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Inuvialuit students to hit Arctic
Students On Ice seeks to re-introduce people to their own homes

Sarah Ladik
Northern News Services
Thursday, May 12, 2016

While it may seem counter-intuitive to take students from Inuvik on a trip to explore the Arctic, Students On Ice is seeking to do just that.

NNSL photo/graphic

Students On Ice participants get off the boat nearly every day, weather allowing, to explore the land as well as the sea in the Arctic. - photo courtesy of Students On Ice

"The Arctic is a very vast landscape," said Caitlyn Baikie, the organization's Arctic youth partnerships program manager, adding that 35 per cent of participants are generally from the North.

"Being able to show students who are from the region different parts of their home is really empowering. It shows them the strength of the Arctic."

While about 200 people, including 120 students and 80 staff, from all over the world will be participating in the excursion in July and August, one spot is being reserved for a student from the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and sponsored by the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation.

The trip itself lasts 12 days, in which participants board a vessel and travel the Arctic all the while learning about culture, climate change and politics, as well as mental health issues and healthy communities.

"It's really exciting when we have students from the communities we're visiting on the trip," said Baikie, who is from Nain, Labrador.

"It helps them see their home with a new perspective, and gives them a lot of pride."

While the trip this year, set to kick off July 21, is going to Nunavut and Greenland and not the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, students from all over the Arctic will play an important role as ambassadors for the region with the other students on the vessel.

The ideal candidate, Baikie said, is a student between 16 and 22 years old, with a taste for exploring. Inuvialuit students are encouraged to apply.

While most of the participants are of high-school age, she said post-secondary students are also welcome.

"We're not looking for someone interested only in sciences," she said.

"Like so much in the Arctic, it's all intertwined ... we have artists and musicians coming with us. There's really something for everyone."

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