East Three Secondary School, Inuvik, NT
Having taught the junior high French Immersion program in Inuvik for four years, Ms. Lipscombe sees Experiences Canada’s exchange program as a rare opportunity not only for her students to experience life in a city but also to introduce Southern youth to the Arctic and to share with them the rich history, contributions, and potential of the North. To her, learning how the Inuvialuit thrived in a comparably inhospitable environment for thousands of years is just as important to understanding the history of Canada as the battle of the Plains of Abraham.
Ms. Lipscombe and her students planned a bilingual itinerary for their visitors from Quebec High School in Quebec City which included activities such as a trip on the ice road to the hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk; a walk on the Arctic Ocean and snowshoe to the Pingos National Landmark; dogsledding; playing traditional games; learning about local food and trying a caribou soup lunch; learning to build traditional shelters and making fire with a bow.
Providing an opportunity for youth to make new connections, to gain independence and confidence, to learn about our vast and diverse country and to have the opportunity to show off and appreciate their own community is the greatest reward for their collective organizational efforts. Northern youth tend to overlook the many advantages and opportunities northern communities have to offer and are often surprised to discover how excited Southern youth are to come North and simply appreciate “hanging out” on the land together.