OTTAWA, February 25, 2021: On Friday, February 26, U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken will engage in a live streamed roundtable discussion with the Students on Ice (SOI) Foundation as part of his first “virtual trip” to Canada. Focused on Arctic policy, youth engagement, climate change, and Canada-U.S. relations, the discussion will include SOI Foundation President Geoff Green and five youth alumni.
“It is an incredible honour for Students on Ice to be part of a roundtable discussion with Secretary Blinken,” says SOI Foundation President and Founder Geoff Green. “Engaging youth in learning about and contributing to the Arctic and its Peoples is a value we both share, and I look forward to what I hope will be the first of many important discussions.”
The SOI Foundation is a global leader in polar education and youth engagement and over the past 20 years has inspired and supported more than 3,000 youth from around the world through its educational expeditions to the Arctic, Antarctic and places in between. The result is a network of youth impacting communities and countries around the world. From Indigenous-led research and conservation initiatives to engaging in international Arctic policy conferences, SOI’s youth alumni are taking action for a healthy and more sustainable future.
The five youth participants in the roundtable discussion with Secretary Blinken embody the type of leadership and commitment to the Arctic that is integral to our Foundation and youth network. The youth participants are:
Julia Trombley, Fort Erie, Ontario
Will Sanderson, Kingston, Ontario
Enooyaq Sudlovenick, Iqaluit, Nunavut
Nicholas Flowers, Hopedale, Labrador
Alissa Sallans, Banff, Alberta
“I am excited to have the opportunity to be part of the Students On Ice roundtable discussion with Secretary Blinken,” says youth participant Alissa Sallans. “Meaningful youth engagement involves creating space for youth to engage in dialogue with policy makers on the issues that matter to them, which is exactly what is happening here. I look forward to the conversation we will have on Arctic conservation, Indigenous rights, and youth involvement in protecting the North.”
“It is an honour to have the opportunity to speak with Secretary Blinken and the U.S. Embassy,” says youth participant Nicholas Flowers. “Connecting with fellow SOI alumni in this event is a reminder of the amazing opportunities that continue to inspire the future generation of youth leaders protecting the Arctic.”
This event is made possible thanks to the Embassy of the United States in Canada, which has supported youth and educators on SOI’s expeditions, and through educational and professional development opportunities since 2014. Together, we share a commitment to increasing awareness of the Arctic, and opportunities for youth engagement and bilateral cooperation that benefits the Arctic and its Peoples.
The event will be live streamed on state.gov.
About Students on Ice Foundation
The Students on Ice (SOI) Foundation builds leadership for a sustainable future by providing a platform for transformative learning and cross-cultural collaboration. Founded in 2000, the SOI Foundation is based on the principle that we are driven by the personal connections that we make to the land and to one another. For the past 20 years, SOI has brought together diverse youth, educators and visionary leaders through experiential expeditions and initiatives in the Arctic, Antarctica and places in-between. The outcome is a global network that takes action on climate change, supports healthy oceans and ecosystems and contributes to building thriving communities in the Arctic, and around the world.