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How do we provide a future for youth in the North?

More than half Nunavut's population is under 30. Many leave for the south to find education and jobs, and some never come back. Leaders hope the young can acquire skills to power an economy that will sustain their communities. How do we provide a future for young people in the North?

Cross Country Checkup broadcasts live from Nunavut, where more than half the population is under 30

The sky's the limit in Iqaluit? We discussed strategies for Northerners with our readers, and what role the South can play to help provide a future for young people in the North. (Sima Sahar Zerehi/CBC)

The future of Nunavut lies in the territory's youth. More than half of the population is under the age of 30. 

Many leave for the south to find education and jobs, and some never come back. How can we help the young acquire the skills to power an economy that will sustain their communities in the North?

CBC Radio's open-line program Cross Country Checkup was in Iqaluit today for a live broadcast. Host Duncan McCue welcomed a live audience to share their perspectives and the team took calls from across the country.

Readers also shared their thoughts here in our latest CBC Forum — a live hosted discussion about topics of national interest. Here's some of what they had to say.

(Please note that user names are not necessarily the names of commenters. Some comments have been altered to correct spelling and to conform to CBC style. Click on the user name to see the full comment in the blog format.)

How do we provide a future for young people in the North?

"As I understand it, living costs in the far North are ridiculously high — especially for fresh food. I think that one way to keep youth in the North (and indeed, in whichever region of the country they live in) is to localize production of some basic resources, such as fresh food. Given advances in greenhouse (or "pinkhouse") technology, and the fact that there are a lot of mine shafts already in place in the Far North, as well as drilling technology, I think that this, and exploration of geothermal energy production, would be a solid foundation for growth of the economy, job production, and stabilization of Northern communities." — Dave

"Creativity of any kind is what we all need to engage in regardless of where we live. It is just plain good for the soul." — have you ever

"Recognizing, respecting, celebrating, teaching, sharing the true history of indigenous people across Canada. The people know they have always survived on their traditional lands and will continue to do so. Settlers need to listen and learn from those who are doing the work to be there instead of always trying to change the people." — BrianB

"Education is a key resource needed. When First People's children are not educated to the level of 'other Canadians,' skills and competition for jobs and professions suffer. Whether it is a federal responsibility or not, provincial governments must realize all their residents suffer when there is educational disparity." — Bella bella

"Contemporary education programs and services created in faraway centres and taught by teachers from these faraway institutions teach everyone how to live in urban centres. Locally developed and supported education programs are required. Programs taught in the Inuit language help create local employment and enterprises that work in the far north."  — Working in the north

"The scattered isolated areas lead to absolute boredom by youth and, even if an education can be achieved, there is no work to do to continue development. Central development around a resource is needed." — irs

"Encourage student exchange programs, encourage business and tourism, offer travel subsidies, offer business incentives and offer any help that will motivate our young citizens." — Shariati Shariati

You can read the full discussion — including a live recap of Cross Country Checkup — below.

Can't see the forum? Click here.

With files from Cross Country Checkup