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Inuit Nunangat youth to develop community initiatives with new federal funding

The four Inuit regions are getting $660,000 to help address the significant social and economic inequalities faced by Northern youth, which create barriers to developing the knowledge and skills needed to support their communities, from a new federal program called Expedition to Community (E2C).

Elder David Serkoak, left, Pontiac Quebec MP Will Amos, Students on Ice alumni team lead Lynda Brown, alumni program coordinator Becky Okatsiak, Canadian Museum of Nature president and chief executive officer Meg Beckel, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami president Natan Obed, and Students on Ice Foundation president and founder Geoff Green together announced $660,000 in funding from Canada Service Corps for youth-led, community-enhancing initiatives in Inuit Nunangat April 8.
photo courtesy Yuri Curumthaully

The Students on Ice Foundation will take the helm on E2C.

"Students on Ice is thrilled to support this youth‐led initiative," Students on Ice founder and president Geoff Green stated in a media release.

"Building on nearly 20 years of working with youth and partners across the North through our educational expeditions and outreach initiatives, we embrace the opportunity to further our support of Inuit youth in developing the knowledge and leadership skills to benefit their communities."

Students on Ice, a charitable foundation, leads educational expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic for international high school and university students, including Nunavut students.

The foundation will work with a core group of youth leaders aged 15 to 30 in five Northern communities – two in Nunavut, east and west – to engage youth in leading service activities that address the issues, opportunities and needs of Northern communities.

"Canada Service Corps (the funder) responds to community needs through innovative programs like Expedition to Community. Such programs enable youth in rural and remote areas to enrich their communities and build a better Canada. I cannot wait to see the growing impact that young leaders have across the country," stated Pontiac Quebec MP Will Amos, who made the announcement April 8.

E2C is intended to support the development of project management and leadership skills, enabling youth to initiate and lead meaningful and sustainable community initiatives, according to the release.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the design phase of the Canada Service Corps in January 2018, earmarking $105 million to March 2021 for the Canada-wide program.

"The result will be a cohort of youth with new leadership skills, entrepreneurial experience and an enhanced sense of community service," the release states.