Education and Civil Society
(CBC News via Eye on the Arctic, 8 April 2013) -- The principal of Peter Pitseolak High School in Cape Dorset, a community in Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut, is trying to improve arts programming in the school. Mike Soares says he was surprised to find that arts were not a strong subject in the school when he arrived in the hamlet three years ago since Cape Dorset is famous around the world for Inuit art. “It had pretty much got to the point where art was just paint by numbers,” he said. He says he has a good reason to try to turn that around. “Some of our students over the years have left school because they’ve found that they can produce art and sell it and then school becomes less important, in the same way that in Fort McMurray kids might leave school to go work in the oil patch,” said Soares. Almost half the kids have a carver in their family. Soares has been working with a foundation willing to pay local artists to come and work in the school. Last week, some grade 11 students met with Wen Xie, a Chinese jade carver who was in town for a month to work with other artists. Xie said he feels that students are interested when he talks about the history of carving in China. “I know a lot of kids, like 13, 14, also younger, like 11 years old, they don’t come to school, but they do some soapstone carving. I try to find them to bring them here. I really want to find them,” said Xie. Soares is also working with the National Art Gallery and the Northwest Company to repatriate some works of art so that he can put them on display in the school and inspire others.
Posted 14 April 2013; 2:20:32 PM. Permalink
(Trude Pettersen/Barents Observer, 18 February 2013 ) -- The Norwegian Government last week decided to establish a new, large university in Norway, the University of Tromsø – Norway's Arctic University. “Together we can develop higher education and research within Norway’s most important target area,” the rectors of the two institutions Jarle Aarbakke and Sveinung Eikeland say in a joint statement. “The name clearly shows the Government’s emphasis on the university as a central tool to ensure the nation’s interests in the north,” the University of Tromsø’s web site reads. Both the establishments are the world’s northernmost in their category. The University of Tromsø was established in 1968 and is the largest research and educational institution in northern Norway. The main focus of the University's activities is on the Auroral light research, space science, fishery science, biotechnology, linguistics, multicultural societies, Saami culture, telemedicine, epidemiology and a wide spectrum of Arctic research projects. The close vicinity of the Norwegian Polar Institute, the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research and the Polar Environmental Centre gives Tromsø added weight and importance as an international center for Arctic research. Finnmark University College was established in 1994 and has with three campuses in Alta, Hammerfest and Kirkenes. Minister of Education and Research Kristin Halvorsen says the name of the new university underlines the responsibility the region has: “Through the merge the two institutions will unite, strengthen and develop research and higher education of high quality in the north and in Norway”, NRK writes. The merge will be effective from August 1, 2013.
Posted 18 February 2013; 1:18:51 PM. Permalink
(UArctic News, 28 March 2012) -- The University of the Arctic (UArctic) today reached a new level of cooperation with the indigenous organizations that are permanent participants in the Arctic Council. By signing a Memorandum of Understanding with these organizations, UArctic formalizes and strengthens a long-standing relationship with these organizations that goes back to before the University of the Arctic was created. Already, in the feasibility study phase of UArctic the (then) three indigenous peoples permanent participant organizations drafted a statement of support and a challenge to the new organization entitled, “With Shared Voices”. Jan Henry Keskitalo, UArctic’s Vice-President Indigenous, has been working to reinvigorate this relationship by increasing communication and cooperation between UArctic and the permanent participants in the Arctic Council. This Memorandum of Understanding reflects that work, and our common commitment to work together to ensure indigenous issues and perspectives are reflected in all our activities. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the parties during the Senior Arctic Officials meeting of the Arctic Council in Stockholm, Sweden on March 28, 2012. Attending the signing ceremony will be UArctic president Lars Kullerud, representatives of the permanent participants, and some invited guests. This agreement brings UArctic another step towards increased cooperation with indigenous peoples as formulated in the UArctic Strategy 2008-2013. The cooperation between UArctic and the permanent participants will help to ensure that higher education in the North meets the needs of the region’s indigenous peoples, as well as reflecting the significant contribution of indigenous knowledge systems.
Posted 2 April 2012; 3:59:37 PM. Permalink
(GRID-Arendal, 3 February 2012) -- GRID-Arendal's Lawrence Hislop is attending a University of Lapland and UArctic workshop to explore collaboration on Arctic Nature Photography. The meetings started in Kuusamo at the Oulanka Research Station, University of Oulu where Riku Paavola, Director of the Research Station introduced the station’s photography related activities. After Kuusamo, the group convened at the University of Lapland, where they met with Rector Mauri Ylä-Kotola, Dean of the Faculty of Art and Design who also leads the UArctic Thematic Network on Arctic Art and Design, and researchers at the Arctic Centre. The workshop continues in extremely cold temperatures in Pyhätunturi in northern Finland, hosted by Outi Snellman, lead of UArctic’s International Secretariat. Professor Juha Suonpää, recently appointed Professor of Nature Photography at the University of Lapland and Lawrence Hislop, head of UNEP’s polar programme, lead discussions on cooperation within the area of nature photography in the context of UArctic with a group of prominent photographers, researchers and educators from a broad range of backgrounds.
Posted 16 February 2012; 9:54:30 AM. Permalink
(CBC News, 13 February 2012) -- A new course on Inuvialuit history is being taught in local high schools throughout the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. The course was developed by the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation and the Beaufort Delta Education Council. It is being introduced in a pilot project for students in grades 10 and 11. “Where they came from, what accomplishments they have, what challenges they have faced throughout their history,” said Bob Simpson, who works with the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation. It’s called ‘Tiemani’, which means ‘at that time’ in the Inuktitut dialect spoken in the region. It’s currently an optional credit, but Simpson says they want to change that. He said they're approaching the Department of Education to make the course mandatory. Anna Pingo teaches the course in Inuvik. “We’re just on Module 1, which is focusing on the history of the Inuvialuit. We were really surprised to see their textbook because it’s much bigger than we expected, it’s got such nice pictures and a lot of stories in there,” said Pingo. Pingo says she’s gotten high praise for the new classroom materials.
Posted 13 February 2012; 5:06:05 PM. Permalink
(CBC News, 10 February 2012) -- Nunavut's new high school curriculum will offer students a choice of six majors with an emphasis on practical skills, in the hopes it will keep more students in school. Inuit elders and education staff, who have been working on the new curriculum for years, also say it’s a better reflection of the territory’s unique culture. Nunavut’s current education guidelines were set before it became its own territory and they were based on those of Alberta and the other territories. The government has decided to move to a new multiple-option system. In addition to courses such as math and science, students can choose to major in one of six new areas: Introduction to trades and technology; History, heritage and culture; Community caregiving and family studies; Entrepreneurship and small-business studies; Fine arts and crafts; and Information technology. Diplomas will display students’ majors when they graduate. “We’re hoping it will keep more kids in school. Because right now, sometimes there isn’t as much practical hands-on coursework and it’s very ad-hoc,” said Cathy McGregor, director of curriculum development for Nunavut’s Department of Education. “So I think if it’s more organized and more co-ordinated, it might be more stimulating and challenging for kids.” Pascale Baillargeon, a guidance counsellor at Inuksuk High School in Iqaluit, comes face to face with the territory’s notoriously high drop-out rates and low attendance every day. But she says it is not a hopeless cause. “The kids are genuinely interested. It’s just making that connection,” she said. The Department of Education hopes the new curriculum will do the trick but Baillargeon said it won’t solve every issue. Some of the curriculum’s limitations are that few schools, if any, will be able to offer all six specialties. Most will only be able to provide two or three. The new curriculum comes into effect in September 2013.
Posted 13 February 2012; 2:28:41 PM. Permalink
(Invest in the Faroes, 3 January 2012) -- Although the Faroe Islands has a population of only 50,000 people, the country has its own University with about 600 students. For the past few years, increased funding to the University has enabled it to develop new courses of study. Some of these relate directly to the Faroese labour market and will thus satisfy the demand for higher education in applied as well as theoretical fields. For example, the University will offer a new degree programme in food science. One of the aims of this programme will be to to improve the applied aspects of the food industry in the Faroe Islands, but it will also aim to develop the industry's opportunities for growth and prosperity. At the same time, the programme will seek to contribute to the scientific side of the food industry while taking into consideration the natural resources in the Faroe Islands, especially the marine resources – the main basis of the Faroese economy. Another course of study that the University of the Faroe Islands is working on developing is in communication and journalism. Until now Faroese people have had to move to Denmark, Norway or other neighbouring countries to pursue higher education this field. The specifics surrounding the degree in communication and journalism are not set in stone yet, but it is likely to be arranged as a Master's level degree programme that can be taken after achieving a Bachelor's degree in the social sciences or the arts. The plan is also to offer the new degree programme as an option for those people that already have an advanced higher education in related fields.
Posted 12 January 2012; 6:28:36 PM. Permalink
(Yukon College, 19 December 2011) -- Yukon College is piloting a service-learning course this winter that will take advantage of the volunteer opportunity offered by Whitehorse's hosting the 2012 Arctic Winter Games. Essentially, volunteer, come to class, and through academic consideration of the experience and its context, earn university-level Northern Studies elective credits. NOTE: The course outline shown on the linked page is for a different offering of this course. The current outline may be retrieved from the enclosure URL below this post.
(CBC News, 17 November 2011) -- For the first time, Nunavut Arctic College is offering a free online university course to residents of the territory. In co-operation with the University of the Arctic, the college is making the Introduction to the Circumpolar World course available free-of-charge. "If you've ever thought about taking a university course or if you have taken university courses but you'd just like to have a university-look at the Arctic, this is a good opportunity," said Jack Hicks, university studies co-ordinator with Nunavut Arctic College. Hicks said the college also offered the course last year, but at a cost, and the school now wants to see if that prevented anyone from taking the course. Introduction to the Circumpolar World is a broad, survey course on the Arctic, its environment, people and issues. It's a first-year university level course and is the pre-requisite for taking further University of the Arctic courses in circumpolar studies.
Posted 17 November 2011; 3:24:04 PM. Permalink
(Barents Observer, 27 October 2011) -- The recent decision by the Government of Canada to dramatically cut funding to the University of the Arctic will have an impact on not only the ability of Canadian students to participate in UArctic Programs, but also on thousands of other students around the circumpolar world who benefited from them. "The funding decision from Canada is regrettable, and means that at least two of UArctic’s signature programs – the Circumpolar Studies undergraduate program and the north2north student mobility program – now face significant challenges," says UArctic President Lars Kullerud in a press release. As BarentsObserver reported, The Canadian government has cut three quarters of the University of the Arctic’s budget - from a total of more than $700,000 down to about $150,000. UArctic has already taken steps, however, to ensure the continuity of service of programs like Circumpolar Studies. This undergraduate program has a unique history, in which Canadians and Canadian institutions have played a key role. The curriculum was developed through the collective efforts of scientists, indigenous experts, and academics from across the circumpolar region who shared a vision that northerners should have a common understanding of the region that derives from their own perspectives, rather than from southern capitals. The value of the work done in Canada can be seen clearly across the pole in places like Bodø, Norway, Fairbanks, Alaska, Prince George, Thunder Bay and Nunavut in Canada, Rovaniemi, Finland and Yakutsk, Russia, where students who live and study in the North are taught the same Circumpolar Studies Program. At the Northeastern Federal University in Yakutsk, Russia, for example, every first year student takes BCS100 – Introduction to the Circumpolar World – which resulted in over 3000 students there learning from the same material as their colleagues in Canada, Alaska, and the Nordic countries. The main impact of Canada’s cut in funding is that the University of Saskatchewan, which has provided tremendous support to UArctic by hosting the Undergraduate Office, is no longer financially able to continue in that role. The Northeastern Federal University in Yakutsk will take over the hosting of the Undergraduate Office.
Posted 29 October 2011; 12:10:29 PM. Permalink
(CBC News, 18 October 2011) -- The federal government has cut three quarters of the University of the Arctic’s budget, forcing the organization to scale down its operations in Canada. The online university was created in 2001 and has more than 120 institutions across the circumpolar world, 33 of which are in Canada. It has had more than 10,000 registrations for its courses since 2002. The federal government has not released information on the reason for the cuts. The cuts are renewing debate about how to bring much-needed training, skills and human development to northerners. "We're at a little bit of an impasse," said Hayley Hesseln, the consortium's dean of undergraduate admissions, based at the University of Saskatchewan. "What we've come down to now is a matter of different values and different needs." None of the world's 50 universities located north of the 60th parallel is in Canada and that lack has been loudly decried by former governors general Adrienne Clarkson and Michaelle Jean. Higher education in the North has been a federal goal since the last Liberal government. The need for everyone from nurses to administrators has long been pointed out by industry and government. Nunavut can't fully staff its civil service because too few Inuit have the appropriate education. ... Although UArctic gets funding from the Finnish and Norwegian governments, the Canadian government has always been one of its biggest backers. Taxpayers contributed about $3.8 million between 2004 and 2010. But earlier this year, Ottawa informed the university that its funding would be chopped to about $150,000 from more than $700,000. The reason, said Hesseln, was that the three territorial governments have never chipped in any of their own cash, which was a condition for long-term federal commitment.
Posted 21 October 2011; 12:18:15 PM. Permalink
(UArctic News, 16 May 2011) -- In the Declaration following the Seventh Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council in Nuuk the Ministers and Permanent Participants recognized the importance of the work done by the University of the Arctic. In 'Science and Monitoring' section, the Nuuk Declaration dedicates a paragraph to the work conducted under the auspices of UArctic. The Ministers and Permanent Participants first congratulated the University of the Arctic for its 10th anniversary, being celebrated in Rovaniemi accompanying the UArctic Council meeting in June. Furthermore, the Declaration emphasizes the importance of the contributions of UArctic in the past, present and future for capacity-building in the Arctic, particularly by fostering traditional and scientific knowledge relevant for Arctic indigenous peoples as well as policy makers and Arctic communities. Continuous support for the work of UArctic is encouraged. In several previous Arctic Council declarations the work of UArctic has been recognized. The 2011 declaration constitutes an important step, however, in ensuring continuous endorsement of UArctic through the Arctic Council. The 2011 Nuuk Declaration can be accessed here. Please follow this link to see previous Arctic Council declarations.
Posted 16 May 2011; 12:48:45 PM. Permalink
(Canadian Studies Center, University of Washington) -- The Center co-sponsored the February educator workshop, Who Owns the Arctic?, with the World Affairs Council (WAC). WAC produced a tremendous resource guide downloadable here with extensive resources on Arctic studies.
(CBC News, 5 April 2011) -- Young Inuit can now learn about their language and traditions at a new cultural school that opened this week in Nunavut. The Piqqusilirivvik Inuit Cultural School officially opened Wednesday in Clyde River, Nunavut, a hamlet of about 820 on the coast of northeastern Baffin Island. Developed by the territorial government, the school aims to preserve the Inuit culture in Nunavut, where 84 per cent of the population is Inuit, by teaching youth the Inuktitut language and traditional activities such as hunting, craft-making, and Arctic outdoor survival. "It's not only the first for Nunavut, it's the first in our country," Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak said at the opening ceremony. The first set of 26 students — one selected from each community in Nunavut — are expected to begin classes with 14 instructors in September. The students will stay in dormitory-style rooms inside the school, which also has several open-concept classrooms, a wood shop and a sewing room. Semesters will be about three to four months long, matching the length of the seasons, according to officials. "Knowing who you are, as an Inuk, is just so incredibly important," said Becky Kilabuk, youth programs coordinator with the Qikiqtani Inuit Association in Iqaluit.
Posted 6 May 2011; 12:28:36 AM. Permalink
(The Arctic Sounder, 27 April 2011) -- Dozens of graduates walked between pieces of whale baleen and across the stage at a local school Friday night, making history as part of the largest tribal-college graduation in Alaska history. Seventy students received a degree, certificate or GED from Ilisagvik College this term. Administrators say that's the biggest graduating class they've ever seen, almost tripling last year's class. New President Brooke Gondara, who took over the top spot at Alaska's only tribal college in January, credited "tons of workforce development courses" for part of the growth. "I mean, things are really robust and going really, really well at the college right now. I'm very excited," she said. The registrar's office says enrollment is up only slightly compared to past years. Officials at Ilisagvik, the only tribal college in Alaska, said more students are coming back to finish programs instead of dropping out. They couldn't explain why students are more determined. ... Ilisagvik officials say about a dozen students earned GED diplomas this term. More than 40 earned certificates. Eleven earned associates degrees. Besides being the largest graduating class to date, this was also the commencement ceremony with one of the highest ever participation rates from graduates, with nearly 40 walking across the stage.
Posted 27 April 2011; 3:16:22 PM. Permalink
(Jim Bell/Nunatsiaq News, 4 April 2011) -- SISIMIUT, GREENLAND - For Hans Henrichsen, manager of the Greenland School of Minerals and Petroleum in Sisimiut, there’s only one standard worth reaching for: best of class. “We are taking the best of the best in Greenland. Our goal is to prove that Greenland miners are as good as any around the world,” Henrichsen said March 31 to a group of visitors from Nunavut. Agnico-Eagles Mines Ltd. flew the group to Greenland following a two-day tour of the company’s gold mine in Kittilä, Finland, where the Nunavut visitors met numerous highly educated Finns who have landed good jobs in mining. On the Greenland leg of the tour, the group learned how an Inuit jurisdiction has figured out a way to deliver that education. Henrichsen said the Greenland government decided in 2007 to build a new mining school in Sisimiut to meet a big national goal: training at least 1,500 Greenlanders for the mining industry. That’s because Greenland expects seven to eight new mines will emerge there within the next decade, producing lead, zinc, diamonds, iron, gold, molybdenum and rare earths. In 2008, the school began accepting students. Since then, 123 of 128 people who signed up for training programs have completed their courses, Henrichsen said.
Posted 4 April 2011; 3:47:38 PM. Permalink
(Nunatsiaq News, 11 February 2011) -- Nunavut Arctic College has launched its first all-online course as part of its new university studies diploma. Thirty-two students from Iqaluit, Cambridge Bay, Kugluktuk, Pangnirtung, Resolute Bay, Rankin Inlet and Ottawa are enrolled in the course that started Jan. 31. In a news release, the college said students have formed study groups in each community and a bilingual instructor based in Iqaluit is also available to help. The course, introduction to circumpolar studies [sic, Introduction to the Circumpolar North], includes a range of topics including science, studies of the Arctic’s indigenous populations and contemporary issues. It also aims to build student skills in critical thinking, essay writing and online learning. The course is recognized as a credit by many member institutions of the University of the Arctic.
Posted 13 February 2011; 1:36:16 PM. Permalink
(Eye on the Arctic, 4 January 2011) -- A new website launched on January first seeks to help people learn the Eyak language through weekly words and help from linguistic experts. The language of the Eyak people of the Cordova area is considered extinct. The last fluent speaker, Chief Marie Smith Jones died in 2008. Alaska Native linguistics expert Dr. Michael Krauss documented the language in such meticulous detail that it was possible for someone to learn Eyak. The question became would people do so? The website's project director Laura Bliss Spaan says she first met Chief Marie 20 years ago and was struck by the story of the disappearing Eyak language. Bliss Spaan worked with Chief Marie and Dr. Krauss, helping to document the sound and inflection of the Eyak language. When they put together language kits, they had an unusual request for one from a young man in France, who became fascinated by the Eyak language at age 12. Bliss Spaan says the young man, Guillaume Leduey now speaks Eyak fluently and last year came to Alaska. Chief Marie's granddaughter Sherry Smith says her grandmother said the language would come back through the children or through a person from afar. Smith says she's working to make sure her 18-month-old daughter carries out the first part of that vision. Smith says the young Frenchman Guillaume, will be helping out with lessons on the new website, assisting with difficult pronunciations. Smith says it's crucial to use the language and modernize it for relevant use today, developing words for computer, cell phone and other present day items.
Posted 5 January 2011; 11:09:25 AM. Permalink
(Sarah Rogers/Nunatsiaq News, 21 December 2010) -- It’s not unusual to see libraries and schools in Inuit communities across the north filled with mostly English-language books and materials based on life in the south. That’s why one Iqaluit family decided to create something relevant for their own children and other Inuktitut-speaking youngsters. Franco and Mary Buscemi recently designed Inuktitut — i, pi, ti, ki —wooden blocks. The product: a set of 16 wooden blocks, each with three Inuktitut syllabics corresponding to Inuit icons like the ulu, caribou antlers and berries. The colourful, one-and-half-inch blocks serve as both a toy and an educations resource. “There are lots of English and even French-language resources here but not much in Inuktitut,” Buscemi said. “So we started looking at how to get some made. (My wife and I) wanted it to be relevant to the Inuit and the north.” Buscemi says his own kids, who speak both English and Inuktitut at home, have been playing with a prototype of the blocks for the past couple of years now — stacking them, creating words and inventing games. Although the blocks were originally made for young children, Buscemi said adults have been buying and using them, too. Since the first batch came off the sealift last October, the Buscemis have sold 50 sets — while the Government of Nunavut has distributed hundreds more in schools and daycare centres across the territory.
Posted 21 December 2010; 2:22:51 PM. Permalink
(Tim Bradner/Anchorage Daily News, 18 December 2010) -- What I want from Santa this year is some good news about anything.
Afghanistan, Pakistan, the economy, Congress, a gas pipeline, our
state's long-term prospects, our education system. Please, Santa, put
some good news about something in my stocking Christmas morning. There is, however, one bit of good news, a present I already know is under the tree. This is in education, and it is the continuing accomplishments, stunning achievements, I think, of an innovative program helping rural students at the University of Alaska Anchorage. This is the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program, which helps young Native Alaskans, many from small rural schools, with challenging university programs aiming them toward careers in the advanced technology and scientific professions. I write about ANSEP about once a year in this column, and each year the news gets better. The latest is that this year's group of incoming freshmen, whom ANSEP had been working with in high school, were fully prepared in math and science for their first year of university work. Zero remediation classes were needed, and some students were proficient enough in math to advance immediately to the next level. This is a significant accomplishment. To put it in perspective, consider that the university requires a large number of its freshmen, non-Native and Native alike, to take some form of remedial classes due to inadequate preparation in high school. I've never been able to get the university to tell me what percentage of freshmen they require to do catch-up work, and the fact that administrators are reluctant to talk about it tells me it's not good news. That ANSEP now brings their kids in fully ready, and from rural schools, is no small achievement.
Posted 19 December 2010; 2:29:45 PM. Permalink
(Barents Indigenous Peoples, 13 December 2010) -- The first Assembly of the Saami people in Murmansk Oblast, Kuelnegk Soamet Sobbar, was established on December 12th 2010. The 2nd Congress of the Saami people of Murmansk Oblast was held in Murmansk, and 73 delegates of 89 elected ones, representing Saami communities in Murmansk Oblast, elected 9 representatives for the Assembly. Kuelnegk Soamet Sobbar is established on a preliminary basis, as its prior task is to work out a draft law proposal regarding the Assembly, which is to be dealt with by regional authorities and later adopted as a law. The President of the Saami Parliament in Norway, Egil Olli, participated in the Congress, as did Stefan Mikaelsson from the Saami Parliament in Sweden and Erkki Lumisalmi from the Saami Parliament in Finland. In 2008, the 1st Saami Congress of the Saami people of Murmansk Oblast was held in Olenegorsk, and the Council of Authorized Representatives of the Saami people of Murmansk Oblast (referred to as SUPS MO), which was elected by the 72 delegates, has been working continuously with the establishment of a democratically elected Saami Assembly in Murmansk Oblast. ... Valentina Vyacheslavovna Sovkina was unanimously elected Chair of the Assembly at its first meeting immediately after the closing of the Congress.
Posted 15 December 2010; 8:53:34 PM. Permalink
(Arctic Sounder, 6 December 2010) -- For the first time, Ilisagvik College is offering a Conversational Inupiaq III class that will eventually become part of a second Inupiaq Language Certificate program. The program started because of requests from students who wanted to become more advanced in understanding and speaking the Inupiaq language. The goal for many of these students is to eventually become translators and interpreters, a service that is urgently needed. When the certificate program is fully instituted, it will consist of two additional conversational Inupiaq classes, two intermediate Inupiaq classes, a class in North Slope history, language and culture and a class in Inuit storytelling. Already, Inupiaq language instructor Fannie Akpik said students in the new INU 294 class said they were happy to not only be able to build on their vocabulary but also to gain a greater knowledge of their language – Inupiuraallaniq. "The more we talk about perpetuating and promoting our 'dying Iñupiaq language,' the more I think about the courses taught by the late Martha Aiken, the late Harold Kaveolook, Molly Pederson, James Nageak, Dr. Edna MacLean, the late state Rep. Eileen MacLean and Larry Kaplan from UAF. If they had not trained us in the proper usage of our language, I think our language would never have survived. I'm always grateful they taught us when they did," Akpik said. Akpik said the support of upper level administrators was key to promoting and perpetuating the Inupiaq language. "It provides for positive media about who we are and why we've survived the outside forces and pressures to change. Our real story is now being heard," Akpik said.
Posted 12 December 2010; 12:29:11 PM. Permalink
(Debby Edwardson/Arctic Sounder, 11 November 2010) -- In preparation for employment as marine mammal observers, seven North Slope students met at Deadhorse last summer for a specialized training opportunity. Students from Kaktovik, Nuiqsut and Barrow studied marine mammal ecology, acoustics, behavior and identification and were given an overview of the many industrial activities proposed offshore in the Arctic from seismic work, drilling and barging, to shipping and pipelines. They also learned the intricacies of data collection, the use of safety equipment and the basics of aerial surveying. And, most importantly, they were guided to recognize the role traditional Inupiaq marine knowledge plays in furthering scientific knowledge and safeguarding the North Slope's marine resources. Following the Deadhorse training, the group traveled to Barrow for industrial safety training including NSTC, taught by Ilisagvik College instructor Charlie Kanayurak and emergency procedures and onboard drills taught by Kanayurak and AMSEA instructor Mike Morris. The 2010 course was part of Ilisagvik College's marine observer stewardship training program, now approaching its fifth year of operation. It's a program that's been driven by industry demand, with training sessions custom-built to meet specific employment needs. Last summer's training was sponsored by Exxon/Jago. Programs in previous years have been sponsored by Shell/AES and Marsh Creek/Kuukpik. In recognition of its efforts in the field, the Alaska Federation of Natives, in October 2009, named Ilisagvik, "the recognized training center for Alaska Natives as marine mammal observers."
Posted 22 November 2010; 8:03:24 PM. Permalink
(TEACH Magazine, 2010) -- The question of Canada’s sovereignty in the Arctic Archipelago is both important and very current. A number of countries including Russia, the United States and Denmark are claiming part of the Arctic Archipelago as their own territory. This website, brought to you by the editors of TEACH Magazine, explores this topic in a variety of ways.
The elements of The Canadian Northern Project are as follows:
- A Graphic Novel that explains the scenario behind The Canadian Northern Project;
- A Teacher’s Guide that breaks down all of the elements of the project. (It is recommended that teachers read this first.);
- 10 Challenges (Tasks and games students must complete before moving on in the project);
- Four comprehensive Lesson Plans;
- Curriculum Links;
- Resources (Links to background sources for the major topics and issues);
- Teacher and Student Wiki applications;
- News (Information reports on the issue of Arctic sovereignty); and
- An Online Summit (Where students submit their white paper exploring solutions to the Arctic sovereignty question).
Posted 13 November 2010; 8:26:11 PM. Permalink
(Jane George/Nunatsiaq News, 9 November 2010) -- When Jan-Erik Henriksen and Nina Hermansen, Saami from northern Norway, went ice fishing with Anna Kaotalok, Jerry Puglik, Doug Crossley and David Omilgoitok at Kitigak Lake near Cambridge Bay earlier this month, the two Saami found the excursion familiar — but also different from what they’re used to back home. First, the fishing was different because the lake fish were much larger than in Norway, the two Saami said. Secondly, the weather was much colder than they see in northern Norway at this time of year. And you wouldn’t see a herd of muskox wander by back home, either, Henriksen and Hermansen said. But, at the same time, jigging through the ice felt familiar to them, because Saami also survived for thousands of years by fishing — and herding reindeer — in the Arctic regions of northern Europe. Henriksen and Hermansen, who teach at Finnmark University College in Alta, Norway, arrived in Cambridge Bay on Oct. 27 to learn more about Nunavut and Nunavut Arctic College’s programs. Finnmark University College offers bachelor of arts degrees in social work and a masters degree in social work through UArctic, whose north2north exchange program, along with Norway’s Saami parliament, sponsored the two instructors’ trip of one week in Cambridge Bay and another week in Yellowknife. During a visit to one of the community’s schools, where Henriksen gave a presentation about Saami, he was reminded of his own youth in the 1970s when none of his teachers were Saami — a situation that has now changed, he said. Today in Norway, home to about 80,000 Saami, there are Saami teachers, social workers, doctors, nurses, dentists and other professionals.
Posted 11 November 2010; 3:50:50 PM. Permalink
(Sarah Rogers/Nunatsiaq News, 2 November 2010) -- Nunavik high school graduates may soon get a made-in-Nunavik option to pursue post-secondary studies. The Kativik School Board is working towards a Nunavik version of the successful Nunavut Sivuniksavut, the college-level program for Inuit students, which is based in Ottawa. Nunavik’s students could benefit from a similar program based on their own region’s history, said Elias Moukannas, an academic advisor at Kativik School Board. “NS is about teaching leadership [to Inuit students], teaching them to express their opinions, to be independent and confident,” Moukannas said. “You have to be able to understand your culture in order to talk about it.” Those skills will help to nurture the future leaders in the region, he added. Nunavik Sivuniksavut, as the program would be called, could open its doors in the fall of 2012. The program will be based in Montreal because students have identified that they benefit from the independence gained in being away from home, Moukannas said. “Everyone’s in support of this,” Moukannas said. “It’s just about finding the funding.”
Posted 2 November 2010; 4:21:07 PM. Permalink
(Svalbardposten, 5 October 2010) -- The Norwegian Government proposes an increase of 4.8 million kronor to UNIS to establish 20 new places and to pursue the 20 new places from last year. The total proposed allocation of 97.2 million kroner. It emerged as a proposal for next year's budget that was presented on Tuesday [5 October]. "With 20 new students, we have increased the student population by 30 percent in two years. This is a large number," says UNIS managing director Gunnar Sand. He is pleased with the budget document, but notes, however, that he has not yet had time to read it carefully. The grant for the Svalbard Museum is proposed to be increased by 435,000 million, representing 1.56 million kroner this year. The total Svalbard budget for 2011 is 266.9 million NOK. This is NOK 18.1 million, or about 7 percent, more compared to last year's budget.
Posted 6 October 2010; 3:39:21 PM. Permalink
(ENS, 2 September 2010) -- BAFFIN BAY, Greenland - Four Greenpeace activists who climbed a Cairn Energy oil rig in Greenland waters were arrested this morning and are now being held in police custody in Greenland. The activists first scaled the oil rig Stena Don on Tuesday. They attached hanging platforms to the underside of the rig where they camped out in tents with self-heating meals until last night. Freezing gale-force winds forced the climbers and Greenpeace campaigners on the ship Esperanza anchored one kilometer from the rig to decide to end the occupation. It took the Greenpeacers four hours of climbing in bitter winds to scale the rig from their hanging platforms up onto the platform gantry, where police were waiting for them. They were taken into custody and flown off the oil rig by helicopter at 2 am. Before ending the occupation, climber Sim McKenna of the United States, said on his satellite phone, "We stopped this rig drilling for oil for two days, but in the end the Arctic weather beat us. Last night was freezing and now the sea below us is churning and the wind is roaring. It's time to come down, but we're proud we slowed the mad rush for Arctic oil, if only for a couple of days."
Posted 5 September 2010; 3:57:41 PM. Permalink
(Nunatsiaq News, 27 August 2010) -- In some regions of northern Canada, almost half of all adults have not completed high school, compared to one in 12 in southern Canada, according to the Centre for the North’s “High School Confidential” map, the third in the Conference Board of Canada’s “Here, the North” series. “There is a growing consensus that high school completion is linked to future opportunity. People without high school diplomas have fewer job opportunities, employment stability, and lower future earnings potential,” Gilles Rheaume, vice-president of the Conference Board of Canada, said in an Aug. 26 news release. Parts of northern Saskatchewan, Nunavut, and northern Manitoba have the highest rates of adults without a high school diploma. About one in two adults between the ages of 25 and 64 in each of these regions have not graduated from high school, while about one in three adults between the ages of 25 and 64 in northern Quebec have not graduated, shows the map, which is based on Statistics Canada figures. What this means is that random survey of 25 to 64 year olds in Ottawa would find one in 12 people doesn’t have a high school certificate. But in Nunavut, that number would be closer to one in two, says the Centre for the North, a Conference Board of Canada program, which works with aboriginal leaders, businesses, governments, communities, educational institutions, and other organizations, to achieve “prosperity in the North.” Its 2010 study, “Pathways to Success—How Knowledge and Skills at Age 15 Shape Future Lives in Canada,” which linked high school performance with future opportunity, noted that “the longer term prospects of early labour market entrants, with only a secondary education diploma or less, as well as those who graduated late from upper-secondary school, are also of concern. They may fall victim to increasing competition for jobs from those better qualified in terms of job opportunities, stability of employment, and future earnings.”
Posted 28 August 2010; 11:24:01 PM. Permalink
(UArctic News, 23 August 2010) -- The Government of Canada has published a booklet outlining its Arctic Foreign Policy, which includes highlighting UArctic as an important partner. You can read the entire "Statement on Canada's Arctic Foreign Policy: Exercising Sovereignty and Promoting Canada’s Northern Strategy Abroad" on their website, or download the document in PDF.
Posted 23 August 2010; 12:24:29 PM. Permalink
(Barents Indigenous Peoples, 30 June 2010) -- Yasavey, in cooperation with Norway and Canada, is looking into the possibility of establishing a Nenets radio station in Nenets Autonomous Okrug, North-West Russia, aiming at bringing Nenets language, culture and news to the Nenets, inhabiting the large tundra areas. The indigenous peoples in Canada know how to do this, and have shared their knowledge and experiences with the Nenets during a one-week study trip in Ontario, Canada. In June, Yasavey (the Public Association of Nenets People in NAO) visited several media enterprises and culture organizations and institutions in Toronto, Brantford, Six Nations and Ottawa, Ontario. Lewis Cardinal, who is the Vice-President of Aboriginal Voices Radio Network, has been involved in the project since the beginning, and he hosted the Nenets delegation together with Metis Elder, Wil Campbell, who has long experience from indigenous media work, in particular film making. The study tour was financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as the project is a result of the Dialogue on the High North between Norway and Canada. In autumn 2009, the two states decided that this pre-project was to be implemented, and the Norwegian Barents Secretariat is currently responsible for carrying out the activities. This study tour will be followed up by a seminar on the establishment of a radio station, and the establishment itself will constitute the main project. Yasavey will host the seminar in Naryan-Mar in March/April 2011, in cooperation with the Nenets Autonomous Okrug Regional Administration, as well as with the Norwegian and Canadian partners. Development of the Nenets language and culture is the core of the project, as Nenets, like several other indigenous languages, are threatened by extinction. Currently, the regional radio station broadcasts in Nenets a few minutes every week, but the signals from this radio station does not reach beyond the city boundary of Naryan-Mar. Approximately 8,000 Nenets inhabit the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, whereas only 746 Nenets live in the city of Naryan-Mar, according to Yasavey.
Posted 12 July 2010; 9:14:26 PM. Permalink
(Kyle Hopkins/Anchorage Daily News, 11 July 2010) -- Maybe you saw them Saturday. Twenty-six students from far-away Yup'ik villages strolling under gray skies along the Anchorage coastal trail and ordering milkshakes at Red Robin. Next time say hello. A new three-year, $1.6 million program plans to help these teenagers go to college or job training — and stick with it — on their way to becoming your classmate and co-worker. Your airplane pilot. Your boss. Paid for with a federal Department of Education grant and launched by the Alaska Humanities Forum, the program focuses on students who are two years from finishing high school and in many cases would be the first in their families to go college. Fredrick Alexie, 16, arrived from the lower Yukon River village of Emmonak. Recruiters for the program couldn't believe how high he scored on high school graduation qualifying exams, he said. With his swooping bangs and black hoodie, Alexie could be any Anchorage teen, but he says this is only his second visit to the city. The first was when he was born. Others know every shopping mall in Anchorage, but all may face the day when they'll travel hundreds of miles from familiar, tight-knit villages to earn degrees. The program, called "Take Wing," is meant to familiarize the teens with campus life and assure the students and their families that, as one organizer put it, it's OK for them to be selfish about their education. In Anchorage on Saturday, they began the day at the Alaska Native Heritage Center in the woods of East Anchorage -- a kind of gradual introduction to the city. ... Alexie and students from several Yukon and Kuskokwim River villages will spend the next week living in University of Alaska Anchorage campus housing, learning their way around the city and meeting Alaska Native college students and professionals who navigated the dual worlds of campus and village life. Already the students studied prices at Fred Meyer, learning how much it would cost to stock a dorm room. There will be rock climbing. On one of the days, groups of students will be dropped off in downtown Anchorage with their supervisors and have to find their way back to UAA. They'll return to the city next year and the year after that, as Take Wing organizers work with their families to encourage the students to leave home for schooling in the face of commercial fishing demands, family emergencies and simple homesickness. Already during the short visit, reports of a recent suicide in one of the Yukon-Kuskokim Delta villages touched Take Wing students Saturday. "The more we're able to build their resilience in themselves, the more we're hoping they will be able to overcome these challenges," Matthews said.
Posted 11 July 2010; 11:08:08 PM. Permalink
(IceNews, 21 June 2010) -- Greenland’s government is to receive a cash injection from the European Union to help support training efforts. The subsidy of 200 million kroner (USD 33 million) will be given to the country every year until 2013 to help boost Greenland’s educational facilities. Greenland must produce reports explaining how the money is being used and the results of training in exchange for a cut of the cash. The current EU-Greenland partnership is to be evaluated and renegotiated next year, when a new agreement for the period of 2014 to 2020 will be reached. Last year, the country achieved 97 percent of stated objectives and received almost 100 percent of the 200 million kroner kitty. The money makes a big different to Greenland and its annual budget, according to Siku News. Along with the fisheries agreement, the EU assistance sees around 320 million kroner (USD 52 million) pumped into to Greenland each year. This amounts to around 5.3 percent of the government’s total revenues for 2010. A spokesperson for the EU said the money was offered “to support Greenland’s exceptional education efforts.”
Posted 22 June 2010; 7:47:56 PM. Permalink
(Gabriel Zarate/Nunatsiaq News, 22 June 2010) -- Sometimes getting an education teaches you more than you expected. Robby Qammaniq graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology in September 2009, a three-year degree that took him eight to complete. Qammaniq once thought of studying biology as a way into medicine, but university was so difficult that he found a new reason to continue: to help other Inuit who want a university education. Now 30, he’s only one summer away now from earning a diploma in adult education. “Inuit are starting to get used to the education system and it’s still very difficult for young people,” he said. “I had a really hard time in university and I want to make it easier for them.” ... the specialized language of university-level science was challenging for him. “The words are very technical and they are so wordy,” he said. “I had to learn it from the books and it took me a while. I’m still struggling with writing lab reports.” Qammaniq said that he quickly realized the English vocabulary used by many students from the south was much wider than his and he realized one of the main reasons for it. “The Inuit are not prepared for university because they don’t read a lot,” he said. “Because in the south the students start reading at a very young age and they can read and read and sit still for a long time rather than doing something else.” That difference, Qammaniq explained, means Inuit in university often need a little extra help understanding what certain words mean. “To understand those contexts, you have to bring out some props and media instead of reading, reading all the time,” he said. ... Once he wraps up his teaching diploma this summer, Qammaniq has a one-year contact with Nunavut Sivuniksavut as an instructor trainee. “I really want to go back up north,” Qammaniq said. “I want to be among Inuit and I want to teach them because there’s so many people who have dropped out of high school and aren’t doing anything.
Posted 22 June 2010; 3:07:18 PM. Permalink
(Lori Townsend/APRN Anchorage, 9 June 2010) -- The Northwest Arctic Borough Assembly in Kotzebue voted yesterday to discontinue $125,000 in funds for the public library that will force it to close, leaving the region with no access to a public library. The library is a consortium with the University of Alaska Chukchi campus. The college portion will remain open but the public side will close unless the borough assembly reconsiders. Calls to Borough Mayor Martha Whiting, and Borough assembly members were not returned by air time, but Stacy Glaser, who was the library’s director for 15 years before leaving the position last year, says past attempts to close the library have always brought an outcry from the community.
(Anchorage Daily News, 4 June 2010) -- Inuit children in Quebec learn better and have better self-esteem when taught longer in their Native language, a Canadian researcher says. Psychology professor Don Taylor of McGill University in Montreal has been studying children in the village of Kangiqsujuaq since
its school made Inuttitut the language of instruction through Grade
3, reports Nunatsiaq
Online. Kangiqsujuaq was the first community in the region to do this, and the Kativik School Board wanted to know what the impact was on students' learning and self-esteem, then, and as the school made the move to English- or French-language instruction in Grade 4. "There's no question that having an extra year of Inuttitut improves their language skills," Taylor said. "It provides a more solid base." When students transition into English or French studies in Grade 4, the first year is difficult, Taylor said. But by Grades 5 or 6, they've caught up, he said.
Posted 8 June 2010; 5:57:54 PM. Permalink
(Mandy Garner/University World News, 30 May 2010) -- The University of the Arctic, situated in one of the regions most associated with climate change, is considering joining a new United Nations initiative to promote climate neutrality. The university was formed nine years ago and is to hold a breakout session on incorporating the UN-led UNEP Climate Neutral Network initiative at a council meeting in Siberia in June. The network was set up in 2008 and aims to encourage information exchange and networking to achieve a lower carbon emission and, eventually, a carbon neutral society. Countries involved include Costa Rica, the Maldives, New Zealand and Iceland, and cities range from Cape Town to Brisbane to Nagareyama while companies such as Microsoft and Japan Airlines are also on board. ... Environment and sustainable development are key issues for the University of the Arctic. Its Fourth Rectors' Forum in August is on Sustainability, Resilience and Community Adaptation to Climate Change in the North: Postsecondary education its role. It will also hold an international symposium on the challenges of sustainable development and sovereignty in the Arctic at Université Laval in Quebec.
Posted 30 May 2010; 5:19:18 PM. Permalink
(Barents Observer, 20 May 2010) -- Two out of three students at the University of Tromsø stay in Northern Norway after graduation, a poll shows. "It is both surprising and joyous that so many find work in the northern parts of the country," says Rector Jarle Aarbakke, according to NRK.no. A poll amongst graduates from the University of Tromsø shows that nine of ten students were in work six months after graduation. Half of the students with Bachelor, Master or Doctoral degrees from 2007 and 2008 are now working in Troms County. 8.5 percent of the students are working in Nordland County and 7.3 percent in Finnmark County. Other studies have showed that eight of ten psychologist and doctors educated at the University in Tromsø are working in one of the country’s three northernmost counties. The main argument for the need to establish a university in Northern Norway was precisely to supply Northern Norway with highly educated workers. The University was founded in 1968 and opened four years later. The University of Tromsø offers studies in medicine, law, psychology, pharmaceutics, dentistry.
Posted 21 May 2010; 11:13:40 AM. Permalink
(CBC News, 10 May 2010) -- The federal government is spending $6.9 million to expand a program that trains family doctors for remote northern communities in Manitoba. The money will allow the medical residency program at the University of Manitoba to grow to 25 positions from 10. Medical students in training have to spend eight months in remote communities and commit to at least two years of remote practice after graduation. The expanded program will help address a shortage of northern doctors, said federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, who made the announcement in Winnipeg on Monday as part of National Nursing Week.
Posted 11 May 2010; 9:43:05 AM. Permalink
(CBC News, 12 April 2010) -- Noted ethnographer, author and photographer Norman Hallendy has donated a trove of nearly 7,500 images of the Canadian Arctic to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the gallery announced on Monday. The 78-year-old Hallendy, who lives in the Ottawa area, captured the extensive collection of images over the past 50 years. It is the largest photographic gift ever made to the gallery in Kleinburg, Ont. "In terms of understanding the art and people of Kinngait [Cape Dorset], this is a defining moment for the McMichael Canadian Art Collection,” McMichael executive director and CEO Thomas Smart said in a statement. "It is the largest single donation of photographs, both in size and value, to come to this public institution. [Hallendy's 35-mm Kodachrome colour slides] brilliantly capture the essence of the people, the land, and the history of Kinngait." The images include Inuksuit figures, land and seascapes, icebergs, sacred sites and portraits of Arctic artists and people. Hallendy, a retired public servant who first travelled to the North while working for the Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources, returned many times over the years. His numerous accolades include being honoured with the gold medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society in 2001. During his many expeditions, Hallendy would observe, interact with and document traditional Inuit communities. He earned the trust and affection of many Inuit elders, who dubbed him Apirqsukti, "the inquisitive one," and granted him permission to see and photograph ancient and hallowed sites. This photographic gift "greatly enhances and supports our existing holdings of Inuit art, including the historic Cape Dorset archival collection on loan from the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative," Smart added, referring to the approximately 100,000-object Cape Dorset collection of drawings, prints and sculpture that has been at the McMichael for the past 20 years. Monday's donation marks Hallendy's most recent gift to the McMichael. Earlier donations include colour images from the Eastern Arctic, black-and-white negatives and photos of Kinngait artists, and Inuit drawings, prints and sculpture.
Posted 13 April 2010; 3:32:59 PM. Permalink
(Erika Sherk/Northern News Services, 2 April 2010) -- SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - It's going to be a big year for education in the North. Dechinta: Bush University Centre for Research and Learning will accept its first students for a three-course pilot semester this summer. "The response has been quite overwhelming," says Yellowknife resident Kyla Kakfwi Scott, Dechinta's co-ordinator. "Half a dozen people have contacted me wondering how they could apply and we haven't even advertised the program at all." She says it's exciting that it is finally happening. "The idea of a university in the North has been kicking around as long as the early '70s. By no means is it a new idea," said Kakfwi Scott. Northerners have long been aware that their land, people and cultures have been, for the most part, studied by southerners living in the south. "It's frustrating for people who live here to constantly be hearing about themselves as reflected by how other people view them," she said. The teachers at Dechinta - which means "bush" in the Dene languages - will teach from a Northern perspective. Every course will be co-taught by a visiting university professor and also by a Northern expert. "In the North there's lots of people who don't have that kind of academic education, but nonetheless have an enormous amount of knowledge to share," she said. Knowledge isn't limited to formal learning and that will also be reflected in the types of students accepted. "If you don't have a high school diploma it's not going to be something that's going to prevent you from participating," Kakfwi Scott said. The university will be based at Blachford Lake Lodge, about 95 km southeast of Yellowknife. "This was a site that was both off the grid and away from town, but still offers amenities like a big indoor meeting space. We're able to not only house a lot of students there, but also their families," said Kakfwi Scott. ... Depending on funding, the first full semester will likely be offered in fall 2010 or spring 2011, says Kakfwi Scott. First, the three-week pilot semester will run this June. The courses will include Northern governance, a 40-year history of the Dene Nation and a Weledeh language program. Kakfwi Scott said they are still working on an agreement to have the courses accredited through the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta. Sixteen students will be accepted for the pilot. A full semester course would involve approximately 25 students and 10 children, according to Kakfwi Scott. Including visiting professors, elders and Northern experts, the maximum that can be housed at the site is 45 people. The length of each full semester will likely vary, as will the courses offered. Though the courses will be credited with several different southern universities, a typical course is 39 hours, which could be done intensively in a week. A full semester is likely to run about 12 weeks, said Kakfwi Scott. That's another key element of Dechinta - students' children are encouraged to attend and schooling will be provided for them as well. For the Dechinta students themselves, they will take intensive university-accredited courses taught on the land. See overview.
Posted 4 April 2010; 3:31:48 PM. Permalink
(Sermitsiaq, 26 February 2010) -- Greenland's first and only professor of Greenlandic is also the first honorary doctorate at Ilisimatusarfik. On Friday he was awarded the very first in the university's history. Honorary doctorates are awarded to people who have performed significant and extensive research at the international level and have done a great deal of research and research training at their university. "It is with great pleasure that Ilisimatusarfik awards honorary degree to the University's first rector, Professor Robert Petersen," said Rector Tine Pars while giving the award. Robert Petersen has,, through the years been a highly productive researcher in both anthropology and linguistics, with publications in English, Danish and Greenlandic. He enjoys considerable recognition internationally as a specialist not only in Greenlandic conditions, but also in the Inuit in general. "His importance in Greenland as founder of the University of Greenland, as researcher, teacher and facilitator can not be overstated," says the technical committee behind the nomination. The Committee consists of Professor Louis-Jacques Dorais of Université Laval in Quebec in Canada, Associate Professor Ole Marquardt, Ilisimatusarfik and Associate Professor Birgitte Jacobsen, Ilisimatusarfik. The medal, commissioned by Ilisimatusarfik, that honours the degree is made of 14 carat Greenlandic gold and is crafted by Palle Møller from Jewelry Workshop.
Posted 26 February 2010; 7:42:32 PM. Permalink
(Lisa Demer/Anchorage Daily News, 20 February 2010) -- JUNEAU - More than a decade after a state judge ruled that Alaska's system of funding for new and renovated schools was unconstitutional, the system remains unchanged and the backlog of projects in the Bush amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars. Rural lawmakers are railing and legislators from both parties say the issue has festered for far too long. Gov. Sean Parnell says he's working on a solution. The state now operates a two-pronged system to pay for costly new schools and renovations that Bush legislators say gives unfair advantage to urban districts like Anchorage. Building the first ten projects on the state-ranked construction priority list — four new schools and six expansions — would cost the state $332 million. All are in the Bush; many are located in villages within the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge. "If we could tax lichen and moss, we could probably pay for our schools," said state Rep. Bob Herron, a Democrat from Bethel who's on the House budget panel for education. "There is no resource to tax." Most of the Bush schools that need repair or replacement are seriously overcrowded, with double the students they are meant for, according to state education officials, a situation that the governor and four Bush legislators including Herron saw first-hand during a Feb. 11 trip. "I saw children being taught under conditions that make it extremely difficult to learn," Gov. Parnell said in an interview. "Extremely crowded classrooms. Lack of facilities, space and equipment. Safety hazards." He added, "At least for those three schools, I am satisfied the need is there for some change to improve education delivery for young people."
Posted 21 February 2010; 1:01:32 PM. Permalink
(CBC News, 27 January 2010) -- Nunavut Arctic College is about to study and develop a unique cultural tourism and hospitality program for the territory's communities. The college is receiving just over $40,000 in federal funding to work on the program, which would build on Nunavut's strengths in the cultural and arts sectors and help boost local economies. The funding, which is being administered by the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, will allow the college to work with other Nunavut organizations towards developing curricula for the program, agency director Hagar Idlout-Sudlovenick told CBC News. Nunavut Arctic College will use the funding to collect information about similar programs in the circumpolar world, said Cindy Cowan, the college's director of academic studies. "We may be doing some research ... in Norway and Finland, and looking at what that the circumpolar indigenous people are doing with their universities in terms of cultural tourism," she said. "Then phase two will be another proposal. I'm not sure who we would be going to, but we'll find a partner who will assist us in actually writing some of the courses."
Posted 28 January 2010; 9:45:07 PM. Permalink
(Greenpeace International press release via Scoop New Zealand, 25 January 2010) -- Tromsø, Norway - Greenpeace is calling for an immediate moratorium on all activity by extractive industries in the Arctic Ocean, as representatives from oil companies, governments and scientists meet to discuss the future of the region at the Arctic Frontiers Conference (25-29 January) in Tromsø, Norway. Greenpeace Nordic Executive Director Mads Flarup Christensen will address the conference plenary on Tuesday 26 January. The moratorium needs to cover the part of the Arctic Ocean that has historically been covered by sea ice and remain in place until a permanent international agreement is established, similar to the agreement that protects the Antarctic. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Arctic Ocean seabed contains over 20% of the world’s fossil fuel resources. With the urgent need to cut carbon emissions drastically and avert catastrophic climate change, these must stay underground. Scientists from Greenpeace’s summer 2009 Arctic ice expedition will present their preliminary findings on their research on the impacts of climate change in the Arctic, demonstrating the impacts of climate change are taking place faster than predicted The conference will be attended by Greenpeace campaigners from Norway, Denmark and the United States.
Posted 24 January 2010; 9:52:10 PM. Permalink
(Editor's Choice, CBC podcast, 8 January 2010) -- Murray Angus is one of the founders of The Nunavut Sivuniksavut Program, developed to teach young Inuit about land claims. We'll hear his reaction to being named to the Order of Canada.
(Sermitsiaq, 5 January 2010) -- The country’s population is declining, but statisticians expect most of those who leave Greenland will return someday – not just older, but also wise. Greenland’s high emigration rate is due mostly to the large number of young people attending post-secondary schools in Denmark, according to Statistics Greenland. “What we can see is that a third of emigrants name education as the reason,” said Lars Petersen of Statistics Greenland. He pointed out that concern about a brain drain were over exaggerated. “Normally they come back within five years.” The statistics show that Greenland waves good-bye to far more people each year than it welcomes as new residents. The trend has accelerated during the past decade, and has seen the largest numbers emigrants in the 15-25 year-old bracket. “If we look at the group emigrants who were born in Greenland, we can see that much of the net population loss is due to people leaving to study,” Petersen said. In 2008, the net emigration amongst native Greenlanders was 653, the highest level in ten years. In addition to being young, most were women. Statistics Greenland figures also show that the population as a whole fell for the fourth year in a row last year. On 1 January 2005, there were 56,969 people living in Greenland. On 1 January 2010, there were 56,194.
Posted 8 January 2010; 8:02:28 AM. Permalink
(Stephen Nowers/Alaska Dispatch, 29 December 2009) --Just about 20,000 pounds of fish came off a Coast Guard C-130 during an Arctic sunrise on Monday afternoon, destined for more than 800 needy families in Kotzebue and the surrounding villages. Inside the terminal at Kotzebue Airport, members of the community greeted the Kodiak-based flight crew with a prayer of thanks and a brief performance from the Northern Lights Dancers. Brenda Erlich, a personal banker with Wells Fargo, began planning for this day last February. She was inspired by last winter's relief effort for communities in the Yukon-Kustokwim Delta and wanted to be ahead of any potential shortages. "We didn't want to wait until it got to that point where people were having to choose between buying fuel or buying food," she said. Along with the fish, which was caught in Sitka and dontated by the Seattle-based hunger relief organization SeaShare, the community is expecting 30,000 pounds of dry food as part of the Wells Fargo-NANA Regional Corp. Inc. relief effort. Erlich said getting the fish to Kotzebue as the hardest part. "We were lucky enough for the Coast Guard to volunteer to bring it," she said It's more about economics than a subsistance shortfall, said Northwest Arctic Borough major Siikauraq Whiting. She said the price of milk has reached $18 a gallon in some places in the area. "We have the highest cost of living in our region and anything helps," Whiting said.
Posted 30 December 2009; 10:26:47 PM. Permalink
(Dan Bross/KUAC – Fairbanks via APRN, 17 December 2009) -- A Fairbanks man has taken his concerns about climate change on the road. Don Ross is riding his bike from Fairbanks to Washington, D.C. stopping along the way to get the word out about the warming planet. Ross, who has pedaled about 2,300 miles to southern British Columbia since leaving Fairbanks October 3rd, says he’s doing the trip during the winter to get attention. [mp3]
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Posted 15 December 2009; 9:54:29 PM. Permalink
(Government of Yukon press release, 11 December 2009) -- WHITEHORSE – Yukoners will soon have a new resource that will provide training and education to Yukoners in a wide variety of social justice fields and will also undertake related research. The Northern Institute of Social Justice is preparing to deliver training programs in 2010. The institute will be based at Yukon College, Justice Minister Marian C. Horne, Education Minister Patrick Rouble, Health and Social Services Minister Glenn Hart and Yukon College President Terry Weninger announced today. “Through the institute, employees in public and First Nation governments, organizations and businesses will deliver programs and services that will help Yukoners address a variety of challenges and possibilities,” Horne said. About eight per cent of all jobs in Yukon—1,390 in total—have been identified as having a social justice-related component. Some examples of these jobs include social service providers, educators, mediators, investigators, law enforcement officers, safety and security officers and administrative tribunals. “The Department of Education is pleased to support the institute as part of our goal to build our workforce with targeted training for Yukoners for Yukon opportunities,” Rouble said. “The institute helps fill an identified need to enhance the capacity of Yukoners whose work touches on social justice.” The Department of Education will contribute $1,146,000 between 2010 and 2013 from the federally funded Community Development Trust to support the institute.
Posted 11 December 2009; 3:27:11 PM. Permalink
(Barents Indigenous People, 8 December 2009) -- Yasavey is the Public Association of Nenets people in Nenets Autonomous Okrug, and the indigenous NGO celebrates its 20th anniversary on December 12th 2009. Events are planned in Naryan-Mar for the entire weekend.
Posted 9 December 2009; 4:50:20 PM. Permalink
(CBC News, 5 December 2009) -- The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations says the time has come to create a separate school system for aboriginal youth. "It is time for us to have the opportunity for us to advance our educational destiny," Delbert Wapass, a vice-chief with the FSIN told a news conference Friday. Designing and implementing an urban First Nations system will provide an educational opportunity for success, Wapass said, adding that "it's time to break the circle of blame." Wapass, an elected member of the FSIN executive with responsibilities for education issues, noted that a similar recommendation was made for the school system in Winnipeg. He said the First Nations system would be rooted in First Nations values, beliefs and traditions and he suggested it would be similar to other separate school divisions such as the Catholic system. "If you are taught by your people and you are implementing your culture, your identity, your language and a sense of place to belong it's going to breed success at the end of the day," Wapass said. He said the current school system is not working and that many First Nations students drop out. "The province has had decade after decade to close the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people," Wapass noted. "But has not been able to succeed in doing so." The FSIN has not yet taken the proposal to the provincial government. However, Wapass suggested that an urban First Nations school could open in the fall of 2010. He added that any education system would have to be publicly funded. The FSIN represents almost all First Nations bands in Saskatchewan.
Posted 6 December 2009; 12:41:31 PM. Permalink
(Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation press release, 1 December 2009) -- Toronto, Arviat, New York - Nancy Karetak-Lindell is named Director of the Arctic Voices Fellowships, a new and innovative program created by the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation. The program aims to strengthen the participation of northerners in shaping policies governing the Canadian Arctic. Her appointment was announced today by Thomas S. Axworthy, President and CEO of the Gordon Foundation. ... The Fellowships will provide financial, educational, mentoring, and networking support to challenge and encourage Canadians from the north, ages 25-35, to become engaged in shaping public policy. The program provides funding for 12 northern participants to give them the opportunity to research and develop public policy ideas at a time of great change in the North. Each participant will be awarded $25,000 spanning 2 years to help them engage in projects and to learn how to develop policies that reflect their knowledge of northern culture and values. The search for candidates begins in the Spring 2010. The J.M. Kaplan Fund, a family foundation based in New York, is helping fund this initiative.
Posted 1 December 2009; 11:04:45 AM. Permalink
(UArctic News, 23 November 2009) -- University of the Arctic along with The Scandinavian Seminar College, a non-governmental institution and the Danish Society for Futures Studies has cooperated to publish A Key Player in the Arctic, the University of the Arctic and the Challenges Ahead.
Posted 25 November 2009; 11:06:09 AM. Permalink
(Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears via Circumpolar Blog, 22 November 2009) -- Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears is an online professional development magazine for elementary teachers which focuses on preparing teachers to teach polar science concepts in an already congested curriculum by integrating inquiry-based science with literacy teaching. Such an integrated approach can increase students' science knowledge, academic language, reading comprehension, and written and oral discourse abilities. ... Twenty thematic issues of the online magazine are planned, each of which will include standards-based science and content-rich literacy learning across five departments (In the Field: Scientists at Work, Professional Learning, Science and Literacy, Across the Curriculum, and Polar News and Notes). Engaging science activities, compelling images, rich text, and multimedia resources such as podcasts and videos will capture the interest of both students and teachers. Strategies for integrating technology, addressing misconceptions, and ensuring equity in the classroom are topics of emphasis.
Posted 22 November 2009; 9:31:56 PM. Permalink
(Alex Demarban/The Arctic Sounder, 19 November 2009) -- Mike Angaiak saw the world change from the tiny village of Tununak. In his lifetime, motorized boats replaced skin kayaks, snowmachines supplanted dog sleds and cash played a growing role. The government school arrived in 1925, and Angaiak, who died in 2001 at age 85, said he attended class just one day in his life, according to his son, John. Still, Mike, and his wife, Susie, insisted their children get college degrees. Seven of 10 did that, including John, who earned a bachelor's degree in 1972 and is now retired after working for Southwest Alaska Native organizations. "It was mom and dad's persistence that I get my education, so that I will fit in my time," said John, 67. The Angaiaks are unusual. While Alaska Native students play an increasingly large role in college classrooms, their enrollment numbers and graduation rates remain low. For example, while Alaska Natives make up about 16 percent of the state's population, they comprise only 9 percent of the students at the University of Alaska Anchorage, according to a 2008 paper. And just 10 percent of UAA's freshmen earn a degree in six years. A new Alaska Humanities Forum program set to begin next spring might help improve those numbers, if slightly, using a key ingredient that worked for the Angaiak family: parental involvement. The program, which doesn't yet have a name, will take to heart an Indian education model that found that family support and involvement dramatically increase a student's college success, said Laurie Evans-Dinneen, project director. That family support is especially important for students who are wrenched out of their tight-knit village and sent off to big-city schools to live among strangers, organizers said. The program, paid for with a three-year, $1.6 million federal grant, will help 50 rural high school students attend college by introducing them to urban campuses early in their high school career. Hopefully, the program will grow to include other Alaska regions in the future, Evans-Dinneen said. The students, who have not yet been selected, will likely come from communities along the lower Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers in Southwest, Evans-Dinneen said. ... Some Alaska Natives have trouble going to college because they get lonely after leaving their village. Some might be overwhelmed by the size of the campus and their classrooms. "So often, young people come in from rural communities and have a desire to go to school, get educated and help their people," Landlord said. "But I've seen them get homesick, or they get lost and become invisible." The program will create a structure that will help the rural students succeed, she said.
Posted 22 November 2009; 5:13:23 PM. Permalink
(BarentsObserver, 10 November 2009) -- Bodø University College in Nordland, Norway, and the Pomor State University in Arkhangelsk, Russia, are expanding their cooperation through combined teaching on Bachelor’s level. The Centre for Northern Studies at The Faculty of Social Science at Bodø University College this autumn extends its cooperation with The Pomor State University by offering the students to take 90 study points as electives in language and culture specialist programs in Russia. So far, 20 students have chosen this study profile, the college’s web pages read. Bodø University College and the Pomor State University have been cooperating for 12 years. The cooperation started with projects in the field of social work and has since developed into today's Bachelor of Circumpolar Studies. A new Master in Arctic Social Work is now being developed together with Director Marina Kalinina at the Norwegian-Russian Centre at The Pomor State University. As BarentsObserver reported, the Pomor State University will be included in the new Northern (Arctic) Federal University, which is being established in Arkhangelsk. It is planned to be Russia’s center for education and research on the Arctic. "With extended cooperation and well-established Bachelor of Circumpolar Studies we are well positioned to take part in this development," says Head of the Centre for Northern Studies at The Faculty of Social Science at Bodø University College Bjørn Sagdal.
Posted 11 November 2009; 1:07:06 AM. Permalink
(Pat Forgey/Juneau Empire, 5 November 2009) -- Bob Banghart of Juneau has been named chief curator of the Alaska State Museums, Education Commissioner Larry LeDoux announced this week. Banghart had been curator of exhibitions, responsible for the multi-level eagle tree at the entrance of the Alaska State Museum in Juneau and other exhibits. In Banghart's new job, he will oversee exhibits at that museum, the state's Sheldon Jackson Museum in Sitka, and traveling exhibitions, grant programs and technical assistance for other museums throughout the state. Banghart went to work as curator of exhibitions at the Alaska State Museums in 2007, following 20 years with his own Juneau-based museum planning and design consulting firm. He has a bachelor's degree in art and design from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Banghart will supervise a permanent staff of 15, a seasonal summer staff and an operating budget of about $1.7 million, according to the state Division of Libraries, Archives & Museums. Banghart said he's looking forward to working on a new unified campus in Juneau for state library, archives and museum institutions. The Legislature has appropriated $7.5 million for the SLAM project's planning and design. The new, expanded building would more fully serve statewide constituents and offer Juneau residents and visitors more exhibition and research space, Banghart said.
Posted 6 November 2009; 1:24:06 PM. Permalink
(Jane George/Nunatsiaq Online, 6 November 2009) -- Nunavut Sivuniksavut, the Ottawa-based college preparation program for Inuit students, wants Inuit organizations to help pay a down payment on a big new building in Ottawa. Nunavut Sivuniksavut has asked each of the three regional Inuit associations in Nunavut to contribute $500,000 towards its building fund. Nunavut Sivuniksavut needs to raise a building fund pot of about $2.3 million to acquire and renovate a former school at 339 Wilbrod St. in Ottawa. Brenda Jancke, a Nunavut Sivuniksavut board member, came to the recent Kitikmeot Inuit Association annual general meeting in Cambridge Bay, where she asked if KIA would commit money to the project. Nunavut Sivuniksavut has already raised $200,000 for the new building, Jancke said. As a registered charity, Nunavut Sivuniksavut provides tax deduction receipts for all donations it receives.
Posted 6 November 2009; 12:19:41 PM. Permalink
(ACUNS News, 3 November 2009) -- The Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies' Canadian Northern Studies Trust has posted award information for the 2010-2011 academic year. Canadian students are eligible to apply. English and French information posters are in this file. Additional information about and eligibility details for the individual awards is posted on the ACUNS website. Follow the link to CNST Awards.
Posted 3 November 2009; 9:06:38 AM. Permalink
(UArctic News, 2 November 2009) -- This project will develop a virtual classroom,
a platform for excellence in distance education giving enhanced and
content rich opportunities for on-line discussion and alternative forms
of interactive teaching.The Arctic virtual learning tools project joins together the University of Arctic, which educates northern people in both rural areas and in cities in all eight Arctic countries and Arctic Portal,
which is the website that hosts among others IPY, the Arctic council
and its working groups, the Association of Polar Early Career
Scientists (APECS) and the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry
(ICR). This project will develop a virtual classroom, a platform for
excellence in distance education giving enhanced and content rich
opportunities for on-line discussion and alternative forms of
interactive teaching. The classroom will be managed and distributed
through the Arctic Portal and it will be open for on-line teaching conducted at the University of Arctic members and other partners. In
order to find out what are the needs of the potential users, the survey
on virtual learning tools will be conducted during the October-November
2009. The survey is open for those who have taken part in on-line
teaching or conferences and for those who are just planning or thinking
of doing the on-line teaching in the near future. You can fill in the online survey:
Please read instructions before filling out the survey. The survey will be available until November 13th, 2009. After completions of survey, please feel free to forward this link to your colleagues, thanks!
Posted 2 November 2009; 7:41:16 AM. Permalink
(BarentsObserver, 2 November 2009) -- When the new Northern (Arctic) Federal University opens in Arkhangelsk, it will be Russia’s center for education and research on the Arctic. The main motives for the establishment are protection of Russia’s geopolitical and economic interests in Northern Europe and the Arctic. The Northern (Arctic) Federal University will conduct research and educate specialists within development of natural resources, including oil and gas, timber industry, onshore infrastructures, information and communication technologies and ecology. As BarentsObserver reported, Russia’s president Dmitry Medvedev on October 21 signed a presidential decree stating that the State Technical University in Arkhangelsk will be transformed into Northern (Arctic) Federal University. The new university will have a student population of 30 000 students, Pro-rector at the Arkhangelsk State Technical University Yury Kudryashov told BarentsObserver in an interview in Arkhangelsk last week. -The university will have a special role both in securing Russia’s geopolitical interests in the Arctic and in education of specialists for development of oil and gas deposits on the Arctic shelf. According to Kudryashov, a brand new university campus will be built to house the Northern (Arctic) Federal University. The Pomor State University, the Northern State Medical University and the shipyard Sevmash’ own technical college Sevmashvtuz will also be included in the new federal university. Arkhangelsk Oblast is the largest subject in the North-Western Federal District in order of size. Arkhangelsk is called “The gateway to the Arctic”.
Posted 2 November 2009; 7:36:25 AM. Permalink
(UArctic News, 2 November 2009) -- UArctic member organizations in Sweden gather
in Abisko, Sweden, for two days of meetings to discuss participation in
UArctic's programs and coordination of fundraising activities in
Sweden. Christer Jonasson from Abisko
hosts the meeting. Lars Kullerud, President of UArctic, also
participates in the meeting. "We look forward to increased engagement
in UArctic from all Swedish members. Also, as currently we don't have a
UArctic Office in Sweden, we look forward to Swedish members to come
forward to take a leadership role in a UArctic activity."
Posted 2 November 2009; 7:33:59 AM. Permalink
(John Ralston Saul/Literary Review of Canada, 1 October 2009)** -- ... This essay focuses on the Arctic. But the larger context is that we are a northern nation. Two thirds of our country lies in what is normally categorized as North lands. One third of our gross domestic product comes out of the three territories and the equally isolated northern parts of our provinces. And that one third is what makes us a rich, not a poor, country. Our cities, our high-tech service-based lives are built upon the foundation provided by that one third of riches. And now the South believes that the percentage of the GDP coming from the Arctic section of the North will grow. We ought to be a central player in the northern world in general and in particular in the circumpolar world. But first we all need to see ourselves as part of it and, at the moment, we do not. The current Arctic enthusiasm instead resembles an updated manifestation of George Brown’s old rep by pop argument, in which the shape and direction of Canada are supposed to be controlled simply by those who have the most votes. We act as if the second largest country in the world is only real in a handful of southern cities. That is why our current approach to Arctic sovereignty has such a Toronto-Montreal-Ottawa-Calgary-Vancouver feel to it. And that is why there is little sign of the balance between people and place that has always been and remains central to Canada's success. In this atmosphere, the point of view of northerners is treated as if it weighed three House of Commons seats, which is what a strict geographical definition of the region allots them: three territories, one seat apiece. And so, throughout our history, when the moment comes to spend the money or talk about the issues, ministers tend to become distracted by a bridge in their riding or in a swing riding, and the northern monies evaporate.
Posted 19 October 2009; 1:14:25 PM. Permalink
(Jane George/Nunatsiaq News, 19 October 2009) -- Learning about the history of Inuit contact with whalers, First Nations and explorers is as easy as emptying out a backpack, thanks to an interactive trilingual website launched Oct. 16 in Iqaluit. The website, Takurngaqtaq (encountering something for the first time) or, in English, Inuit Contact and Colonization, traces the history of contact between Inuit and other peoples from about 4,000 B.C. to the 1920s. The site uses the metaphor of the “container” to present and organize information. “The idea is to chronicle the evolution of the Inuit peoples as they passed through the decades leading up to and including contact with non-natives” said Erica Chemko of the Inuit Heritage Trust, the project manager for Takurngaqtaq. The goal is to see students critically look at the impacts of contact on Inuit society by looking at historical change as it is presented in the containers, she said. Each container has its own set of items related to sewing, cultural knowledge, tools, weapons, food and implements, trade. For example, the Inuit container used to describe the era of contact with whalers includes an image of a package of tea. When a student clicks on it, a link opens up to a section with photos and information about food and implements used during that period. ... The Takurngaqtaq website is designed to support the Nunavut social studies curriculum for Grades Seven. Teachers can access instructional modules on the website to help them learn how to use it with their students. The website’s English and French versions are completely translated, but its Inukitut text still needs more work due to a lack of funding earmarked for Inuktitut translation, Chemko said.
Posted 19 October 2009; 11:47:10 AM. Permalink
(ENS, 14 October 2009) -- The Natural Resources Defense Council is mounting a new campaign to save Alaska's Bristol Bay, the world's most productive salmon fishery, from the development of Pebble Mine in southwest Alaska, one of the largest gold and copper mines ever proposed. "There are few human activities as toxic as large-scale mining," said Joel Reynolds, senior attorney and director of NRDC's marine mammal protection project. "The Pebble Mine project could lead to widespread water contamination, which would destroy the salmon runs of the Bristol Bay watershed and thereby devastate the native communities and abundant wildlife the salmon have supported for thousands of years," Reynolds said. The Pebble copper-gold-molybdenum deposit is half owned by Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., a mineral exploration and development company based in Vancouver, British Columbia, and publicly traded in Canada and the United States. The other half of the project is owned by Anglo American plc based in London, UK, one of the world's largest diversified mining groups. Together, they call themselves the Pebble Partnership. The mine proposal has become a major political issue in Alaska, with pro-mining forces ranged against native villages and commercial and sport fishermen. Working with local conservation, tribal, and recreational organizations, as well as its own members, the Natural Resources Defense Council's BioGems initiative to save Bristol Bay will spearhead a national campaign harnessing the power of citizen activism to keep the mine from ever breaking ground and to advance long-term conservation of the area.
Posted 16 October 2009; 3:41:16 PM. Permalink
(Barents Observer, 5 October 2009) -- A new Saami textbook for children is published in Murmansk. The publication is sponsored by Shtokman Development. The publication of the new textbook, called Voafskhess (Northern Light), is part of the celebration of the 20 year anniversary of the Kola Saami Association, the oldest Saami organization on the Kola Peninsula, web site B-port.com writes. With regional authorities being unwilling to pay for production of the book, Shtokman Development AG and the International Saami Language Committee sponsored the project. There are about 2000 persons registered as Saami in Murmansk Oblast. Four Saami languages have been spoken among the Saami in the Russian side; Akkala, Ter, Skolt and Kildin Saami. Akkala Saami seems to be extinct as a language, where as below 20 understand or speak Ter Saami. Skolt Saami is spoken by less than 20 individuals in the Russian side, and Kildin Saami is spoken by 300-700 individuals, BarentsIndigenous.org writes.
Posted 8 October 2009; 1:34:50 PM. Permalink
(Ellen Lockyer/APRN – Anchorage, 30 September 2009) -- Barrow’s Ilisagvik College is attracting notice from college bound students in Anchorage and Fairbanks, and even Burbank, California. What makes this two-year community college a magnet for Alaska Natives and non-Natives alike?
(Yukon College press release via Canada Newswire, 23 September 2009) -- WHITEHORSE - Yukon College will host the first ever Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS) International Student Conference to be held North of 60. It is also the first program to highlight an international focus that includes both polar regions. Two hundred delegates from around the world are registered to attend. The conference will give students and young researchers the opportunity to develop professional experience, exchange ideas and connect with established scholars, government partners, northern community stakeholders, as well as national and international contacts. The 9th ACUNS conference, "Communities of Change: Building an IPY Legacy," will take place October 2-5th, 2009 and will include representation from Canada, China, Chile, France, Germany, Iceland, Poland, Sweden, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States and others. "This student conference is significant not only because of its international content, but also because it has been a long-term goal to hold it in the North, by the North and for the North," says Robert Bailey, ACUNS president. Student Organizing Committee Co-Chair, Kevin Turner says, "Our goal is to highlight International Polar Year research, which is focused on physical, biological and social changes in polar regions in response to factors such as climate change and increased development." "This conference helps to establish Yukon College as a leader in northern research and provides a tremendous opportunity for Yukon College students to connect with their international counterparts to discuss northern and polar issues," says Yukon College President, Terry Weninger. ACUNS is an association of more than 40 universities, northern colleges and centres devoted to supporting and facilitating northern research and education in Canada.
Posted 24 September 2009; 11:52:36 AM. Permalink
(Industry Canada press release, 23 September 2009) -- ARVIAT, Nunavut - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), along with the Honourable Daniel Shewchuk, Nunavut Minister of Environment, Minister of Human Resources and Minister responsible for the Nunavut Arctic College, today announced funding of more than $4.9 million for infrastructure investments at Nunavut Arctic College campuses and community learning centres. ... As part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Government of Canada introduced the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, a two-year $2-billion economic stimulus measure to support infrastructure enhancement at Canadian post-secondary institutions, including community colleges and universities. Today’s announcement celebrates the projects that qualify under the program in Nunavut. ... The investment announced today includes $2.2 million from the federal government and $2.76 million from the territorial government. “This joint investment will allow the Government of Nunavut to move forward with the Cyber Infrastructure Project, a communication network that will make online learning and research accessible to Nunavummiut in all 25 communities,” said Minister Shewchuk. “This technology will allow Nunavummiut to explore a vast number of educational opportunities in their home community.”
Posted 24 September 2009; 10:38:18 AM. Permalink
(Jørgen Chemnitz/News from Greenland, 21 September 2009 (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5jxWLERHd)) -- When school pupils from Greenland are sent to boarding school in Denmark, they are welcomed at Copenhagen Airport by Greenlandic staff to ensure they are on the right track. But it was a completely different scenario for two pupils from Ittoqqortoormiit in Eastern Greenland on their way to a boarding school in Qasigiannguit in Disko Bay on the southeastern coast. Nathalia Brønlund and Emil Arqe had to fend for themselves, even though their trip was much more complex than a trip to Denmark. They left their hometown last Wednesday, embarking on six stages of air and sea travel in Greenland – a serious logistical challenge. And it went wrong. The trip was supposed to take four days, but lasted eight. Sermitsiaq has spoken with Rasmus Andersen, the principal of Villads Villadsen School in Qasigiannguit. ... The plan was for the two pupils to be flown by helicopter from Ittoqqortoormiit to Nerlerit Inaat and continue from there with Air Iceland south to Reykjavik, before going to a hotel in Keflavik which they had to arrange themselves. They were to spend two nights in Keflavik, then travel to Nuuk and stay for a night at the Seamen's Home. The next day they were to continue to Aasiaat and stay there for a night before catching the Disko Line to Qasigiannguit. But the plan didn’t work. The plane from Iceland to Nuuk turned back one hour before landing due to bad weather and returned to Iceland. That caused the whole itinerary to fall like a house of cards. Anderson said it was unfortunate the two pupils had been stuck in Iceland. ...
Posted 21 September 2009; 10:32:02 AM. Permalink
(Sermitsiaq, 14 September 2009) -- Does the semi-autonomous Greenland have an official policy for other indigenous peoples and what is the Greenlandic national identity and self-understanding as a people in an autonomous Greenland? And will international recognition of Greenlanders influence their self-understanding as an indigenous people? These were some of the topics taken up during a one-day seminar on indigenous rights at the University of Greenland as part of the Bolivian-Greenlandic cultural exchange. A number of speakers from Bolivia and Greenland spoke on indigenous rights, political, socio-economic and business conditions, as well as culture and history based on respective Bolivian, Latin American and Greenlandic Arctic experiences. ... The seminar was organized by Taseralik, Sisimiut Cultural Centre in collaboration with the Danish Embassy in La Paz and the Danish Centre for Culture and Development, which has also sponsored the Bolivian Days in Greenland event. The University of Greenland co-sponsored the seminar.
Posted 15 September 2009; 11:50:25 AM. Permalink
(Mads Dollerup-Scheibel/Sermitsiaq.gl. News from Greenland: Newsletter, 7 September 2009, (Archived by WebCite®)) -- From the beginning of next year it will cost significantly more to send newspapers around Greenland. Post Greenland has informed the country’s oldest newspaper Atuagagdliutit and Sermitisiaq that the special discount on newspaper postage on newspapers, which today represents a value of between 1.5 and 1.7 million, will cease. The national post office is justifying the decision by saying it isn’t fair to other customers that newspapers get a discount on delivery. ‘We are fully aware that getting rid of the subsidy causes problems for the newspapers. But Post Greenalnd has to earn money, just like other businesses. And we don’t think our other customers should have to pay for the transport of newspapers,’ Post Greenland director Per Svendsen said. He also referred to the fact that newspapers were transported by courier and postage today did not cover the actual costs to of the consignments. The reduced newspaper postage rate has existed for over 25 years and has according to the post office remained steady since 1993. Post Greenland parent company Tele Post announced it record profits last year at 105 million kroner before tax, with Post Greenland accounting for 8.4 million of that. The postal service has for years been under pressure as electronic communication cuts into the number of letters, postcards and invoices sent. It has lobbied the self-rule government for an increase of general postage rates from next year.
Posted 7 September 2009; 12:46:41 PM. Permalink
(MBnews.ru via BarentsObserver, 4 September 2009) -- The Murmansk Sea Port is modernizing its radio communication equipment. That will make entries to the busy port safer. It is the company Alvis Plus which has got the contract on the equipment delieveries, MBnews.ru reports. The port of Murmansk is the second biggest in Northwest Russia. It handles major volumes of metal and mineral ore, fish and other goods. It is also used extensively by the Northern Fleet and will be the key port in the development of Russian Arctic hydrocarbon fields.
Posted 4 September 2009; 10:11:59 AM. Permalink
(BMO Bank of Montreal press release, 31 August 2009) -- TORONTO - BMO Financial Group today announced one national and 12 regional winners of the BMO 1st Art! Invitational Student Art Competition, Canada's only national graduating artist competition and exhibition. The competition received a record 218 entries from students from all across Canada, a testament to the prestige and esteem of the BMO 1st Art! awards. The winning works showcase the diverse influences and artistic visions of this country, with each piece reflecting the unique nature of the artists and the communities in which they live and study. BMO 1st Art! Invitational Student Art Competition is a celebration of the creative excellence of art students from post-secondary institutions across Canada. Deans and instructors of undergraduate certificate, diploma, and degree programs in visual art are invited to select three students from their graduating classes whose ability and imagination place them top among their peers. A distinguished panel of judges chooses an overall national winner and one winner from each province and territory. Nunavut and Yukon Regional winners were Quppa Jaw, Nunavut Arctic College and Suzanne Hale, Klondike Institute of Arts and Culture, Yukon College.
Posted 3 September 2009; 10:41:15 AM. Permalink
(BarentsObserver, 3 September 2009) -- More and more Russian girls are studying at military academies. A girl from Apatity in Murmansk Oblast is the only girl from Northwest Russia to be admitted to the Ryazan Higher School for Paratroopers. 17-year-old Svetlana Sokolova from Apatity is one of twenty girls to have been accepted at the prestigious school, which accepted female student for the first time in 2008, TV Murman reports. According to RIA Novosti, 750 girls and women are studying at the 18 higher military schools that accept female students. This is 336 more than in 2008. More than 77.500 women are doing service in the armed forces, of which 6000 are officers.
Posted 3 September 2009; 10:12:48 AM. Permalink
(BarentsObserver, 31 August 2009) -- The Norwegian government has allocated money for the establishment of nautical studies in Vardø, home of the Vessel Traffic Centre for North Norway. The Norwegian Coastal Administration’s Vessel Traffic Centre (VTS) is responsible for monitoring and guiding of shipping traffic along the coast of Northern Norway. The vessel traffic centre plays a key role in Norway’s maritime safety cooperation with Russia. The Vardø VTS has since its opening in 2007 mainly been operated by commuters from other parts of Norway, and it has been difficult to recruit people with the right education among the 2600 local inhabitants. To improve the situation, Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs Helga Pedersen has allocated 104.000 EUR for the establishment of a two year program in nautical studies in Vardø, Kystverket reports. The Vardø VTS is one of several measures promoted by the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs to improve maritime safety in northern areas and to meet the challenges that follow from the increase in oil-related traffic in the north. Vardø VTS is also intended to play a key role in expanded cooperation with Russia in the areas of maritime safety and contingency planning for combating oil spills. Norway and Russia have concluded an agreement to establish a joint Norwegian-Russian vessel traffic management information system, Barents VTMIS. As BarentsObserver reported, more than 15 million tons of oil will be shipped through the Barents Sea in 2009. In 2015 oil shipments in the area could amount to more than 100 million tons.
Posted 31 August 2009; 12:08:54 PM. Permalink
(tusaalanga.ca via The Circumpolar Blog, 24 August 2009) -- Tusaalanga is a dynamic website that brings Inuktitut learning to the world wide web. It was created by the Pirurvik Centre, an Iqaluit-based company dedicated to enhancing Inuit language, culture and well-being. Thanks to the support of the Nunavut Department of Culture, Language Elders and Youth and the Department of Canadian Heritage, Tusaalanga is now available in French.
Posted 24 August 2009; 12:35:27 PM. Permalink
(IceNews, 18 August 2009) -- The Svalbard archipelago off northern Norway is far above the Arctic Circle and famous for its new international seed vault and for Longyearbyen, the northernmost town in the world with over 1,000 inhabitants. The islanders make most of their money from mining and come form all over the world due to the Spitsbergen Treaty which was signed shortly after the First World War. Under the treaty, Svalbard was ceded to Norway after centuries of claims and counter claims, including some bloodshed. The treaty stipulated though, that people of all signing nations have equal rights to settle and work in Svalbard—there are currently over 40 signatory nations. While people are forbidden to die in Svalbard due to the permafrost preserving corpses in their graves indefinitely, people are permitted to grow up there. In fact school has just reconvened with 241 students—28 more than this time last year, including 30 in the youngest year group. There are 1,821 residents in Longyearbyen, a town which holds a number of interesting records: “Longyearbyen is the world’s most northern easily accessible settlement, with Svalbard Airport just outside town offering regular flights to and from Tromsø and Oslo, Norway. The airport served 120,000 passengers in 2007. It is also the northernmost town over 1000 inhabitants; it houses a large number of northernmost places and objects of interest: the northernmost church, university campus, Rotary club, bank, automated teller machine, hospital, kindergarten, public library, night club, pub, school, supermarket, tourist office, permanent airport with scheduled flights, bus station, commercial sea port, taxi station, art gallery, cinema, climbing wall, squash court, swimming hall, and indoor target range,” according to Wikipedia.
Posted 18 August 2009; 11:00:24 AM. Permalink
(CBC News, 4 August 2009) -- The calls are growing to establish a university in Canada's North as more northerners and academics say they need a permanent institution north of 60 where students and researchers can study. Canada is the only Arctic nation that does not have a university physically based in the North, meaning northern residents must move to southern Canada to pursue post-secondary studies. But the calls for a northern university have grown to the point where everyone who supports the idea should come together soon, said Marianne Douglas, director of the Canadian Circumpolar Institute at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. "We need a conference or a workshop in which we get federal, territorial and provincial players from the education scene, as well as some of the affiliates, to really see how can we actually facilitate this," Douglas told CBC News. The public push for a university in Canada's North began when Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean endorsed the idea during her tour of Nunavut in May. The following month, the North's three colleges — Nunavut Arctic College, Yukon College, and Aurora College in the Northwest Territories — announced they were joining forces to lobby the federal government for funding to set up a university. A group based in Iqaluit is also working on a proposal for a university that would not only allow Inuit to study closer to home, but also develop northern experts.
Posted 5 August 2009; 9:47:31 AM. Permalink
(Mike Dunham/Anchorage Daily News, 25 July 2009) -- First we had the Alaska Overnighters, Playwrights, directors, actors and stagehands challenged to create and produce a new play within a one-day time frame. Then there was the Annual Anchorage 24 Hour Film Competition with prospective screenwriters and videographers racing to deliver a finished movie by deadline. Now comes a new event to thrill all who revel in the merger of artistic endeavors conducted at a high rate of speed: The First Ever UAA 24-Hour Comic-a-thon. At 5 p.m. on July 15, a group of University of Alaska Anchorage students locked themselves in a room at the Student Union Building with the goal of producing comic books before 5 p.m. the following afternoon. Working in teams or singly, six arty folks churned out four "narratives," the pictures and texts for their mini-mangas. The fruit of their efforts and a video documenting the process is now on view at UAA's Student Union Gallery. The art on display is the original on a blue-line graph paper designed for comic book work. (The blue disappears from photo copies.)
Posted 26 July 2009; 12:46:55 PM. Permalink
(Sermitsiaq, 15 July 2009) -- A new school has been established in Uummannaq, in north-western Greenland [at 70°40'24.35"N., 52° 7'41.59"W], with the aim of ensuring a viable future for hunters and fishermen in an increasingly industrialised and commercial world. The course will serve to ensure the continued supply of hunting and fishing produce for the home market, combining both traditional and modern techniques and knowledge to best equip those working in the two areas to secure a living. Prior to the establishment of the higher education institute for hunting and fishing, the skills needed in the two areas were traditionally passed down from father to son, but this is no longer sufficient. David Olsen, the school rector, pointed out that hunters and fishermen who hope to make a living in today's climate, need to have an understanding of the rules and methods concerning hunting, as well as preservation principles, which are increasingly important. The students will also be educated in exactly what species are profitable or unprofitable to hunt or fish, as well as teaching them how to use and look after equipment and boats. The course lasts two years and combines both classroom-based teaching and practical placements, with the possibility of continuing their studies after the course has ended with further teaching in tourism, product development and domestic industries, lasting between six and twelve months. Over 31 students have applied for the course, which sets admission criteria of a completed secondary education and good grades in both reading and mathematics. Unfortunately, only 15 students will be accepted on the course.
Posted 17 July 2009; 3:38:57 PM. Permalink
(Anouk Lorie/CNN, 17 July 2009) -- LONDON, England - An eco-friendly French boat is hoping to successfully cross the perilous Arctic sea passage that links the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific. "Le Mangier" is attempting to navigate the icy, unpredictable Northern Sea Route, a 6,000 mile passage that skims the northern coast of Siberia. It is a trip that only a handful of leisure boats in history have successfully completed. Not only that, the modified tug boat is also attempting to do it ecologically. The boat's crew is relying partly on wind-power to complete the route, parts of which are only free of ice for two short months during the Arctic summer. Three sails have been added to the tug boat, which normally runs on gas-guzzling motors. ... The voyage, which is projected to take about six months, started in the South of France in April and, if they make it through the route successfully, will end in Japan. The crew's other ecological concessions include relying on solar panels for electricity and warm water, using only long-lasting LED light bulbs eating only organic products during their journey. On-board are seven adults and two children, including a painter, two writers, a scientist and a historian. Currently, the team's primary concern is not the fear of being trapped in ice and being forced to "hibernate" in Siberia's frigid temperatures, but getting the required paperwork in time before the approaching colder months, which cause ice to harden in the passage. "Le Mangier" is in Tromso, Norway waiting for the green light from the Russian government, which rarely allows non-Russian vessels to enter the passage.
Posted 17 July 2009; 2:48:37 PM. Permalink
(Anchorage Daily News, 14 July 2009) -- A museum that chronicled the history of the Russian Orthodox Church in Alaska, with artifacts and artwork dating back as long as a century, will close its doors in August. Low attendance and expensive bills have doomed the Russian Orthodox Museum in downtown Anchorage. The church that operates the museum decided it is time to close the doors. Artifacts will be returned to the churches that donated them. The Rev. Mikel Bock says the closure has to be done because the diocese is hurting because of the economy.
Posted 14 July 2009; 4:00:34 PM. Permalink
(Dan Bross, KUAC - Fairbanks via APRN, 13 July 2009) -- Work is getting underway on new homes for some Eagle residents displaced by this spring’s record flooding. Eagle recovery team leader Andy Bassich says the federal emergency management agency, or FEMA, has released funds to 13 local families who lost their houses. [mp3]
(Christina Henriksen/Barents Indigenous People, 9 July 2009) -- B-port.com reports about local Saami gathering at Malyi Zimnik Island in Lovozero Rayon for a language camp this July, 10-24. According to Aleksandra Artieva in OOSMO (Official Organisation of Saami in Murmansk Oblast), the aim is to strenghten the informal style of Kildin Saami oral speech. Another goal is for the participants to overcome the psychological barrier, which often prevents people from putting the language into practice. Participation in the language camp is free of charge, as the project is financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion and executed by the Centre of Saami studies at the University of Tromsø and the initiative group on establishment of a Saami language centre in Lovozero village The initators have long experience from working with Saami language in the Russian side, and a similar language camp took place last summer, with great success. According to the data from the Kola Saami Documentation Project (KSDP), only around 200 out of the 2000 Saami living in Russia speak Kildin Saami, so measures must be taken in order to keep the language alive.
Posted 12 July 2009; 5:43:58 PM. Permalink
(Kurt Kristensen/News from Greenland by Semitsiaq, 6 July 2009) -- Musician Alex Andersen has taken on the six-month assignment to organise those working in the arts in Greenland under a unified cultural umbrella organisation. Andersen is optimistic about the project, based on facilitating cooperation between artists working in Greenland, which hopes to bring together the many individual organisations that currently work independently of each other. The impetus for the project came during a meeting in Nuuk’s cultural house, Katuaq, last December. The cultural seminar, attended by seven independent cultural organisations, also secured political backing for the development of an umbrella organisation, with then-Premier Hans Enoksen pointing to the strong cultural identity that Greenland as a people needed to cultivate in connection with the introduction of self-rule. Following the success of the culture summit, also attended by then-Culture Minister Tommy Marø, was a government pledge of financial funding for a project to develop an umbrella organisation encompassing as many of the county’s independent arts organisations as possible. The resulting award of 250,000 Danish kroner has enabled Andersen, who created national music organisation INNK, to be engaged on a short-term contract to oversee the setting up of the organisation due to be in place by January 2010. [Sermitsiaq.gl. News from Greenland: Newsletter, monday, July 06-2009. Sermitsiaq.gl. 2009-07-12. URL:http://sermitsiaq.gl/rss/en_newsletter.jsp. Accessed: 2009-07-12. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5iDwGmwTF)]
Posted 12 July 2009; 5:04:48 PM. Permalink
(CBC News, 8 June 2009) -- Three colleges in Canada's North are joining forces to push the federal government to help create a university in the Arctic. Yukon College, Nunavut Arctic College and N.W.T.-based Aurora College have agreed this week to establish the legal foundation for a university north of 60. The colleges are now seeking a financial commitment from the federal government, Yukon College president Terry Weninger said Tuesday. "We have been waffling around with this concept for a number of years," Weninger told CBC News. "We need to have the knowledge — the security, if you want — that this thing can move forward with some sort of secure base funding. Otherwise, it's going to flounder." Canada is currently the other circumpolar nation without a northern university, Weninger said. Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean publicly endorsed the idea during her tour of Nunavut last month, saying it would help Inuit and other northerners earn a post-secondary education without having to move far from home. Jean has said a northern Canadian university could be modelled on the world's current northernmost university, located in Tromso, Norway. The colleges' proposal for a university would cost $2.5 million, Weninger estimated. He added that the institution would be anchored by the existing colleges and their programs. "Like, we already spend millions. Our government and the governments of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut already spend millions on university-level education," he said. "So it's not that we're not investing in post-secondary education. But this would give us, if you want, a university presence that's pan-northern." Weninger said he's expecting an official response from Ottawa in the next few weeks.
Posted 11 June 2009; 11:09:40 AM. Permalink
(Dan Joling/Anchorage Daily News, 7 June 2009) -- Lydia Apatiki took a journey back through time, riding her sewing needles and the skins of 100 small seabirds to get a taste of life before zippers and Gor-Tex. Like her grandmother before her, and generations of St. Lawrence Island Yup'ik Eskimo women, Apatiki created a coat from a most delicate natural resource, the skins of crested auklets, a bird found by the millions along the cliffs of her Bering Sea home. A former bilingual teacher in her community's school, the expert seamstress could only show children pictures of the outerwear that their ancestors wore to ward off snow and cold. Once common on the island, the parkas had not been made since the middle of the last century. "The kids see these pictures in the books or at the museums and they really motivated me," she said. "Gosh, somebody has to make a parka that is something the kids could feel and touch, like a hands-on something, instead of finding it in a book or museum. They really motivated me." Apatiki has lived most of her life in Gambell, one of two villages on St. Lawrence Island. Just 36 miles from Siberia, the closest mainland Alaska community is Nome, 200 miles to the east. She moved to Anchorage to be closer to her daughter and spent the summer of 2007 making the parka in front of curious visitors at the Alaska Native Heritage Center.
Posted 8 June 2009; 1:33:11 PM. Permalink
(Anchorage Daily News, 1 June 2009) -- No one is sure why Alaska's suicide rate has risen for four straight years and is the nation's highest. Alaska can round up the usual suspects—alcohol and drug abuse, hopelessness, isolation, poverty, wretched family lives, lack of opportunity, sexual abuse, biological factors, culture, history, racism—but we still won't have all the answers. We do have some answers, however. And as Susan Soule, mental health consultant and former director of the state's suicide prevention program, points out, we know the important questions. Soule quoted the late Edwin Schneidman, the father of suicide prevention, who said the work boiled down to two questions: "Where do you hurt? How may I help you?" Alaska needs more people who can ask those questions and have the skill and care to listen to the answers, comprehend them and know where and how to help—or find help. And, especially in Bush Alaska, we need more Alaska Natives doing the job, for they can connect in ways that outsiders from different cultures usually cannot. And we need to make clear to both communities and individuals that we care. That alone might serve to tip the balance between life and death. Both Soule and James Gallanos, the state's current suicide prevention coordinator, point out that suicidal people struggle with a mix of reasons to live and reasons to die. Knowledge that a person or community matters, that others care, is a reason to live, an antidote to the isolation that contributes to suicide.
Posted 1 June 2009; 4:36:51 PM. Permalink
When Siila Watt-Cloutier—the activist formerly known as Sheila—delivers her LaFontaine-Baldwin lecture tonight at Inuksuk High School in Iqaluit, she will have her largest Canadian audience ever, she says. The lecture series, established by Canadian novelist and essayist John Ralston Saul, is one of the most prominent lectures in the country on issues related to the public good. It receives major media attention and coverage across the country, and Watt-Cloutier's 8 p.m. address—and a follow-up roundtable discussion on Saturday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.—will both be broadcast live online to the world by Pond-Inlet-based Isuma TV. Special guests for the two events will include Governor General Michaëlle Jean, Former governor General Adrienne Clarkson, Saul, who is also Clarkson's husband and co-chair with her of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk and actor Martha Burns. Both events take place at the high school, and are free and open to the public. So Watt-Cloutier, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee in 2007, wants to do her utmost to show her listeners how the struggle against global climate change is about more than just ice and snow.
Posted 30 May 2009; 12:21:31 PM. Permalink
(CBC News, 29 May 2009) -- Inuit environmental activist Sheila Watt-Cloutier will give a lecture Friday night at the ninth annual LaFontaine-Baldwin lecture symposium, marking the first time the series has gone north of 60. Watt-Cloutier, a 2007 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, will also be the first Inuk to speak at the annual event, which focuses on stimulating debate about the history and future of Canada. This year's symposium, which will include Friday's lecture and a town hall discussion on Saturday, will focus on Arctic sovereignty, environment and natural resources, Watt-Cloutier told CBC News. Watt-Cloutier wants Inuit to be heard when decisions are being made about the Arctic "to give a better sense and understanding of who we are, where we've come from, the challenges we face, but the opportunities also that exist here for a better understanding, from our perspective and from our world to southern Canada." The former head of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, Watt-Cloutier has worked on social and environmental issues facing the Inuit, including climate change. Friday's lecture will be held at Inukshuk High School in the Nunavut capital and is open to the public. Symposium founder John Ralston Saul and former governor general Adrienne Clarkson will be there, along with current Gov. Gen. Michäelle Jean and other dignitaries. CBC Radio One in the North will broadcast Watt-Cloutier's lecture live starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
Posted 29 May 2009; 3:11:08 PM. Permalink
(CTV.ca, 27 May 2009) -- KUGLUKTUK, Nunavut - Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean took her rallying cry for an Arctic university to this tiny community on the tundra Tuesday, drawing cheers from grateful students and parents. Hundreds of residents packed into the high school gym to hear Jean speak about her dream for the Far North. Jean called out the names of professions, asking students to step forward when they heard the job of their choice. Children drifted to the front of the gym as she chimed through a long list: pilot, teacher doctor, nurse, hunter, carpenter, electrician, plumber, social worker, biologist, designer. When all the students had risen, the Governor General said they had taken their first step—dreaming. The next step, she said, is getting the education they need. "Now, going to university means going down south. One day, we hope there will be another possibility, another option. "That could be having a university in the North. And to make this happen, you kids have to say you dream—very loud and clear." That drew loud cheers from the students and a standing ovation from parents.
Posted 27 May 2009; 4:45:47 PM. Permalink
The International Institute for Sustainable Development (iisd.org) is recruiting five Canadian northern youth (age 19-30), from Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon, or northern Quebec and Labrador, for the Circumpolar Young Leaders Programme. The programme provides opportunities to undertake one of five up-to-six-month internships in other circumpolar countries or in southern Canada. The first three of the five placements are posted online at http://www.iisd.org/interns/arctic/apply_positions_arctic.aspx The remaining placements will be posted shortly. The Circumpolar Young Leaders Programme aims to give young people from the North the opportunity to improve their leadership skills, gain international work and domestic experience with institutions working on Northern issues, enhance their understanding of sustainable development, and join a unique network of young leaders who are working towards ensuring sustainability in the North. [More info]
Posted 26 May 2009; 10:32:14 AM. Permalink
(CBC News, 25 May 2009) -- Yellowknife will have a new homeless shelter later this year, providing a place for men and women to gather in the daytime when overnight shelters are closed. Slated to open this fall as a three-year pilot project, the daytime shelter would serve as an alternative to downtown public buildings such as shopping malls and the library, where many homeless people go to stay warm. Officials with the Northwest Territories government, the City of Yellowknife and BHP Billiton jointly announced more than $550,000 in funding for the day shelter at a news conference Monday. The N.W.T. Health and Social Services Department is providing most of the funding, $375,000 over the life of the pilot project, while BHP Billiton is committing $150,000. As well as providing shelter, the facility will offer support to people struggling with addictions and a washroom for people who don't have any other place to go during the day.
Posted 25 May 2009; 4:03:05 PM. Permalink
(IcelandReview Daily News, 25 May 2009) -- More than 60 students graduated from the Tourist Guide School of Iceland on Wednesday evening—a record number. Out of that group, 23 students specialized in regional guide studies, which is new for the capital region. “In such studies they don’t focus on the entire country but specialize in certain regions,” explained faculty director Kristín Hrönn Thráinsdóttir to Fréttabladid. In this case, the students specialized in Reykjavík and neighboring areas, south Iceland and Reykjanes peninsula. The increase in the number of tourists guide graduates is in consistency with the expected increased number of tourists in Iceland next summer. According to recent reports, Iceland’s image as a tourist destination has remained intact in Europe and people are still as interested, if not more, in traveling to the country compared to before the crisis hit last fall. Additionally, 90 percent of Icelanders said they were interested in traveling around their own country instead of going abroad during their summer vacation, as a MMR poll concluded. Many have mentioned the West Fjords as a desired destination, ruv.is reports.
Posted 25 May 2009; 2:58:22 PM. Permalink
(Macleans.ca, 24 May 2009)** -- Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean is making a rare break from ceremonial circumspection to publicly urge the government to build a university for Canada’s Inuit. In a vice-regal plunge into policy advocacy, Jean proposes a university in the Arctic so Inuit youth can get a degree close to home and benefit from economic activity expected in their region. Canada’s claims to sovereignty over the North will be, she says, nothing but an “empty shell” unless the area’s inhabitants participate in northern development. The Governor General has begun promoting the idea with government officials, and sources say they expect her to raise it with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Jean was inspired by an experiment in Norway and plans to use what could be her final year in office—and her time after leaving Rideau Hall—to champion the idea that Canada can do it too. Jean says an Arctic university could help produce the engineers that mining companies will need, and inspire young Inuit who might otherwise abandon dreams of a career in other fields such as medicine or law. She says industry could also be conscripted in the effort—and suggests that mining firms, for instance, could be required to devote a slice of their resource revenues to building a new school. None of this is government policy, but the Queen’s representative offered a series of arguments for an Arctic university in an interview with The Canadian Press. “So all of Canada is now looking to the North and saying, ‘It’s important to defend our sovereignty in the North, it’s important to deal with changes from climate change, the Northwest Passage will soon be a maritime highway, it’s important to explore the abundant natural resources—gas, uranium, diamonds, gold,’” Jean said at Rideau Hall. “That’s all very good—but at the same time we absolutely cannot forget that this sovereignty is an empty shell, the development of the North will be an empty shell, if it happens without the participation of northern people . . . . “We need to build viable, healthy, durable communities there.”
Posted 25 May 2009; 2:06:58 PM. Permalink
(CBC News, 22 May 2009) -- Yukon College will construct new buildings in Dawson City and Pelly Crossing, thanks to a two-year funding deal announced Friday by federal and territorial politicians. The college currently has a portable unit in Pelly Crossing, but Yukon Senator Dan Lang said he has seen the current unit and disapproves of it. "Their accommodations and their classrooms have really been inadequate. Actually, it's been embarrassing in many respects," Lang told reporters in Whitehorse Friday morning. The federal and Yukon governments are pairing up to construct new college buildings in both communities, at a total cost of $4 million. "You're going to get well over 20 full-time jobs up in Pelly, well over 40 up in Dawson City, and that's significant to those communities," Lang said. "At the end of the day, I think the wonderful thing is they're going to have a first-class facility." At the current Dawson City campus, coordinator James Woods said students and staff members have been falling ill from mould in the existing building. The new facility, Woods said, will not only be healthier, but will be more vibrant. "It's centrally located, it's next to the school of visual arts. It will centralize education in the community," he said.
Posted 23 May 2009; 6:03:12 PM. Permalink
(Hanne Broberg/Sermitsiaq, News from Greenland, 18 May 2009) -- Students from Mid-Greenland High School (GU) in Nuuk have produced a new youth magazine, Voila, aimed at their peers and which deals with youth culture and issues in Greenlandic. Sex, STDs, leaving home and studying abroad are just some of the themes covered in a new magazine by and for young Greenlanders. The magazine is the result of over half a year's worth of hard work for the high school students who, using only four hours a week on the project, have been planning the publication from conception to publication as part of their studies in Greenlandic. Margrethe Thårup Knudsen, the teacher behind the project, said that the students have done the hard work themselves. 'They have done everything, from sourcing advertising to layout and content prioritisation,' said Knudsen. 'They have been their own sparring partners, with a large degree of agreement on the final product from the outset.' The magazine is aimed at students between the ages of 15-18, and the students from GU have already received a certain amount of feedback concerning the first publication. It seems that the target audience are pleased with the magazine on the whole, praising its content and the fact that it is published in Greenlandic, rather than Danish or English. However, one criticism concerned the layout.
Posted 18 May 2009; 11:17:27 AM. Permalink