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Here are the winning Images of the Arctic, a photo contest for students held to commemorate the first time that the annual LaFontaine-Baldwin lecture has been delivered in the Far North.
Second place went to Uluriak Amarualik, 17, who lives in Resolute Bay, Nunavut, and attends Qarmartalik, a school named after a shelter once built by the ancient Thule, ancestors of the Inuit, to survive in the High Arctic. “I picked this picture because it shows the mountains, the ice and also the sky in Eureka, a meteorological research station on Ellesmere Island,” Uluriak says. “You can see what Nunavut looks like in the springtime. It shows all the different shades of white that make up our land, from the blue-white ice to the brown-white mountains. There are not that many people who get the opportunity to see the views I get to see every day. “Nunavut has always been special because of how tough the living conditions can be and how strong the people that live here need to be to survive.”
The third-place contestant comes from the Northwest Territories. Bernadette Green is 15 and a student at the Angik School in Paulatuk, a community on the Arctic Ocean east of Inuvik. “I think my photo captures the essence of the Arctic because it shows the effects of global warming,” she says. “Five to 10 years ago, April was a month of blowing snow and cold weather. People couldn’t go out goose hunting at least until May. Now, I don’t think we’d be able to go out this year because it is melting really fast. “One day I hope everyone around the world can see that global warming is destroying our way of life and try to help us end it, which is what I think my photo shows. The essence of the Arctic.”
In fourth place is Georgina Wolki, 16, another Angik pupil. “My photo shows that the land is like our friend,” she says. “The land is like a part of our life and we must keep it clean so we have clean air to breathe, instead of pollution. When we take care of it, maybe it will help us when we need help.”
Fifth-place finisher Cassandra McDonald, 14, also a Qarmartalik student. “The picture I have chosen was taken at the river, just outside Resolute Bay, during the spring melt – one of the most beautiful places I know. Every time I go, I feel a deep calm. I have many wonderful memories of spending a day at the river with my whole school as we celebrated the return of the sun. We have a barbecue and spend hours sliding. It is the spirit of the Arctic to me because it is a place where the youth and the elders come together to enjoy each other’s company.” The contest judges include award-winning photographer Edward Burtynsky; Gerald McMaster, curator at the Art Gallery of Ontario; filmmaker (Fast Runner) Zacharias Kunuk; Adrienne Clarkson, founder and co-chair of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship; John Ralston Saul, co-chair of the institute and founder of the LaFontaine-Baldwin lecture; Edward Greenspon, former editor-in-chief of The Globe and Mail, and filmmaker (The Necessities of Life) Benoît Pilon.