Summer on ice

With back-to-school season in full swing, summer is starting to fade from most of our memories. But the Students on Ice expedition participants have had a summer they’ll never forget in the Arctic.

© SOI Foundation

The 2019 Students on Ice Arctic Expedition gave 131 high-school and university students the opportunity to travel to the Arctic and engage with scientists, elders, artists, musicians, dignitaries, historians, thought leaders, and innovators. Students were invited to experience a changing Arctic for themselves through ocean conservation, climate change and sustainable development from July 23 to Aug. 7.
Students on Ice 2019
Students from the 2019 Students on Ice Expedition in Ilullisat © Natta Summerky / SOI Foundation

WWF-Canada co-sponsored a student named Shelton—who hails from Arviat in western Nunavut—on this incredible journey. For Shelton, a first-year graduate of the Nunavut Sivuniksavut college program in Ottawa, this trip offered an opportunity to explore his own heritage. When asked what he’ll remember most about the expedition, he said, “The people I met—especially my people, the Inuit. I come from a strong Inuk background. I want to keep my language and heritage alive.”
Shelton Nipisar
Shelton Nipisar on the 2019 Students on Ice Arctic Expedition © Natta Summerky /SOI Foundation

Aside from meeting locals, Shelton was surrounded by plenty of people on the trip. The two-week journey brought together over 130 students from 18 countries around the world.
Here’s just a taste of what they experienced on this trip of a lifetime.
Pressed Flowers
Flowers from the Itilleq Fjord, Greenland © Natta Summerky / SOI Foundation

Following a pre-expedition program in Ottawa, students and staff ventured to Greenland where they explored the shores of Itilleq Fjord and participated in local land-based workshops like this session on pressing plants.
Disko Bay
Disko Bay © Natta Summarky / SOI Foundation

In route to Uummannaq, the students took in the stunning sight of icebergs in Disko Bay off the coast of Greenland. The students also learned about the history Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland) and spotted humpback whales on their journey.
Coutts Inlet
Coutts Inlet © Martin Lipman / SOI Foundation

The students arrived in Qiajivik (Coutts Inlet) on day nine of the expedition where they participated in more workshops, including a tutorial on making bannock and tea with Joanna Awa.
Croker Bay
Students in Croker Bay © Natta Summarky / SOI Foundation

Nearing the end of their trip, the expedition team had an action-packed day of activities, including kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and the annual ice plunge.
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