C3 expedition changed Charlottetown man's perspective

Thinking it would be an amazing trip, Charlottetown's Dana Kenny says he filled out the application on a whim to spend time on the Canada C3 Expedition.

Dana Kenny says he sent in an application on a whim

The ship, near Point Hope, Alaska. (Stephen Underhay)

Thinking it would be an amazing trip, Charlottetown's Dana Kenny says he filled out an application to join the Canada C3 expedition on a whim. 

"The reason I really wanted to do it was probably just … when are you going to have the chance to go to the north and really experience that side of Canada?" he said.

Kenny, who works in works in marketing and communications at UPEI, was accepted and spent 21 days aboard The Polar Prince.

Kenny, along with the voyage's other Island representative, Mathieu Arsenault, shared their experience at the StartUp Zone in Charlottetown Tuesday night.

"We were leg 12 of the expedition that was divided into 15 legs, ours being the longest of all 15," Kenny said.

The leg he was on started in Tuktoyaktuk in the Northwest Territories and went around Alaska before ending in Prince Rupert, B.C. 

No snow

"I expected to see snow and there was no snow," he said. "I learned that in the western Arctic at this time of year there isn't snow or ice or icebergs floating around, that would be more eastern Arctic." 

Dana Kenny spent 21 days aboard the Polar Prince on a Canada C3 Expedition. (Natalie Weigum)

Kenny said the program expected participants to be fully present and engaged. 

"We took the Canada 150 themes and we adopted them for this project, this expedition. We discussed diversity and inclusion and everything that can mean." 

Other subjects included reconciliation, engagement with youth, environment and climate change. Kenny said he led one of the discussions as did Arsenault. 

Shared experiences

"We felt young and we talked about the different experiences we've had." 

Kenny said the trip broadened his perspective about Indigenous people and what happened to them. He said everyone has diverse opinions and people didn't agree all the time. 

"Over the last couple of years, the dialogue has slowly become a large conversation nationally, to be aware, but to be stuck on a boat where you can't walk away from it … We had to work together and find harmony with one another even if we didn't agree." 

With files from Mainstreet P.E.I.