Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Ecology North, with support from the Pembina Institute and Dene Nation, are preparing to host the third Young Leaders’ Summit on Northern Climate Change. The Summit will be held from August 23-28th, 2015, and is following successful Summits in 2009 and 2011, which were held in Inuvik and Yellowknife, respectfully.
We’re planning to shake things up this time around, by taking the youth on a travelling road trip Summit through the North and South Slave area of the Northwest Territories. The ten youth from NWT, Yukon, and Nunavut will travel by van from Yellowknife to Hay River, and back, stopping at various communities and interesting locations along the way to learn from elders, scientists, and other community members. The young leaders will camp and cook their own meals, they will be challenged, have to work as a team, and will come back with many insights on how climate change is impacting the North.
The theme of the 2015 Summit will be “Building Land-Based Leadership to Effect Change”. There will be an emphasis on experiential on-the-land learning, leadership development, and community engagement in order for participants to better understand and communicate how climate change is truly affecting Northerners.
Along the way we will engage with small communities, hear about local experiences with climate change, meet elders in traditional settings, and share stories while pulling a net or picking berries. We will visit burned areas and learn about the impact of climate change on forest fires. The youth will be challenged at different stops to figure out riddles, complete hikes, paddle canoes, orienteer, and work as a team. They will experience unexpected meetings with harvesters, elders, scientists, and others along the way and learn first-hand how climate change is altering the northern landscape. We will discuss the political landscape of Canada and the North, and build leadership skills to help the young leaders better understand how they can make their voices heard and effect change.
By the end of the trip, the youth will collaborate to produce a Declaration containing a set of recommendations for climate policy, as well as media materials (videos, audio recordings, etc.) containing interviews and experiences from the caravan.
The collaborative team-building aspects of the tour will help build lasting connections, forming the networks that will allow participants to continue working together after they go home to their communities. Participants will come up with their own plan for sustaining the network, and these efforts will be supported on an ongoing basis by the organizers.
Help us to feed and support these youth, so that they can return to their home communities with the knowledge to effect change! Support us through the Small Change Fund!