It was a full day at sea in order to sail around all the sea ice hugging the east coast of Baffin Island. It gave us the opportunity to hear informative, emotional, and engaging presentations from some of our C3 participants around reconciliation, diversity and inclusion, the environment, and youth engagement.
The first presentation was by participant David Lawson, a Sergeant with the Nunavut RCMP and the President of the Embrace Life Council, an NGO created in 2004 to tackle high suicide rates in Nunavut. David spoke of the importance of preserving Inuit traditions in Nunavut, and in urban settings.
He was followed by Josh Stribbell, a participant who is the President of the National Urban Inuit Youth Council. Josh runs a program in Toronto for Inuit youth called Torontomiutaujugut, and he spoke of preserving Inuit traditions in urban cities.
We also heard from award-winning poet Lorna Crozier, a member of the Order of Canada, who shared some of her beautiful poetry with us. Poet laureate for the travel blog Toque & Canoe, she goes where the natural world beckons, places that include her backyard garden.
Vicki Sahanatien hosted a presentation about Arctic wildlife with a specific focus on polar bears, their sea ice habitat, movements, and how they are affected by climate change. Noel Alfonso, ichthyologist with the Canadian Museum of Nature, spoke of Arctic fish, and the different species that can be found in the Davis Strait.
Shortly after dinner, the team had an official “bottle drop” into the Arctic Ocean. When the Canada C3 ship was in Fogo Island, we were handed bottles that had been prepared by local children, complete with notes inside them.
They requested that the the bottles be dropped into the Labrador current – we can’t wait to see where they’ll end up! We then heard an inspirational life story from Jim Kyte, a 17 year veteran of the NHL and the only legally deaf player to ever play in the National Hockey League.
He is now the proud Dean of the School of Hospitality and Tourism at Algonquin College.
We are so lucky to have so many inspirational participants on board, and what better way to finish off this day of continuous learning than with a performance by Tony Dekker, the lead singer of the Great Lake Swimmers!
Tony’s song themes of environmental stewardship, spirituality in the natural world, and internal and external landscapes, connected us all.