Arctic Youth and Sustainable Futures
|Session Name||4.10 Preserving memory - Arctic worldviews in education: stories, participative projects and knowledge in comparison|
|Author(s)||Diane Hirshberg (University of Alaska Anchorage, USA), Andrey Petrov (University of Northern Iowa, USA)|
The “Arctic Youth and Sustainable Futures” project aims fill an identified gap in knowledge on the lives, ambitions, needs of and challenges faced by youth – indigenous and non-indigenous – across the circumpolar north. This project asks:
How do Arctic youth identify sustainable pathways to the future?
How do they define the most important issues affecting youth in the Arctic?
What are their hopes for the future of their communities and the Arctic more broadly?
We present perspectives of youth from six different Arctic nations (Greenland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Russia and the U.S.), and discusses the implications for critical policy decisions being made in the face of rapid social, cultural, political, economic and environmental changes in the north.
By addressing gaps in knowledge on Arctic youth, in particular how they define barriers or difficulties as well as what they want to see in their future, this research will help those who are exploring new pathways to sustainability for Arctic societies and populations. We hope that our findings challenge assumptions held by policymakers and researchers about the concerns and interests of northern youth, and lead to conversations about whether youth define issues differently from or similarly to them, and about what youth feel is required to overcome any obstacles they face. Already the initial focus groups have pushed our thinking about key issues in the Arctic, are raising for us new research questions and unanticipated but important directions for further inquiry.
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