Young people from the north will join forces this weekend with youth across eight northern nations — both virtually and in person — to talk about northern issues in the first ever Youth Arctic Coalition.

Kylie Aglukark, executive director with the Arctic Children and Youth Foundation, is setting up for the event.

“It's really exciting just to see everything come together so I can't wait to see the dialogue comes out of it and the youth and how they enjoy it,” she says.

The main meeting will take place in Ottawa. Satellite hubs in six circumpolar countries will conference in by video, including one in Rankin Inlet and one in Iqaluit.  

About 25 young people are registered for the conference in Iqaluit, including three from Pangnirtung. They'll gather at Arctic College this weekend and will be able to talk to all the other people taking part on a video screen.

“Some of the areas on climate change will be discussed. Some of the social issues around the Arctic are going to be discussed,” says Aglukark.

Also on the agenda is food security, housing, environment, and employment.

Chris Reddy, a youth worker in Iqaluit, is scheduled to speak this weekend.

“We're going to talk about why it's important to be a role model, how they've been influenced by role models and how they think they can make an influence to the younger generation as well as their local peers as a role model,” he says.

Reddy says it's important for young people in the north to have a voice.

“I've met a lot of youth who are interested and very curious with Arctic governance and what happens in Nunavut, not only locally here in town, but also regionally,” he says.

The young participants plan to prepare a document to present to the official Arctic Council.