Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut October 22, 2012 - 8:34 am

Global Vision exchange hopes to bridge cultural differences

Southern youth spent weekend in Pangnirtung

DAVID MURPHY
Hunter Tootoo, speaker of the Nunavut legislature, talks Oct. 19 in the Nunavut assembly with youth on a Global Vision exchange visit to Nunavut. (PHOTO BY DAVID MURPHY)
Hunter Tootoo, speaker of the Nunavut legislature, talks Oct. 19 in the Nunavut assembly with youth on a Global Vision exchange visit to Nunavut. (PHOTO BY DAVID MURPHY)

A group of Canadian youth wants to bridge the large cultural and economic gap between the South and North.

That’s why the non-profit youth organization, called Global Vision, made its second visit to the North this weekend.

Its goal: to establish connections and inspire youth to talk about entrepreneurship.

On this exchange, Global Vision, which has sent youth around the world on exchanges for 21 years to “develop as leaders that can and do make a difference in their communities,” sent 15 southern youth to Nunavut, and then will bring 17 to the South.

The southern participants in the exchange, who include teenagers and youth into their 20s, travelled to Pangnirtung Oct. 20 to experience Inuit culture.

They planned to learn as much as they can there, by attending seminars, meeting with local politicians and talking to other youth.

Then, they will take what they learn back to their southern hometowns, Amy Giroux, the director of Global Vision, told Nunatsiaq News.

Global Vision sent a youth group to Iqaluit in 2011, when they met Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq and Premier Eva Aariak.

At Pangnirtung’s Attagoyuk School, from Oct. 20 to Oct. 22, 30 local youth were paired with the 15 southern youth.

Their schedule included going out in the land to learn some traditional Inuit knowledge, and a visit to Auyuittuq National Park.

Then, 17 from Pangnirtung will travel to southern Canada for a similar kind of experience. 

Marianne den Haan, a teacher at Pangnirtung’s Attagoyuk School, said she hoped southern youth would be able to dispel stereotypes about the North, and learn about a part of the country most Canadians aren’t familiar with.

“I find that a lot of people say, ‘do you have a tv up there? Do you have the internet?” den Haan said. “Canada’s North continues to go through drastic changes.”

Collin Simkus, 26, from Vancouver, who has been on several exchanges with Global Vision since 2008, expressed some idealistic goals for the trip.

Simkus said he hoped that everybody would comes out of the exchange realizing “that their community is part of a community, of communities.”

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