This trip to Pangnirtung was definitely a learning experience for me. I wasn’t aloud to talk to the kids in the school (And i understand but really wish I could have) but I talked to some at the youth center and around town.
Here are some things I learned...
1) There needs to be a bigger emphasis on nutrition. I was up there for a week and maybe had a handful of veggies compared to my usual buckets full and I noticed a change immediately in my energy level, mood, happiness, and motivation to even get out of bed. Imagine how these kids and adults feel? Also, veggies are so expensive and other healthy foods are too! (How can we change this?)
2) Mental health need to be a priority. I met (and I am not a professional but I know enough) so many people that were depressed and probably didn’t even know it.
3) Education. Something has to change. Kids drop out, teachers leave, the 4 year university “normal” plan doesn’t make sense up there, people are talented but don’t know how or what to do with those skills, and many parents aren’t encouraging their kids and pushing their kids to be the best they can be. (I know I’m offending people and I’m sorry. I know there are many amazing parents up there but there are also a lot of parents who would benefit from parenting classes or support groups). 4) Education about smoking and other habits. Little kids shouldn’t be chewing and everyone could learn a little about drinking responsibly.
5) Women’s health!!!!! These girls need to learn about self esteem, confidence, self worth, body image, pleasure, about their bodies, etc. They deserve that knowledge and need it desperately!! I could go on and on but I’ll do that another day.
All in all I am so happy I went. I met some amazing people and learned so much. I now have a better plan of what I could be doing to help and what I want to focus on on my next trip north.
Thank you to everyone who got me up to Pangnirtung and to all the sponsors!
#firstair #alaskaair #innsnorth #arcticcooperatives @dave_devos and all the people at the airports who were so kind and helpful!!