Aliya Kooistra in Nunavut

Passionate about helping Northern Canada

Aliya Kooistra back from Global Vision’s Arctic Youth Ambassador Caucus

Aliya Kooistra, grade 10 student at Hamilton District Christian High School got a second chance to see an area of Canada most people never get to visit — and it likely won’t be her last trip to Nunavut.

She recently returned from her second trip to Iqaluit to attend Global Vision’s Arctic Youth Ambassador Caucus, where about four dozen young people from across the country met to discuss the unique challenges of living in Northern Canada.

“I am very passionate about the issues facing the people of the North” Aliya Kooistra

Over four days in early March, the group participated in roundtable discussions about climate change, food security, culture, heritage and daily challenges. They also met political leaders at the Nunavut Legislature and networked with the community’s business leaders.

Aliya says her fascination with the North began in Grade 5 when she received an Inuit doll as a gift.

“It came with a journal and in the journal there was a lot about life in Nunavut,” she says.

Food security is a big issue up north because of the vast and remote area the territory comprises, says Aliya.

“There are no roads in between communities, so everything has to be brought in by plane or boat,” she explains. “So most items in grocery stores are two to three times more expensive than what we pay in Southern Canada.”

During winter, days can pass before a new shipment arrives because flights may not be able to land.

Before heading up north, Aliya collected two suitcases full of school and craft supplies to donate to students in Pond Inlet, a fly-in community of about 1,600 people inside the Arctic Circle. Now that she is back, she is preparing presentations for other students to raise awareness about life in the North and “some of the struggles our fellow Canadians are facing.”

She says she is planning a third trip to Nunavut.

Source: Hamilton Community News