Polar Knowledge Canada and Royal Canadian Geographic Society bring podcast training to youth in the North

In December, Polar Knowledge Canada (POLAR) and Royal Canadian Geographic Society (Can Geo) launched a pilot project for youth in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, in the recording studio at the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS).

The pilot, inspired by Can Geo's EXPLORE podcast, is the result of a brainstorm between David Hik, POLAR's Chief Scientist and Executive Director of Programs, and Alexandra Pope, CanGeo's Editor in Chief. The goal was to explore the possibility of "teaching the teacher": empowering young people by helping them acquire broadcasting skills they can teach their peers.

For a week in December, youth in Cambridge Bay embarked on a digital storytelling journey. Guided by David McGuffin, an experienced journalist, podcaster, and producer, they learned the basics of broadcasting: how to interview, develop a story, and gather natural sound. Then, using the CHARS sound recording studio, they produced 3 to 5-minute podcasts—telling their own stories, their way.

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David McGuffin with POLAR's Janine Angohiatok. Photo: Canadian Geographic

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David McGuffin and podcast students Tyler Agligoetok and Sinclair Lyall. Photo: Canadian Geographic

"Podcasts are a great way of sharing information and keeping northerners informed about research results that are relevant to them. Finding new and creative ways to do this is a priority at POLAR. This podcasting project provided young people with a chance to turn their interest in digital communications into something bigger -- and perhaps inspire them to choose a career in northern communications," said David Hik, Chief Scientist and Executive Director of Programs, Polar Knowledge Canada.

"One of my top priorities as editor-in-chief of Canadian Geographic is ensuring the magazine and associated products are truly representative of Canada's diversity. This project was an opportunity to literally pass the mic to Northern youth, empowering them with the tools and knowledge to share their own stories in their own words."

Alexandra Pope, Editor in chief, Canadian Geographic

Sharing knowledge of the polar regions –especially from the point of view of northerners—is important to us at POLAR. What will a project like this mean for youth in the North? While at CHARS, David McGuffin sat down in the studio with members of POLAR's staff, including the president, Jennifer Hubbard.

The Podcasts recorded at CHARS will air in special episodes of the Can Geo EXPLORE podcast this February.

Polar Knowledge Canada

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