Global Youth Embark on High Arctic Expedition – Students to witness the impact of rapidly changing Arctic and be inspired to take leadership and action
GATINEAU, Quebec, July 23, 2019 — On July 23rd, 130 high school and university students from around the world will come together in Ottawa, Ontario to begin a transformative two-week Students on Ice expedition to the Canadian High Arctic and Greenland. This ship and land-based expedition will connect youth to the Arctic and to urgent issues including ocean conservation, climate change, and sustainable development. Expedition dates are July 23 –August 7, 2019.
Immersed in nature, students will connect to the land, ocean, culture and communities with fellow students from 18 countries. Led by a global cohort of Indigenous and non-Indigenous scientists, artists, experts, educators and visionary leaders, participants will develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for the changing Arctic and its peoples. Following the expedition, this diverse group will work collectively and individually to create new ideas, partnerships, and initiatives addressing the many challenges and opportunities facing the Arctic and the Planet.
Beginning in Ottawa, the expedition will fly to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland where the team will board the expedition vessel and explore the communities, coasts and fjords of western Greenland before crossing the Davis Strait to Canada’s High Arctic and the Northwest Passage. Expedition activities include exploring the land and gaining cultural and historical knowledge from Inuit Elders, scientists, archaeologists, and community members; hikes across tundra and glaciers in Sirmilik National Park; observing wildlife; engaging with climate scientists to understand the drastic changes being seen in the Polar regions and their impacts; and learning first-hand about important Arctic marine ecosystems such as Pikialasorsuaq (the North Water Polyna) and Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound).
Thanks in part to a new partnership with the Delegation of the European Union to Canada, this summer’s expedition team will include youth from every circumpolar country! The global nature of SOI expeditions are key in fostering cross-cultural collaboration on key issues we face as a global society. This year’s expedition team represents students from 18 countries: Canada, U.S., Greenland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Russia, Peru, England, Ireland, Germany, Monaco, Switzerland, Seychelles, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and China (Hong Kong).
The expedition’s staff team includes President of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association PJ Akeeagok; Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity Paşca Palmer; Senior Arctic Official and Director General of Circumpolar & Eastern European Relations for Global Affairs Canada Alison LeClaire; Sámi writer and media professional Pirita Näkkäläjärvi; award winning singer-songwriter Ian Tamblyn; British Antarctic Survey climate scientist Bianca Perrin; award-winning Inuit storyteller and children’s writer Michael Arvaarluk Kusugak, native Alaskan and Fulbright Fellow with the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna Victoria Buschman; and Order of Canada recipient and Expedition Leader Geoff Green.
Through the generosity of partner organizations, 90 per cent of the youth participants are fully supported to participate in this transformational, life-changing experience. The 2019 Students on Ice Arctic Expedition is made possible through partnerships with the Canadian Museum of Nature; Parks Canada; Canada Goose; Nunavut Sivuniksavut; Makivik Corporation; Kativik Regional Government; Leacross Foundation; the Delegation of the European Union to Canada; the Assembly of First Nations NS and NL; the U.S. Embassy Ottawa; Adventure Canada; Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation; The Beatrice Snyder Foundation; Sony; Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, the Canada-UK Foundation, First Air, the official airline of Student on Ice, and more than 40 other generous supporters.
Throughout the journey, thousands of people around the world will follow and share in the expedition experience via SOI’s outreach and media strategy, including daily text, photo and video updates on SOI’s website and social media channels. To learn more and to follow the journey, visit studentsonice.com.
“To explore the Arctic with youth, elders, artists, scientists and educators from around the world, provides a unique opportunity for cross-cultural and solution-driven conversations and initiatives to flourish,” says Students on Ice President and Expedition Leader Geoff Green. “This expedition will be the beginning of a life-long journey, and a very important step for youth to gain the inspiration, knowledge and support needed to contribute to a healthy and sustainable future for our planet.”
“We are thrilled to give young participants the opportunity to understand firsthand the challenges the Arctic is facing today. To facilitate exchanges among Arctic youth; you have to look at and understand the Arctic through the eyes of the people who live there,” said Peteris Ustubs, European Union Ambassador to Canada. “The European Union is very much engaged in the Arctic through multilateral fora and international organizations; understanding the science of climate change, helping to develop strategies to mitigate climate change, and safeguarding the Arctic environment are part of the EU’s continued efforts in the Arctic.”
ABOUT THE STUDENTS ON ICE FOUNDATION
The Students on Ice (SOI) Foundation is an award-winning organization that strives to contribute to a healthy and sustainable future by providing a platform for learning, and for ideas and cross-cultural collaboration to flourish. Since 2000, SOI has brought together more than 3,000 youth, educators and visionary leaders from 52 countries on expeditions and outreach initiatives in the Arctic, Antarctic and places in-between. The outcome is a global network whose connection to the land and understanding of the environmental, social, and political landscape is shaping their perspectives and impact on key issues including climate change, ocean health and community engagement.
To arrange interviews or request more information, please contact:
Communications & Media Relations Manager
Students on Ice Foundation
Office: 819-827-3300, cell: 613-859-8966