Delegation of the European Union to Japan

European youth participate in Students on Ice Arctic expedition

03/10/2019 - 21:20
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For the first time, the Delegation of the European Union to Canada worked with the Students on Ice Foundation to send three young Sámi from the European Arctic and one supervisor to the Canadian Arctic. The 16-day expedition, organised by the Students on Ice Foundation will have a lasting impact on our European participants.

Joining 130 high school and university students – and dozens of inspiring educators – from North and South America, Europe and Asia on board the 2019 Students on Ice Arctic Expedition, Nils Ándá Baer and Martina Fjällberg from Sweden, and Jon-erik Näkkäläjärvi from Finland, embarked on a highly-anticipated journey – by air, land, and sea – to the Canadian Arctic.

During the journey, the students had the chance to participate in daily workshops given by inspiring scientists, elders, artists, musicians, dignitaries, historians, thought leaders and innovators. The 16-day expedition was an opportunity for the students to learn of local ecosystems, and Indigenous cultures, discuss and exchange on timely issues such as climate change and Arctic policy, while also exchanging with other students about their own Sámi traditions.

The expedition was a life-changing journey for the three European Sámi students; opening their eyes about the challenges faced by Inuit communities - and the extent to which they were similar or different from their own people's experience.

The EU and Students on Ice organizers share a vision and a commitment to building transatlantic bridges and giving youth the opportunity to expand their knowledge and understanding of the Arctic, so they can become the next generation of leaders on Arctic issues. We must cooperate across borders to find solutions to Arctic – and global – environmental issues, from marine pollution and threats to natural ecosystems, fisheries, and wildlife, due to the effects of climate change.

The EU’s support for the expedition reflects the ever-closer EU-Canada relationship, enhanced by the 2016 EU-Canada Strategic Partnership and Comprehensive Economic and Trade agreements, and an expanding array of dialogues, exchanges, and cooperation projects between Europeans and Canadians.

 

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