Another Inspiring Summer in the Torngats: 2014 Program Highlights

We were truly grateful for the opportunity to return to the Torngat Mountains of Labrador this summer for our eighth season of youth programming.  With twelve incredible youth from Nunatsiavut and Nunavik—and the Torngat Mountains Base Camp and Research Station as our home base—we spent three amazing weeks on the land together with Inuit Elders, musicians, researchers, scientists, international travellers, artists, and writers.

We learned and shared so much this summer, with innumerable highlights and transformative moments. We were inspired. We felt healthy and good about ourselves. We developed new skills, and strengthened connections to Inuit culture, history, and customs. In the words and images of the youth themselves, we share some highlights of our time together in the Torngats this summer…

Being a part of the program this year made me feel …

  • Very proud and happy about myself.
  • Great because I tried new things and I learned more about my culture.
  • Confident, more comfortable with other people, and smart.
  • Connected to other youth.
  • This program made me feel happy, even during the foggy days.
  • Taking part in this program made me feel exposed to new things and I am proud of myself for that.

This experience was important to me because …

  • It was a chance to come to the park and learn more about my culture.
  • This was a new experience for me and I learned a lot.
  • I made new friends.
  • I spent time on the land where my ancestors were which is pretty amazing.
  • I have been more healthy.
  • It opened my eyes relating to the many possibilities of jobs/careers that
    I am capable of.
  • This experience made me get out of my comfort zone by meeting new people and participating in all of the activities.
  • This experience taught me more about my Inuit culture and this experience taught me a lot more than I would have learned in school.

 This summer I learned …

  • How to clean a seal skin, make an unaq, drum dance.
  • How to gut a fish.
  • About the land from the Elders.
  • How to start a fire.
  • How to write poems.
  • How to carve, how to throat sing, and make pitsik.
  • How to be on time.
  • About plants, animals, and science.
  • How to play the guitar and write songs.
  • About permafrost, and Arctic char.
  • Inuit culture, Inuktitut words and phrases, drum dancing, throat singing, stories from our Elders, seal skin cleaning and much more!

When I’m outside on the land I feel …

  • At home.
  • Like I can just stay there forever.
  • It was the best days/part of my life.
  • So good about myself because I am on the land, and I want to learn more about the great land.
  • A connection because it is the land of my ancestors.
  • I feel happy.
  • FREE, connected, HOME.
  • Like I can do anything.
  • Free, connected, inspired, awesome.
  • I feel happy and free.

Thank you to our 2014 program participants from Nain, Hopedale, Postville, St. John’s, Mary’s Harbour, and Kangiqsualujjuaq for an exceptional summer!  You shared so much laughter, showed strength and resilience, and stepped outside your comfort zone in ways that surprised us every day.

Thanks also to our multitalented and hard working 2014 summer Program Leaders – Ocean Lane, Kelly Nochasak McLean, and Sarah Karpik – and to our growing community of donors, partners, guest educators, and friends. The collective impact of our programming is only made possible through collaboration, and we are grateful for your contributions, support and commitment to our program.

CLICK HERE to see a short video with more highlights from our summer!

Photos by Rodd Laing, Megan Dicker, Kim Pilgrim, and Mandy Arnold