Our experience here has been full of connections that we previously took for granted. During this time we have spoken with many people from the youth of KFN to the elders and everyone in between.
Jared, the youth representative for the KFN council spoke to us about the social dynamics between the youth and their culture and the difficulties they are experiencing with in engaging them. Education comes in many forms and one of the great opportunities the youth of KFN have is the access to elders and cultural knowledge. Sadly though, this opportunity is being missed by a large majority of the youth who have to leave their communities in order to continue formal education.
We had the privilege to experience this rare opportunity by sitting with the elders for lunch. One of the most incredible things we saw during this time was that the elders of the community are still acquiring knowledge to better their communities. The culture that we are generally exposed to disregards the value of our elders and often views them as obsolete relics. However, through their connections with their land they have been learning about the environmental implications that large corporations are trying to enact in the North to obtain natural resources through controversial means.
The research at A.I.N.A. can be applied with traditional knowledge to the local communities to enable positive impact against these large corporations who are willing to violate the land. Cooperation, collaboration, and communication are all vital to ensure that all people who rely on the land are able to continue to do so in a healthy manner. One thing we must remember, as a human race is that we are not alone and will always have to have various balanced relationships.
We have finished off the final N.A.P.I. module about community leadership and our individual responsibilities by reflecting upon these connections and the interconnected relationships within the universe.
-Nicole and Nuri