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Student helping build bridges with the North
Whale hunting, throat singing and Arctic sovereignty will all be part of Charleswood resident’s upcoming northern sojourn.
The late-October jaunt might be too much to weather for some, but for Justin Danyluk, it’ll be an eye-opening experience that will help shape his development as a social worker.
On Oct. 18, the 24-year-old Charleswood resident will be one of about 20 young people from across southern Canada who will travel to the isolated community of Pangnirtung, population 1,300, located on a remote coastal plain of Baffin Island.
"I’m really looking forward to an eye-opening experience on how people live up north," said Danyluk, a family sciences student at the University of Manitoba.
"You think in Canada we all live wonderfully, that everyone is comfortable and has food to eat, but that’s not the case."
The group is part of Global Vision’s first Canadian Trade Mission to the North in an attempt to open up dialogue between northern and southern Canada.
After first flying into Iqaluit and meeting with local dignitaries, Danyluk and his peers will meet with community youth to discuss issues surrounding Arctic sovereignty, as well as debate innovative solutions and ideas for social development issues facing the North.
"The Arctic belongs to Canada and we have to make sure it stays a part of Canada," Danyluk said.
"By learning and going to visit first-hand, that will really open my eyes as a future social worker as to what we can do to make things better."
The group will also take part in cultural activities like throat singing and whale hunting, even dining on local delicacies such as seal blubber and arctic char, Danyluk said.
A group of 15 northern youth will visit Atlantic Canada in late November as an extension of the mission, Global Vision director Amy Giroux said.
The North is in a time of transition, she said.
Canada must work to break down provincial trade barriers to help the region flourish and start taking measures to protect its sovereignty from competing interests, she said.
"It’s a fine line, preserving their cultural heritage while embracing new technology that’s opened up this whole new world to them," Giroux said.
The ideas created during the missions will be presented to an audience of MPs, including Health Minister and Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq, and possibly Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in March.
"It’s an active way for young people to contribute," Giroux said.
Founded in 1991 by former educator and Progressive Conservative MP Terry Clifford, Global Vision aims to build enterprising and engaged Canadian youth into leaders by promoting Canadian culture and industry through international trade missions.
Relationship building and networking is becoming a forgotten art among the Facebook generation, Giroux said.
Youth must recognize that every choice they make has a global impact, she said.
"What this program does is take them outside of their comfort zone," she said.
"What is in their toolkit, what do they have to compete with students in classrooms around the world? How engaged are they in their community?
"These are really valuable things to add to your resume to help you stand out."
For more, visit www.globalvision.ca.
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