tassani inooriaaseq, oqaluttuarisaaneq, piorsarsimassuseq allarpassuillu eqqartorpagut. Takullugit naggueqatigiit Inuiusugut allarujussuarmi nunaqaraluarluta qanoq assigiitsiginersugut tupaallannarpoq. 

Apeqquterpassuit aamma puttutikaapput, soorlu makku: Kinaavunga? Siulikka kikkuuppat/qanoq inuusimappat? Uanga Inuttut Kalaalertut kinaavunga? Kalaallit perorsarsimassusaat qanoq ittuua?

Qujamasunnerlu anneruliinnarpoq. Inuit Nunavimmeersut, Nunavut, Nunatsiavut aammalu Inuvialummeersut ilaasa Inuktitut puujoriartornermi kingorna allaat aanakkutik oqaloqatigisinnaajunnaarsimagaat tupinnaq. Qujaqaanga Kalaaliusugut oqaatsivut pisortatigoortunngornikuugamik, aqunneqarnikkullu namminersulernikuulluta. Soorunami aaqqitassanik ulikkaarpugut, kisiannili nalunngilara siunissami angukutsoorumaarigut.

Allanik suli oqaluttuassaqaraluaqaanga ulluni kingullerni pisimasunik, takivallaaleqimmalli tamaanga killiinnarpunga. Ullumikkumiik ullut tamaasa allanniartarumaarpunga. Aqagu tusass’!

Asannittumik, 

Gia Lundblad

Haleh Zabihi – St. John’s, NL, Canada

Today, we visited the gorgeous Ramah Bay just south of the Torngat Mountains. The water was a picturesque blue as we made our way to land, contrasting the green rolling hills. What made me catch my breath however was the low lying cloud of fog that was inching its way around the bay, covering it up in a thick layer for just a minute before leaving again. After taking a look at and getting some information about the sod houses on the land, I tried my hand at fishing. Though I didn’t catch anything, it was a fun experience nevertheless. We then made our way to the “amphitheatre” where we were treated to a musical performance. After completing some workshops (I did the storytelling one!) we made our way back to the ship for some lunch. We are currently making our way to the Nochvak Fjord.

Until next time,

Haleh

Jamie Snook – Executive Director

My second day on the water with Students on Ice (SoI) provided the opportunity see Eclipse Bay in the Torngat Mountains National Park for the first time. The mountains, river, seals, and Arctic Char catch the imagination of all the students onboard the ship. Part of my time was spent paddling a traditional and handmade Inuit kayak crafted by Eric McNair-Landry.

Inuit are people of the land and sea who have always depended on marine resources for their subistence, and have been navigating these waters long before this expedition. While the students were in awe about what they could see, I could not help but think about what was out there in the waters, out of sight, out of mind for many.

Before the expedition began, one of my new friends from Greenland commented on how he had never travelled this far south before in good humor. Eclipse Bay is geographically situated in a more southernly area of Inuit Nunangat, and I propose that the further south you go the more Inuit are not the primary beneficiaries of marine resources that are within and adjacent to their traditional homelands.

I am thinking about northern shrimp, one of the smallest of species, and far out of sight from SoI students, yet one of the most valuable fisheries in Nunavut, and in Newfoundland and Labrador. We spent time sailing in some of the most productive northern shrimp waters in the world, and Inuit interests in this region are eclipsed by the successful lobbying efforts of southern-based commercial fishing interests.

The factual evidence is clear. Inuit in Nunavut, for example, are regularly issued the lion’s share of new shrimp allocations and, in 2015, held 44% of all the shrimp resources in waters within and adjacent to Nunavut. By comparison, as we sailed in Nunatsiavut territory, in waters the shrimp fishing industry call SFA4, the Inuit here hold approximately 2% of the shrimp allocations in this region.

Many people in Canada heard all about shrimp fishing this year when the Federal Government established a Ministerial Advisory Panel on a controversial public policy called LIFO. The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada just recently abolished the policy and the panel regularly commented throughout their report on the complexities related to Indigenous fisheries.

If Inuit are truly going to benefit economically from resources such as shrimp, Canadians need to start questioning how situations like this have evolved over time, and what is going to be done differently in the future to ensure Inuit have economic sovereignty and success. Time is limited as Northern shrimp biomass is declining, largely due to climate change and warming ocean temperatures.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Torngat Secretariat, please visit our website at www.torngatsecretariat.ca. Our organization is also on Facebook and Twitter, and we’re always happy to field more questions and inquiries.

#paigitsiaguk #takecareofit

Jamie Snook, MA, P. Mgr

Executive Director

Torngat Wildlife, Plants and Fisheries Secretariat

Jimmy Blais – Actor/Teacher/Director/Producer

This blog entry is about a week and a half late but for good reason. I’ve been too busy. Too busy picking my jaw up from off the floor day in and day out. I won’t even get into the magic that took place at Nunavut Sivuniksavut for the first three days of this adventure. We are now wrapping up our 4th day out at sea and everyday has been more impressive than the last. 

When we found out that we were iced out of Pang and our old itinerary and that we were going to the Torngats, I kind of shrugged my shoulders in a very whatever will be will be fashion. I then looked around the room and wtinessed tears of joy fall from the faces of a few students who knew. They understood the power, the beauty and the spiritual presence of what I now call the most beautiful place I have ever been.

I’m told by the blogging instructions taped to the wall infront of me that I should keep my blog to about half a page to keep my reader’s interest. So I hope to rewind at some point down the road, to some of the awe inspiring experiences that took place during the first 3 days. This blog will be about today.

Day 4 was exceptional on many fronts. Somehow it provided the most stunning landscapes to date. It also reconnected me to the land and to nature at a level I had been longing for. I picked up a fishing rod for the second day in a row, something I used to do on a regular basis with my father when I was younger. Today I caught my first Arctic Char, a nice-sized one if I do say so myself. I took it back to the part of the beach where some of the students had already began collecting their catches. Natashia, who had already caught two fish asked if I wanted to gut it. Uhhhhh YES! She took me through the steps as I placed my hands inside the fish and manouvered through all the bloody bits. I asked her if she does this much, she said that she had just learned today. Needless to say I was impressed. So I took that as inspiration and hailed down the next wanna-be-angler with a fish on their hook. It was Bentley, I asked if she wanted to gut her fish. She said “uhhh YES!” and just like that the student became the teacher two times over. 

I was also lucky enough to do my workshop today. I wasn’t planning on it but as we landed the zodiacs on the shore of Ramah Bay, Scott asked and I was flexible. After all flexibility is key. I’m glad I was. About 20 of us sat in a circle, typical theatre style, within the short grass. Before I took my first breath to address the group, I realized how amazing it was to be able share what I love with these incredibly open people in what was clearly an incredibly spiritual place. 

I’m thankful for being able to live in the moment today and every day I have been here. I can’t wait for what’s to come.

Montreal je t’aime

#SOIArctic2016 On shore at Ramah Bay. Photo (c) @lipmanstillpics #FloatingClassroom #NatureforAll

A photo posted by Students On Ice (@studentsonice) on

Jennifer Aarhus

The two words I would use to describe today are HOPE and POWERFUL.

I SAW A WHALE!!!! I was waiting and HOPING, and waiting and HOPING some more and we were so very lucky to see one today in Nachvak Fjord. I have been spending a lot of time with my binoculars out on deck searching the ocean and land for wildlife. I could spend hours just standing out there, with the sea breeze, the sun shining, the beautiful water sparkling beneath us, and of course the anticipation of an animal that could be just around the corner.

But seeing the whale made me so incredibly happy. It was a Minke Whale. One of my new friends pointed it out to me, and I shouted ‘Where?!’ I put my binoculars up to my face and I got to see it’s back and fin! How incredible!

I would use the word POWERFUL for a number of reasons. Being present at Ramah Bay and hearing the history of the land and the people who lived there was so amazing. I was able to fish in the Arctic today too! Unfortunately I wasn’t able to catch one, but a lot of the students caught Arctic Char and Scalpin. I will not give up- I HOPE to catch a fish!! The other POWERFUL thing from our journey today was the water. Water from the falls off the cliff, water from the waves on the beach, and water from beneath the ship. The ocean is so POWERFUL and mysterious. The discussion on truth and reconciliation was also very POWERFUL. It opened up the dialogue and helped me understand more about what is happening and how I can help. There is HOPE for the future as I witnessed some incredible testimonies and heartfelt stories to help move us forward in this healing process.

What an inspiring, POWERFUL, and moving day. Thanks to everyone who made it possible!

Joshua Thompson – Almonte, ON, Canada

I’m learning that there isn’t too much time to sit down and blog! We’ve been so incredibly busy and it feels good. We were all told on the very first day of the expedition that Students On Ice’s catchphrase is ‘Flexibility is key,’ and over the course of the first part of our journey, I have learned that that’s the slogan for a reason. Our initial plan involving Pangertung and the Ayuittuq National Part had to be changed due to sea ice completely blocking access to the area. Thankfully, there was a plan B in place, and probably plans C through Z as well based on what I know of the incredible staff of this expedition. We are now farther south on the north coast of Labrador, in the Torngat Mountains, one of the most remote places in Canada. The change in plan is now a good thing in my books; we’ve seen eleven polar bears so far, among the other incredible experiences. This morning we were at Ramah, a place where Inuit lived until they were forcefully relocated south by the government in the middle of the 20th century. It was easy to see why the Inuit had lived there for so long; the bay was abundant with fish, the beach was composed of soft sand, the tiny size of the vegetation was made up for by the huge variety (roseroot, dandelions, loco weed, many relatives of the blueberry, half-inch tall ferns, and many many others for those interested,) and fresh water streamed down from the half dozen waterfalls which made their way down the rocky faces of the incredible mountains. We saw a seal, a polar bear, and the bones of a caribou all within a kilometer of the landing site. As I filled my water bottle from the falls, I couldn’t help but think of the Inuit who had probably done the same thing for millenia, and who had to abandon their home. Dotted across the beach were the remnants of sod houses, of grave sites of both Inuit and the Maravian missionaries who lived there, and even of Inuit grafitti. The site was an incredible place to be, and the history isn’t entirely sad. in 2005 with the Nunatsiavut Land Claims Agreement, the Torngat Mountains National Park was created. It spans the Torngat Mountains range, the most incredible place I have ever seen, and is staffed entirely by Inuit. Ramah is part of this park and through the management of the park, the history of the area is remembered. The superintendent of the park has joined the expedition, and he will be sharing with us even more about the park as we approach Base Camp in the next few days. Thanks to his permission we were able to take plant and aquatic life specimens onboard the ship with the experts, and even catch fish. After our time here we will return to the original course and travel to Greenland, and I am incredibly excited for the rest of the journey. I’m learning more than I could have possibly imagined, I’m writing everything down (my journal is a lot more accessible than the blogging station and you’ll all be able to read it when I get home,) and I’m having an amazing time with absolutely incredible people. More blog posts to come, and much much more when I return. I promise I’m eating my vegetables.

– Josh

Julia Richardson – Kingston, PEI, Canada

Today was the second expedition day! I woke up in the Ramah Bay, or at least I assumed it was because the fog was obscuring everything except for the water a few meters from the ship’s underbelly. As you would guess, we were still uncertain if we would be doing zodiacs today because of the ghastly weather so we all gathered into the Hub to receive our daily briefing.

We also were able to listen to a presentation from Parks Canada and watch a never-before-seen promotional video about the Torngat Mountains that were hiding somewhere  beneath the early morning fog. As if on cue, almost immediately after the presentation the fog retreated beneath the sun’s gaze to reveal an impressive ring of mountains. To clarify things, every mountain range is impressive, but there was something especially special about the quiet remoteness of the Torngats. Perhaps the hushedness of it all is really the whispering of the fabled spirits of this place!

I have mentioned before that I am a proud member of the Alpha pod, but today I did not board the zodiacs with my fellow Alphas. Today was going to be different. Instead I joined up with the other girls whom were also funded by the Leacross Foundation (who, I might add, are all wonderful young women) as well as some of the other scholarship-funded students. When we reached the shore each of the Leacross students were interviewed about where they were from, how their SOI experience has been so far, etc. This was probably the second interview I have ever had in my life (the other being when I won the Ocean 100 Anne of Green Gables look alike contest!) and it was an interesting experience!

Later that morning we were split off into different groups and I found myself in the Storytelling group with Jimmy. I had assumed it was all about listening to stories, but I did not expect to be telling one myself! Nonetheless I decided to share my story about the time I was mauled by my friend’s ferocious cat, Frendle. It was a true tale of human will power to survive in the most dire of situations!

Lunch came afterwards, which I spent with my good pal Meera and then we were on our way to Nachvak Fjord. The scenery was beautiful with the combination of the shimmery waters and desolate peaks. You could almost picture how some prehistoric glacier carved its way along the earth to make this wonderful site. I was even able to spot a whale as it was diving deeper into the waters.  Of course I took lots of pictures, but I was forced to return into the shelter of the ship’s interior when the winds became too much to bear.

Overall today was a lovely experience and I cannot wait to see what wonders the morrow brings! As a closing note I would like to thank my sponsor, the Leacross Foundation for making my entire trip possible. I will never forget such kindness!

Reflection time on Ramah Bay landing. Photo (c) @lipmanstillpics #SOIArctic2016 #NatureforAll

A photo posted by Students On Ice (@studentsonice) on

Linda Kristiansen – Nuuk, Greenland, Canada

Aluu tamassi! Ulluni makkunani allanngeqattaarpunga nuannisarnermik. Neriuppunga nunatsinni aamma ilissi ajunngitsusi, uanga ajulaanngilanga. Immersortinnaqaaq ilikkagaqarnarsuataarlunilu. Kinaluunniit inuk oqaluukkaangakku pissarsiaqarlungalu ilikkagaqartuaannarpunga.

Ippassaruna nuna eqqissisimatitaq Torngats mountainsimik atilik alakkaratsigu pisuttuarlutalu, nunataa Kalaallit Nunaannut assingorsuataarpoq, naasut, nuna, qaqqallu. Angalaqatikka alutorsarsuaarput qujamasoqalutillu asimut pigamik, aatsaavissuarlu asimiillutik nunami taamaattumi.

Eqqarsalersippaanga uagut qanoq pisuujutigaluta nunap tungaatigut. Pisulaaginnarlutaluunniit asimukarsinnaagatta, nunattalu nipaa tusaasinnaalertarlugu. Isumaqarpungalu qujamasuutiginerusariaqaripput, pissutigalugu inuit amerlasoorpassuit taamatut asimukariaannaanngimmata ilaasaluunniit imaq aatsaavissuaq takugaat.

Nunarput tarnilik tusaanerusariaqarparput. Nuna isigigukku nunaannaanngilaq, oqaluttuassartanik ulikkaarpoq, nukinnik ulikkaarpoq, naasut, qaqqat ilusaat, qaqqat sooruku taamatut iluseqartut? Sooruku taamatut qalipaateqartut?

Uanga aamma eqqarsartariaasera isiginnittariaaseralu nunamut allanngorpoq. Soorlu maluginianngisaannakkakka misissortalerlugit ilinniarfigalugillu. Taamatut angalalluni paasisassarsiorluni imaannaanngilaq, suna tamaat peqataaffigerusunnartaqaaq inullu kinaluunniit naapillugu oqaluukkaangakku tunniussaqartuaannarluni. Isumaqarpungalu taamatut ilinniarneq pingaartorujussuusoq. Atuagarsuinnarnani misigisassarsiorluni paasisassarsiorlunilu, taamaasilluni paasinarnerullutillu eqqaamanarnerusarput.

Atuarfinniluunniit aamma iluamik Inuit (Kalaallit) piorsarsimassusiat itinerusumik ilinniarneq ajoratsigu. Tamaani qallunaanit oqaluttuunneqarpunga itinerusumik Inuit siulitta oqaluttuassartai pillugit, akilinermiullu oqaluttuassartai. Itinerusumik paasivara aamma akilinermiut inooriaasii, oqaluttuassartai, oqaasii, ileqqui, ajornartorsiutaallu nunatsinnut assingusorujussuit. Tassuunartaatigullu isumaqarpunga suleqatigiinnerusariaqartugut assersuutigalungu imminortarnerit, meerartaajaartarnerit, aanngaajaarniutit ilinniakkamillu unitsitsisarnerit annertoorujussuummata nunatsinni akilinermiunilu.

Akilinermiut tassaapput Canadap avannaani Labradorip avannaani inuusut. Soorlu: Nunavut, Nunatsiavut, Nunavik, Inuvialuit il.il.

Kalaallit Nunaanni oqaatsit atorneqartut Kalaallisut qallunaatullu, assersuutigisinnaavakka Inuktitut tuluttullu. Oqaatsinut tunngatillugu akilinermiut aamma uagutsitulli inissisimapput, soorlu atuarfinni tuluttut oqalunnerusarlutik aamma Inuit akilinermiut Inuktitut oqalussinnaanatik tuluttuinnaq oqaluttut. Inuktitut oqalukkusukkaluarlutik oqalussinnaanngitsut.

Piorsarsimassuserput oqaatsigullu pingaartorujussuupput. Neriuppunga aamma nunatsinni tamanna pingaartinneqareertigisoq suli pingaartinneqarnerulerumaartoq, soorlu ilinniarfinni oqaluttuarisaanermi Inuit kalaallillu oqaluttuarisaanerat itisilernerullugu ilinniartitsissutigineqartarumaartoq. Soorlu massakkut ikkattuaraannaat taamaallaat nalunngilagut akilinermiut pillugit. Ilinniarfinni atuartitsissutigineqartarput Vikingit imaluunniit nunat allat oqaluttuassartaat, kisianni annerusumik minnerusumilluunniit uagut oqaluttuassartarput pinnagu.

Illit inuttut kinaavit? Kikkut siulerivigit? Suminngaanneerpit? Taakku apeqqutit akissallugit nalunanngippasipput. Kisianni una pivara qanga kalaallit imaluunniit Inuit Kalaallit Nunatsinnut ikaarmata taakkunanngaanneerputit pingaaruteqarporlu illit oqaluttuassartat siulippillu oqaluttuassartaa ilisimassallugu. Pissutigalugu imaannaanngitsorujussuarmik inooriaaseqarsimapput inoorusussusermik ulikkaarlutik sorsupput. Siulippit inoorusullutik iliuuserisarnikuusaat ataqqisassaapput neriuppungalu inuuniarlutik pingaartitaat aamma illit ingerlateqqikkumaaritit.

Tamaani nunarsuarmi inooqataavugut, immitsinnut tamaavitta pisariaqartippugut. Inoqanngippat tamaani inuunavianngikkaluarpugut, tamaaniippugut, inuuvugut.

Massakkut Labradorip avannaani Nunatsiavutmi angalavugut, avammukaruusaassaagut Kalaallit Nunaannukarlutalu. Angalanitsinni nannut qulit takoreerpagut, aaveq ataaseq, arferit marluk puiserlu. Nannut ilaat nerisut, nalunnguartut sikoqanngiivissukkut, nalunanngitsumik takisoorujussuarmut nalunnguartut.

Zodiacinik angalanitsinni aquttutta imaq imeqqugamiuk, isumaqarlunga piaarisoq nangaasunnguamik annikitsumik imerakku tarajoqanngitsoq! Soorlu tassa kuumminngaanniik imerluni. Sunaaffa sikup aannikup koorujussuaniilluta. Eqqumiissuaarluni imaq imerlugu mamarsuaartoq! Imeqattaarlugu 😀

Inuk kinaluunniit isumaqatiginngisaqartarpoq. Kisianni eqqarsaatigillualerukku isumaalu ataqqillugu paasiartulissavat sooq taanna inuk taamatut isumaqarnersoq. Tamaavitta assigiinngilagut, tamaavitta assigiittuugutta annassinnaanavianngikkaluarpugut. Tamatta assigiinngitsunik isumaqartarpugut.

I was born in Greenland, and I live in Greenland, but I have ever seen like this before. It humbles you, and it grounds you. Every second I learn and discover something. It is amazing. And it is so wonderful to be surrounded by young and old motivated people that can give you so much! And I think it is way better to learn something outside rather than being inside sitting on a chair all day long. And as a 94 year old young man said “you are never too old to learn”.

Atuagaq First Nations in Canadamik atilik atuarlugu nassaara kalaallinut piniartunut tulluartoq tusartikkusuppara:

“The bear was treated with particular respect. A hunter would talk or sing to the bear before killing it, assuring the animal that its death was required only because the hunter and his family needed food. As a mark of respect, the skills of bears and beavers were carefully cleaned and then placed high on a pole or in a tree where dogs could not defile them”.

Logbogiinnarmik allattussaagaluarpunga, naluara qanoq ilillunga allarpassuit eqqartoriasaalernerlugit 😀 Kisianni taakkuupput eqqarsaatikka misigisakkalu ullumikkut, neriuppungalu ingerlateqqikkumaaritit. Neriuppunga aamma aqagu periarfissaqassallunga allannissannut.

Luciano Martin Ayala Valani – Sherbrooke, QC, Canada

Ce matin au réveil, nous étions rendus à Ramah Bay situé dans le Parc National des Monts Torngats au Labrador. Lors du transport en zodiac entre le bateau et la côte, j’ai remarqué la couleur unique de l’eau. En effet, elle semblait être issue d’un mélange entre le bleu et le vert. Une fois rendu sur la côte, j’ai été frappé par l’abondance de végétation en comparaison avec le lieu où nous étions hier. Par la suite, j’ai marché vers une cascade. Après, quelques vidéo en mode ralenti, j’ai gouté à l’eau de cette cascade. J’ai trouvé qu’elle était très différente (de celle de à laquelle je suis habitué à la maison), mais sans pour autant avoir un mauvais goût. Plus tard, je suis monté plus haut pour pouvoir observer la cascade d’en haut. Entre temps, je me suis allongé sur l’herbe et j’ai regardé le paysage époustoufflant qu’offrait cette baie entourée de montagnes et écouté le silence interrompu par les vagues venant se fracasser sur le rivage. En remarquant une accumulation de nuages qui semblait bouger lentement, j’ai décidé de faire une vidéo en mode accéléré. J’ai appris à mes dépends que ce genre de vidéo demande de la patience et surtout de l’immobilité. À l’heure des ateliers, j’ai assisté à une dicussion portant sur la vérité et réconciliation (entre Premières Nations et les Canadiens) qui s’est avérée être très intéressante mais par dessus tout, constructive. Elle m’a permis de mieux comprendre la pensée de certains participants qui sont issus des Premières Nations et des difficultées d’une future commission fédérale. Une ou deux heures après le dîner, nous étions dans fjord Nachvak. En regardant depuis l’avant du bateau les montagnes aux alentours de l’eau, j’ai eu l’impression que ces  montagnes avaient été forgées par les glaciers au fil des millénaires pour les protéger une fois qu’ils seraient transformés en eau. En observant ces mêmes montagnes, je me suis rendu compte à quel point nous sommes petit à côté de la nature, telle une souris à côté d’un éléphant. En réfléchisant à mon passé et au moment présent, je me suis rendu compte à quel point les plus belles merveilles de la nature sont encore et toujours occultées aux yeux de la majorité  des hommes et que finalement, c’est peut-être mieux ainsi.

Meera Chopra – Richmond Hill, ON, Canada

 Five minutes after boarding a zodiac, we spotted a seal. We were heading to Ramah Bay, a remote place with a stunning view; there were mountains that dipped into the bay, with fog curling around them, all in front of a backdrop of clear blue sky. At the end of the beach, there was a small waterfall which let off a spray of water onto anyone who came near. 

Later on, once we got back to the ship, we went through Nachvak Fjord, with its picture-perfect mountains lying on top of a beautiful turquoise sea. The sight blew me away,  literally, since the wind was blowing very strongly through the fjord. Soon after, one person spotted what looked like a whale in the water, but it went underwater before anyone could confirm this (and before I could take any pictures to show to friends back home and claim I saw a whale).

Sending smiles from Nunatsiavut!

Melissa Snedden – High School Teacher

Today was another spectacular day in Ramah Bay within the Torngat Mountains! After breakfast the weather was extremely foggy, which meant there was a chance that we might not be able to get off the ship. After a morning briefing we opened up the curtains and the fog was lifting and we were surrounded by mountains. The weather was absolutely beautiful, probably around 10 degrees which meant we didn’t have to layer up as much as the previous day. The spirits in the Torngat Mountains were definitely with us today, which could be felt.

Upon our arrival on shore we ventured around the shoreline and learned about the sawdust houses, visited a grave site and finished with a waterfall. The community had been relocated around 1910.

Students and staff participated in multiple workshops on shore and before hand, Tim Baker from the band ‘Hey Rosetta’ jammed with other staff members on guitars and a cello. Once we broke off for workshops, I joined the students who wanted to learn about the high kick in Inuit Games. The students soon realized how difficult it is to do a high kick with one foot and land on the foot they kicked with. The time seem to fly by on the shore and it was time to head back on zodiacs to the ship.

Before we cruised through Nachvak Fjord this afternoon we worked in our Pod Groups for about an hour. Within that hour we were practicing our Pod song that we will be preforming tonight. Since we’re H for Hotel we used the song Hotel California to create the first verse and the chorus. During rehersal the students were awesome! They were able to help change some of the lyrics to make it more practical for our time here on the ship.

It’s crazy how much we’ve learned in the last few days from the educators on the ship as well as the landforms and landscapes around us.

Grace, Journey, Blessing.

xo Melissa

Mehta Ushpreet – Toronto, ON, Canada

Another zodiac ride! This time, the sun was shining even brighter and the water bluer than I’ve ever seen it. We landed on Ramah Bay in the Torngat Mountains and took a chance to fill up my waterbottle from a fresh waterfall. After a few laughs and cheesy waterfall pictures, I head off on the Bay’s mountains for a hike with my Inuit friend who taught me how to say ‘oulakoot’ which means ‘good morning’ in Inuktituk. I soon realized I had way too many layers on for the sunny day. Along the hike, every two minutes I stopped to take in the fresh mountain air and looked down to discover a new type of flower, a friendly bird or the awesome rock formations. When we reached the highest point of our hiking spot, I rested and tried to take in the landscape around me. After our hike, we went back to the waterfall to listen to a mini concert, just before breaking off into workshops. The vibe of the beach was very laid back which led me to join Jolly’s workshop of traditional Inuit games by the beach. After a ton of learning and laughing so hard from falling, we geared up to go back on the zodiacs to head for the ship, in time for lunch! During lunch, I had the opportuntiy to reconnect with great people I met on orientation day and reflected on what we appreciated the most on our trip thus far. Three things I’ve learned today;

1. Sometimes we must not only appreciate nature’s landscape but the individuals and community members who are experiencing these sights

2. I am around so many intelligent people who are taking steps toward what they believe should be changed

3. I must do something to share the incredible Inuit culture to people in my community

Melody MacLean – Manager, Public Engagement at Community Foundations of Canada

Today we visited an abandoned village in Ramah Bay, which is in the Torngat mountains on the coast of Nunatsiavut, Labrador. Ramah is a stunning slice of Canada, with mountains all around and beautiful clear water. The area we were in had a fresh waterfall (which some of the students went into) and a shore perfect for fishing.

This area also contained fascinating remants of the village, including sod houses and a graveyard. The Inuit lived here for thousands of years before Mavarian missionairies from Germany arrived. On land, there was a workshop that shared some of the history of the village and talked about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and what actions we can take as Canadians to make Reconciliation meaningful.

Unfortunately I was not in this workshop because I really wanted to join the plant workshop happening at the same time. Ramah has so many unique Arctic plants and flowers, with beautiful colours like deep blue, purple, pink, and yellow. It is a real challenge picking which workshops to do each day but I hope to do a little bit of everything. It is wonderful to see so many students learning about Reconciliation and Inuit culture in the places Inuit have lived and travelled through for thousands of years.

Tonight we head to Hebron, where we will be attending the announcement on the National Inuit Suicide Prevention strategy. We are so privileged to experience such a historic moment for Canada in person, and in such a signIficant place which I am sure I will blog more about in the future.

 

Muhammad Arif Mohd Robi

Day 6-Beautiful, everything around us is just beautiful. Lee the photographer said to us when we were having our lunch, “You might want to be anything you want one day because you want to be rich, but I just want to travel around the world with my camera.” That is what she said. And it really soothes me. Thanks Lee. You are really awesome.

Okay, today, we had a very special moment. We went on our third Zodiac ride! We landed on a very amazing, picturesque, and mesmerizing shore with the mountains everywhere around us. They are really really fantastic! Wohoo!

It was really great. We hiked the Ramah Bay Mountain and snapped some pictures from there. They are really cool. I wish I can show you how cool the pictures are. And then we went to the workshop. And I chose to be with Annie, the crafter.

Overall, it is another great day for us. We had our moments journalling and nothing could be more interesting than that. We really had fun today and we realized we should be thankful. Be thankful with everything you have right now. Appreciate your time. That what we should do today.

To my friends, wait for me to share more of all these wonderful moments. To my mum and dad, do not worry about me. Everthing is just fine. It is more than fine actually. It is my journey to change my life and my world.

Patrick Perrigo – Staten Island, NY, USA

Today so far has been a fantastic and remarkable day. After wake-up call and breakfast, we had a short briefing in the Hub for today’s morning activities.  At 9:30 AM, 8:30 AM for the people on the East Coast of the U.S., we hop into the zodiacs and landed on shore.  Today we were in Ramah Bay, and in one of Canada’s newest national parks, the Torngat Mountains National Park.  The staff at SOI only a week ago had to change our planned course, and relocated one of our visits to this new park.  What shocks me is that within such a short notice, we were able to come here.  Normally, if you wanted to go to a national park like this with such a large group of people, you need to give Parks Canada a few weeks notice for permission.  One of the higher officials for Parks Canada named Garry said “Of course” when SOI called asking if we can come to the Torngats.  He worked his tail off just to allow all of us to be here.  I am have thankful for him and all the work he had to do to get us here.

The Torngats were breath-taking and truly remarkable.  I took a lot of pictures of almost everything I saw today.  There were a lot of gorgeous snow-capped mountians, a waterfall that I stood under, a gravesite for Inuit and German people, and an amazing hiking trail to the top of a large hill connected to one of the mountains.  I had two cups of fresh Arctic water that came from the stream connecting to the waterfall.  I sat down for a long time after my hike just soaking in the whole view and thinking about how unbelievable the Torngats are.  Afterwards, we had an hour-long workshop about Truth and Reconciliation.  The discussion was about missionaries who came to the Torngats and converted the Inuit to their religion and beliefs.  I don’t remember the name of the religion, but I know it was a type of Christianity.  The main point was how can the truth be skewed, how can society learn the real truth, and how to apologize and come together to make up for the harm previous Canadians did to the Inuit.  It was very interesting, and was very similar to the American government and the Native American conflict we have today about reconciling.

Afterwards, we came back on the ship by zodiac, had lunch, and did some pod group activities were we got to learn more about each person in our pod group.  They broke all 116 students into ten pod groups to make the learning experience easier for everyone.  I am in Pod Group C with eleven other people.  We have lots of fun and competition with the other pod groups, and we try to out-do each other all the time.  Finally, we stood on the bow of the ship as we sailed through Nachvak Fjord where we spotted a Pinkey Whale.  Soon we are going to meet the Captain of the ship, have dinner, another briefing, and go to bed.  I am truly amazed by everything I have saw today. I feel changed in a positive way by being able to see the remarkable scerny.  To think that a very few of people will ever come to the Torngats astounds me.  I know some of you want me to upload pictures for those of you at home.  I am trying to figure that out, if I can do it at all.  I will blog again tomorrow hopefully, so stay tuned!

Pilunnguaq Karlsen – Upernavik, Greenland

Ullaaq iterpunga 07.30 itersaasartoq itersaalermat. Ineqatingalu makippugut, kingutigut saleriarlugit atisalersoriarlutalu nerisarfiliarluta ullaakkorsioriartorluta. Ullaakkorsioreeratta ataatsimoortarfitsinnukaaqqummatigut inimukarpugut ataatsimoortarfitsinnut. Oqalugiartoqareermat nunamut ikaarpugut sammisasaqatigiinniaratta. Nuna tikitarput eqqissisimatitaavoq kusanarluinnartoq. Ikaareernitsinni 45 min. periarfissaqartippaatigut nammineq aalajangikkatsinnik pisaqarsinnaasugut (sorusukkutta).  45 min. iluani ujaqqat misissuartaarpakka, tamarmik manittuupput ilusaat assigiinngitsut, imerfinga kuummik immerpara, naasullu aatsaat takusakka assilisaalaarlugit. Suleqatigiiaaleratta nipilersorneq amernillu mersorneq toqqarpakka, tassanilu uppiliorpugut piariinnginnakku aqangu naammassisussaavara, nipilersornertaani taalliornikuungama nipilersortartorlu erinarsoqattaarparput iluatsinniarsaralugu, kisialli iluatsippallaanngilaq, misileqattaarlugu iluatsigajattaraluarpoq.

Maannakkut 28 juuli. Ippassaq allatakka naammassinnginnakkit ullumikkut naammassissavakka.

Ullup qeqqasioreeratta gummiboederpugut (taama allalaaginnarpara ooqanngimmat). Imarliulaarami malissiulaarpugut aliannaalaarlungalu soorlulu ilkaquttat ilagiinnarlugit. Nuannisaqaagut ilagisagut erinarsoqattaaramik assigiinngitsunik, ilagisarput nukappiaraq/angut quianartorujussuungami illartittarpaatigut. Gummiboedernitsinni nunat kusanartut akornisigoorpugut, nunataat akileriit, soorlulu nunat pisataat akerleriit, aappaa naasunik ulikkaartoq aappaa seeraannaat ujarattallit. Qaqqartaat portusoorsuupput, arnaq utoqqasaaq oqarpoq taakkungooq portunerpaartaat 1000 meteriusoq. unnukkorsiuleratta nerisassanik toqqaanginnarpugut, tassani aliannaarpunga anaanama ingaarisartagaasa assiginik neringama. unnukkut oqalugiartoqareermat innariartorpunga. Innannginnanni uffaqqaarpunga kingitigissariarlungalu innarlunga. Ullormi ataatsimi misigissutsikka allanngorartorujussuusarput, naammangalugillu atortarpakka nammineq misigiussuseringakkit.

Tassa tamaanga killikkallarpunga aqangu tusaqqissuungut. Neriuppunga ilaquttat kammalaatillu ajunngittusi soorunami inuiaqatigut kalaallit tamassi kikkuungaluarussi assigiimmik 🙂 Ilaquttat ullut ilaanni eqqaamasaraluarpakka, kisialli nalunngilara takusinnaanasi, ullulli ikiliartorput takunissassinnut 🙂 Inussiarnersumik inuulluaqqullusi

Pilunnguaq Karlsen

Rachel Theoret Gosselin – Eastern Arctic Specialist for WWF-Canada

Ok, back from the dead! I was somewhat nervous when I committed to spend almost two weeks on a ship without previous experience of it. Sure enough, the first day of real movement and boy it was harsh on my stomach! Fortunately, our lovely doctors gave me few tips that I am following strictly and I am now back in action.

So, we woke up anchored in the magnificent Ramah Bay where we did our morning excursion. Ruins of sod houses, superb waterfall, and smooth pebbled beach create such a peaceful place. Listening to the history of the settlement, I couldn’t prevent my mind from wandering back in time and imagining how serene it would feel to wake up every morning to this view. I could have stayed there all day, in this magical and mythical place. The connection to nature is just so easy to feel and live in these surroundings. Luckily, the rest of the day was a calm and sunny cruise through the Nachvak Fjord with plenty of time to absorb the surroundings and the calm of this part of the Torngats National Park.

Ha! De retour d’entre les morts!  Mon appréhension de la mer s’est malheureusement concrétisée et notre première journée sur les flots m’a mise K.O. Heureusement, nos bons soignants m’ont bien conseillée et je suis de retour sur pieds et prête à continuer!

Ce matin, nos yeux se sont ouverts sur la magnifique Baie de Rhama où nous avons passé la matinée. Les restes du village, la jolie chute et la plage composée de pierres parfaitement polies donnaient à cet endroit un souffle magique. Pendant les explications sur la construction des maisonnettes, j’ai laissé mon esprit vagabonder, imaginant le sentiment de liberté que devait ressentir jour après jour les habitants de la place. L’ambiance était tellement sereine, malgré la présence de près de 200 personnes, le calme était palpable. Une journée entière en ces lieux ne m’aurait pas déplu du tout! Heureusement, le reste de la journée a été couronné d’une croisière tranquille et ensoleillée dans le Fjord Nachvak avec assez de temps pour absorber toute la beauté du paysage et l’histoire des endroits que nous visitons dans le Parc National des Monts-Torngat.

Robert Adragna – Toronto, ON, Canada

The curves and lines

Of grand designs

Give shape to the force without form

Has not one heard

Or stoically learned

Of shapes beyond the norm?

Jagged peaked tops

And descending troughs

What majesty it wrought

I know not

I know the process of glaciers old

Sliding along, attempting to mould

The valleys the streaks, the shadows of meek

Immune to the chill of the cold

I know not

I know the emotions that go untold

Wonderous awe for all who behold

The valleyed “U”

The basins shoe

The pecking colour of lichen grown anew

Stoke fires in the hearts of philisophical youth

I know not

In the sun, fog is done

Life’s just begun

In Tallock Arm

In Torngat’s charm

In Earth’s entendre

In concious thought

With mellow shock

Through mental blocks

I know not

I know not, the secrets that nature’s obscured

But am content in the occasional mystery unfurled

Unspeakable truth, without logical rebuke

For that it is all the better

#SOIArctic2016 students run on beach at Ramah Bay. Photo (c) @lipmanstillpics #FloatingClassroom #NatureforAll

A photo posted by Students On Ice (@studentsonice) on

Samantha McBeth – Montreal, QC, Canada

Les montagnes Torngats. Des immenses structures de pierre métamorphique, jaillissant de la mer tels les ossements d’un monstre titanesque, décédé au plus nord du Labrador. L’expédition Student on Ice et le vaillant Ocean Endevour sont arrivé dans le brouillard de la côte du Nunatsiavut. Ce nom signifie ”notre terre magnifique”, et une fois le brouillard levé, il n’y a aucun doute. Le Parc National des Montagnes Torngats est une merveille. Sculpté avec violence par les glaciers, le vent porte l’odeur de la végétation tenace qui croient dans les vallées.

 

A piece of the famous Ramah chert. Photo (c) @lipmanstillpics #SOIArctic2016 #NatureforAll

A photo posted by Students On Ice (@studentsonice) on

Vicky Xu – Toronto, ON, Canada

Every minute has been so rich. I feel like I need to soak in every second, but there’s never enough time. I want each second to drag out because everything is so beautiful. Everything is simply beautiful. The people, the places, the stories.
I feel so alive.

William Sanders – Warwick, RI, USA

Yesterday we went to Eclipse Channel and today we went to Ramah, both are in Torngats National Park. In Eclipse Channel it was like walking on another planet. The ground was so springy and I felt as if I were on a giant mattress of moss and ground shrub. There were birch, willow, and blueberry, but they grew to about an inch or two off the ground. They spread out in a woven carpet across the tundra. We took a hike and boat trip to see a waterfall as well. It was in a slot canyon and you could still see snow pack carved into arches and walls along the cliff faces. The workshop I attended was on native plants. I collected samples that are currently being pressed, so that later we can record and study them. Also, I ate some wildflowers and a wild potato-like root.
Today we went to Ramah. It was an old Inuit settlement turned mission that had been abandoned in 1910. The shelters and graves of people were still visible. We also caught some Arctic Char while fishing from the shore. I went to the Ocean Science workshop and collected samples of Zooplankton by trawling around the bay with a net/bucket rig. They will be sent to France and will be the first samples ever collected from the Torngat Mountains for that project. I did so many other things, but I’ll tell you more when I come home.

#SOIArctic2016 students run on beach at Ramah Bay. Photo (c) @lipmanstillpics #FloatingClassroom #NatureforAll

A photo posted by Students On Ice (@studentsonice) on

#SOIArctic2016 students perform onboard MS Ocean Endeavour. Photo (c) @lipmanstillpics #FloatingClassroom

A photo posted by Students On Ice (@studentsonice) on

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