This year (May-June) I attended the 4th IPSSAS seminar in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik/Canada. The theme of the seminar was: Self-Governance in Arctic Societies: Contemporary Dynamics and Trends. Recently I finished my contribution for the IPSSAS proceedings, scheduled for publication in early 2007.
My article for IPSSAS (as well as my paper at the seminar) is about youth&self-determination. The participation of youth in decision making is the key issue I try to elaborate in my text. Where do young people get co-determination in the city e.g.?
It was interesting for me to be in Kuujjuaq because I got a chance to learn about the Nunavik Youth Association - Saputiit. Saputiit has a big budget and involved in the building of Nunavik Government.
While I was working on my text about youth participation it striked me how little information there is available about youth organisations in the Arctic and the voice of young people in broad sense, people who are not necessarily organized. There are quite a few organisations/networks who work for, or deal with issues concerning Arctic youth. ICC (Inuit Circumpolar Conference) has a youth coordinatior etc. I have been searching for information on how e.g. youth coordinators at ICC get selected. Is Inuit Youth International (another youth organisation) involved in ICC? Who are they and what can they do for young people? These questions are in my opinion important. Young people play important role in many Arctic societies - they are the future. My question is then: who are they?
I hope that there will be more information about Arctic youth in the future, not only about the organisations, but mostly about the people involved. What is their background? How did they get involved in this and that?