By Gerald Anderson
Vice-President Indigenous, UArctic, Director, Department of Development and Engagement, Fisheries and Marine Institute, Memorial University of Newfoundland
With the establishment of the University of the Arctic in 2001, indigenous peoples of the Arctic were given a unique opportunity to contribute to a post-secondary education system that is designed by and for the people of the North. We must build on this momentum and achieve even more toward strengthening our collective resources in education, research and outreach.
Much has been done, and there is still much work to do. For the past 25 years or so, many people have lectured, laboured and lobbied to bring UArctic to the status and position it enjoys today. It is indeed with “shared voices” that we both celebrate the accomplishments of these past visionaries and continue their passion in advocating for more progress – whether that be through broadening the reach of our northern voices, promoting inclusiveness or building reciprocal partnerships.
UArctic was established by the Arctic Council for indigenous peoples and all peoples of the North. With the support of the Arctic Council and the six indigenous peoples’ organizations, UArctic has become a world recognized brand. The time has come for us as indigenous peoples to accept this challenge and take ownership of this great gift we have been given.
Many indigenous leaders have been involved in the growth of UArctic, and it is now the younger generation’s turn to take on the responsibility. I hereby invite indigenous youth to get involved in UArctic and lead the way for all peoples of the North! UArctic’s vision of an empowered North with shared voices is truly an opportunity to grasp for our youth and coming generations. The future is in you.