The Student’s at Quluaq School in Clyde River have something to say to the world: “We love our land!”. This was evident in the artwork made by 2nd and 4th grade students, who drew pictures of their homeland and native traditions during our visit to the school today. Included in the drawings were pictures of igloos, dogsleds, kayaks, tents and inuksuks, as well as images from the Arctic landscape. We spent the morning at the school, sharing more stories from the expedition and discussing global warming. When asked to make a statement about global warming and their Arctic home, the students responded with enthusiasm. We plan to deliver several of their drawings to the U.S. Senate during our presentation in July.
We visited with a group of twenty high school students earlier in the morning, who also had a message to deliver. Several students presented the GW101 expedition with a list of “Clyde River’s 101 Solutions to Pollution for our Earth”. The students, who spent the week preparing the list, read each one of the solutions out loud in English and Inuktitut. The list was presented to us in the form of a diploma tied with a red ribbon. Mixed in with a call to use alternative energy sources and create less waste, were several solutions unique to an Inuit perspective:
Live like an Inuit, simple and off the land
Ski-doo less and walk more
Instead of using motorboats, canoe, kayak and sail
More dogsledding instead of ski-dooing
Eat more raw foods
The 101st solution on the list was a universal message for people around the globe: “Educate yourself…read as much as you can on global warming and share with your children…for their future…”. We hope this list will provide an inspiration, for classrooms, families and people everywhere, to think of solutions to global warming and steps that can be taken on a local level.
Clyde River, as a whole, has also made a statement of their love for the land during our time here. Instead of celebrating Earth Day, the community decided to celebrate Earth Week, hosting a variety of events around town. Simon took third place in a traditional clothing fashion show and came in first place with Lukie in an igloo building contest. There was snow carving on the ice yesterday afternoon and a Earth Day cake decorating contest last night. The week culminates in a community feast and celebration this evening.
Our time here has been a pleasure and we will miss the kind and generous people we have come to know over the past 12 days. We would like to thank the Hamlet Office and community members for all of the events planned this week and for their flexibility in our ever changing schedule. We will remember Clyde for its rich and vibrant tradition as well as its strong and committed vision for the future. Our expedition leaves tomorrow morning and we hope that several of the local dog teamers will follow us out.
Thank you Clyde River!