International symposium to amplify youth voices on Arctic

Hunters point to seal holes near the Arctic Canadian community of Clyde River, Nunavut. A youth symposium May 17-18 will gather young leaders from around the North to talk about their visions for the future. (Eilís Quinn / Eye on the Arctic)

Youth leaders from around the Arctic will participate in an online international symposium next week that seeks to amplify their policy concerns and visions for the economic, environmental an political development of the North. 

“From climate change adaptation to broadband connectivity to the rights of Indigenous peoples, Arctic youth leaders’ policy issues are Arctic policy issues,” the symposium says on their website. 

The event, called The Arctic in 25 Years, will be put on by the Wilson Center’s Polar Institute in Washington, D.C. the Norwegian-based Arctic Frontiers secretariat and Indigenous groups of the Arctic Council, known as Permanent Participants, supported by the Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat.

“Considering the Arctic Council’s 25th anniversary, now is an opportune time to reflect on the past quarter-century of Arctic cooperation and plan for the next,” Michaela Stith, Director of The Arctic in 25 Years initiative and a program assistant at the Polar Institute, told Eye on the Arctic.

“There are plenty of youth in the Arctic with the necessary credentials, experience and insight to contribute to policy in the region. In organizing this event, I hope to bring their expertise about the future of the region to the forefront of scholarship and policy discussion.”

Economics, climate, governance

The event will take place over two half days.

Panelists are being booked from all eight Arctic countries.

Organizers say the youth leaders will speak about everything from research, to policy, to subsistence lifestyles and hunting, and will discuss their visions for the Arctic.

The four panels planned include one on the Arctic Council Permanent Participant Youth Group, one on economic development, one of climate change and biodiversity and one on how Arctic governance should evolve to promote prosperity.

Those interested can sign up for the event on the Polar Institute website.

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Nunavut, Canada artists to contribute to upcoming, youth-made climate change documentary, Eye on the Arctic

Greenland: International Inuit organization announces youth leadership award winners in honour of Hans-Pavia Rosing, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Arctic Council wants to up youth engagement on North, Eye on the Arctic

United States: International Inuit leaders and youth take climate message to COP25 in Madrid, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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