IT WAS THE MOST RELEVANT I’VE EVER EXPERIENCED, AS EVERYTHING WAS RELATED TO THE ARCTIC Tukumminnguaq N. Olsen is a student on West Nordic Studies. As long as she can remember, she has had a dream of visiting other Inuit friends and a passion for changing the living conditions in the Arctic. That is why it was a perfect match when she was accepted as a visiting student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) through our UArctic network. There, she was able meet Inuit friends and other indigenous people, and follow courses that suited to her interest and passion for rural development at the Department of Alaska Native Studies & Rural Development. ” In my semester at UAF, I was surprised to learn that all my professors except one were indigenous people like us Greenlanders. In Greenland, I have only had one Greenlandic teacher throughout my taught courses. At UAF, I had the opportunity to gain more insight from my own perspective, not just from a European perspective. This is extremely significant for me as an Arctic native and college student because it is important to see things from different viewpoints. This meant that my semester at UAF not only gave me a chance to grow personally, but also academically. Tukumminnguaq’s stay at UAF only fuelled her interest and passion for indigenous peoples, which means that alongside her studies she now also works full-time for the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC). Moreover, if she has her say, she will stay there for the rest of her working life. ” It is my dream job to work for the ICC – and this is where I want to work the rest of my life. It fits in perfectly with my passion for working to improve people’s living conditions and the rights of indigenous peoples. DID YOU KNOW? Do you know who received our honorary doctorate degree? The recipients: Robert Petersen, Michael Hauser, Henrik Wilhjelm, Finn Lynge, Christian Berthelsen, Gert Mulvad and Inge Kleivan. MY AMBITIONS GREW Eva Luusi M.-Mølgaard is studying Cultural & Social History, and with the help of a well-meant and loving push, she entered Dartmouth College and was admitted as a guest student through our collaboration agreement. During her stay at Dartmouth College, Eva attended courses in Native American Studies. Eva chose those courses because of her great interest in indigenous peoples. As luck would have it, Eva was even taught by Native Americans. ” I gained insight into what indigenous people in the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, have gone through – and their continuous struggles. Through the courses, I was confirmed in my conviction that countries that have been subject to colonisation need a more open discussion about the decolonisation processes that the countries, including Greenland, are going through. On campus, Eva also was an active part of the cultural centre Native American House, where she met many exciting indigenous people. People who still make an impression on her. ” I saw the professors from the Native American Studies courses as role models because they also had their own culture and language, traits they did not use at the university itself, but somehow they shone through and gave me confidence to have greater ambitions. It was not just the professors who made a huge impression. There were also many cool students from different tribes from across the United States who met several times a week and organised events at the Native American House. Here, I felt welcome and met like-minded people. Back home in the usual surroundings of Ilisimatusarfik, both Tukumminnguaq and Eva agree: a stay abroad is so incredibly enriching. Of course, you learn a lot professionally, but perhaps more importantly you yourself undergo a great personal development: you view your surroundings more critically, and your desire to make a difference for one’s own people grows. With their stay abroad safely in the back of their minds, the future is more or less laid out for the two students: Tukumminnguaq would most of all love to work for the ICC for the rest of her life; Eva is determined to work towards admittance to Ilisimatusarfik’s PhD course, where she’d like to focus on mental decolonisation in Greenland. www.uni.gl 55

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