5 Oct 2011

Nature Canada Seeks Public Support to Send Canadian Youth on Arctic Expedition

By BirdLife Americas
Nature Canada (BirdLife Partner) has entered a funding competition to give 13 Canadian youth the opportunity of a lifetime – a transformative experience aboard Arctic Expedition 2012, an award-winning educational program that inspires the next generation of leaders and responsible global citizens.  Projects are selected for funding based on public support, so we need your votes! Our project, proposed in partnership with Students on Ice, is competing in the Aviva Community Fund Challenge. Called Discover, Connect & Share from SEA to SEA to SEA, the project would allow a young Canadian from every province and territory to experience nature first-hand on the Arctic Expedition 2012. These youth would then share their journey with peers from across the country at a Youth Leadership Summit. Highlights of the expedition will include a welcome event hosted by the community of Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, and a visit with community leaders and Inuit elders in Pagnirtung to learn about their observations of climate change and its impacts on their community and way of life. The team will stop at National Parks, Important Bird Areas, and spectacular fjords along the way to immerse themselves in learning directly in the spectacular landscape. Participants will have a chance to see magnificent Arctic wildlife, including seabirds, whales, and polar bears. Throughout the expedition, students will have a chance to learn from each other and connect with mentors. Ongoing discussions will let them reflect on their experiences and energize them to become leaders for environmental and social change in their own individual communities when they return home. In November 2012, 130 youth from across Canada will converge at a Youth Leadership Summit to explore what the Arctic means to Canada, how our country is connected from SEA to SEA to SEA, and why healthy sustainable communities are critical for our future, the Arctic's future and the planet's future. The Aviva Community Fund competition was created to help make a positive impact in Canadian communities by providing new opportunities for at-risk youth, education, helping the environment, or cultural activities - by funding local and national initiatives for change. We hope that each young Canadian who is touched by this project will become a leader in their own communities, inspiring positive change and becoming ambassadors for nature. BirdLife partners can help.  Visit our Project page on the Aviva Community Challenge web site, register, and cast your vote. You can also vote on Facebook! We are Idea # ACF11559. You can vote for our idea every day – so vote early and vote often!