Erinn and Nick are two passionate environmentalists and explorers. Alumni from the 2015 and 2016 SOI expeditions respectively, they were inspired by the cross-cultural connections they made in the Arctic. Erinn is the communications, logistics, and expedition team lead for Trails in Tandem and Nick is leading the film, multimedia, and outreach. The team will also include two Sahtu Dene youth in early 2017, who will bring to life the Sahtu culture on the expedition.
Inspired by a longing for adventure and a deep sense of curiosity about Naats’ihch’oh and the Sahtu Region, the project was started by two Students On Ice Alumni interested in exploring a unique landscape in Canada’s north. Soon they discovered the rich culture of the region and the project grew into an opportunity to celebrate and share the Sahtu region with the rest of Canada. Our project will use cross-cultural immersion in nature as a way for Canadians from both the North and the South to connect.
Our expedition will take place in Naats’ihch’oh National Park Reserve in July 2017. Two Indigenous youth from the region and two non-Indigenous youth from the south will document the journey as a short film to be released in the Fall of 2017. Our goal is to find a way to co-explore this land, allowing for future youth-led cross-cultural opportunities.
The key goals and objectives of the project include:
1. Document and share a youth-driven exploration of what it means to share such a remarkable cultural and ecological landscape using multimedia and subsequent community engagement.
2. Use both traditional and contemporary knowledge to discover the unique potential of this park for sustainable tourism that ensures both its conservation and enjoyment.
3. Provide training for the expedition team that promotes new employment and engagement opportunities, specifically for Indigenous youth that face barriers to access.
4. Develop engaging educational materials that draw from the experiences of the expedition team and communicate the stories of the Sahtu with the rest of Canada.
5. Use the project as a model for future expeditions and opportunities for cross-cultural collaboration in communities across the country.