Today was the first day of the 2017 Young Leaders’ Summit on Northern Climate Change. Participants from Yellowknife, Hay River and Cambridge Bay met at the Yellowknife Airport then flew to Whitehorse. We arrived in Whitehorse around 3:30, where we met up with the participant from Inuvik. The first night has been pretty relaxed. We arrived at our campsites at Robert Service Campground. A group of participants went to buy groceries while the remainder set up camp. Throughout this period, the final participants from Whitehorse and Carcross arrived. For supper we cooked NWT Whitefish over the fire and ate fish burgers, salad, potato salad and cookies. For supper we were joined by members of BYTE, a Whitehorse-based youth empowerment group, as well as Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee and Minister John Streicker. Dinner was delicious. The downtime also gave us a chance to get to know one another and talk to John and Tracy about climate change in the territory. John told us a story of when he first noticed the true beauty of the North, incidentally he moved to the Yukon shortly after. His experience years ago is tied into a current climate hot topic, the diversion of glacier melt from one watershed to another due to recession. This has caused the drying of a portion of the Slims River. This was a topic that he and the participants were all keen to discuss. We plan to go see this dried river later in the week.
The rest of the night wasn’t very busy. We went around in a circle discussing what we would like to get out of the experience. After cleaning up, a group went for a walk on the Millennium Trail, which runs through our campground, while others painstakingly wrote this blog post. It was a great first day and everyone is looking forward to what we have planned for the rest of the trip.
We are excited to have Holly join us for the 2017 Young Leaders' Summit on Northern Climate Change!
Home Community: Inuvik
Current Position: Communications Specialist, Gwich’in Land and Water Board
Favorite Hobbies: Reading, sewing, and "any sport where I can wear a spandex onesie."
Why Holly decided to apply for the 2017 Young Leaders' Summit:
"As a relative newcomer to the North, the Summit will allow me to connect with others who share my aspirations for informed environmental decision-making. I admire the breadth of work that Ecology North does to educate and promote environmentally sustainable communities, and this a great opportunity for me to get involved with that work. I hope to contribute meaningfully to Inuvik’s discussions of climate change, waste, and water management, both as a resident, and in my work with the GLWB."
A fun fact about Holly:
"My cat, Michi, is from Urubamba, Peru, where I interned as a policy analyst. His name means “cat” in Quechua, which was suggested by his good-humored veterinarian."
See you in just over a week in Whitehorse!
Meet another one of our 2017 Young Leaders' Summit on Northern Climate Change Participants: Julia!
Home Community: Hay River, NT
Current Position: Biomedical studies student at the University of Northern British Columbia
Why the issue of climate change is important to Julia:
"The issue of climate change is important to me because the environment plays a vital role in sustaining many aspects of Northerners’ health. I am very interested in the relationship between the North’s environmental health and the physical, cultural, and economic health of its inhabitants."
A fun fact about Julia:
"I’m an outdoor adventure enthusiast!"
We are excited to have Julia come share her love for the outdoors with us!
Martha will be joining us from the NWT to participate in the 2017 Young Leaders' Summit on Northern Climate Change!
Home Community: Yellowknife
Currently, Martha is: working for Dillon Consulting as part of a co-op work term, spending the next two months working out of the Yellowknife office doing fieldwork in communities across the Northwest Territories
She is also: Studying Environmental Engineering at the University of Guelph with one semester until graduation!
Martha's dream job: Professional Engineer/radio show host
Her favorite hobbies: Listening to podcasts, trying to ‘mountain’ bike, reading, petting fuzzy animals, board games
Why the issue of climate change is important to Martha:
"Climate change is an important issue to me both personally and as I look to my future professional career. Particularly as I progress in my engineering studies and career, I am learning more and gaining a better understanding of the impacts of climate change on northern communities. Understanding how the changing climate impacts people’s lives in the North is important in developing appropriate and impactful engineering designs for these communities."
Why she decided to apply for the 2017 Summit:
"When discovering the Summit I was excited to apply because of the potential to meet a diverse group of similarly minded youth from across the Northern territories. I have had few opportunities to meet youth from the Yukon and Nunavut, and am interested in learning about the experiences and opinions of others as they relate to how the changing climate has influence their lives and communities."
See you in the Yukon, Martha!
Get to know Clayton, one of the 2017 Young Leaders' Summit participants!
Home Community: Inuvik
Currently, Clayton: Volunteers at the SPCA
In the fall, Clayton will: Begin the University and College Access Program at Aurora College, before proceeding into the Environmental Studies Program!
His dream job: Anything pertaining to Environmental Science and Natural Resource Management
Why the issue of climate change is important to Clayton:
"It’s important to me because I care about the land I grew up on, noticing the changes around the North. Also to leave a healthier environment for my Son and the next generation, and show them that we need to be active in our part in preserving our home in these changing times."
Why he decided to apply for the 2017 Summit:
"For more experience in the environmental field and to learn what others have to say about it."
A fun fact about Clayton: "I’m nerdy, also I love space and astronomy."
We are excited to have Clayton coming to Whitehorse to share with us what he has noticed about the land changing around him! Follow us on Facebook to stay updated on our journey!