When I was

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grow­ing up in Pond In­let (above), we’d see about 15 cruise ships a year visit the com­mu­nity. When I joined One Ocean Ex­pe­di­tions for the jour­ney through the Arc­tic, I thought, “Ooh, I know what it’s like to wel­come tourists, but now I get to see what it’s like to be one of them.” I was hon­oured and hum­bled to rep­re­sent Nun­vaut on-board, and meet­ing with pas­sen­gers and peo­ple in com­mu­ni­ties in the North on a daily ba­sis was a re­ward­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. They were 12-hour days, but they didn’t seem that long. I did pre­sen­ta­tions about life in the Arc­tic and talked about cul­tural iden­tity. To have had the chance to share my cul­ture was im­por­tant — I saw it as an op­por­tu­nity to bridge the gap be­tween the North and the south. For ex­am­ple, I shared sto­ries about the ex­treme tem­per­a­tures and light changes we have to deal with. In May, the sun is out un­til 10 p.m. Then, from about the end of Oc­to­ber on­ward, we’re liv­ing in dark­ness. What does that mean for the com­mu­nity and schools? Some­times, my own com­mu­nity doesn’t al­ways see the po­ten­tial of tourism. But then when they see some­one like me come off the ship, it can give them hope. The young peo­ple see that I’m from here and they re­al­ize that they have the po­ten­tial to do this, too.

— Les­lie Qam­maniq Com­mu­nity jus­tice spe­cial­ist with the gov­ern­ment of Nu­navut and Parks Canada in­tern aboard the One Ocean Voy­ager, 2015

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