Videoconference closes communication gap between North and South


By Julie Grenier, TG magazine youth journalist

Those who attended the "Arctic Forever" exhibit Thursday would surely attest that Canada is, in fact, a land of diverse peoples, cultures and lifestyles. The exhibit featured a videoconference between two schools, one grade 7 class from Inuksuk High School in Iqualit (North-West Territories) and one grade 5 class from Nesbitt Annex School in Montréal. They were linked by satellite and could clearly see one another and communicate directly. It provided a forum for the two classes to discuss and share knowledge about their environments. Both classes presented videoclips to one another which depicted their way of life and their surroundings.

The one-and-a-half hour videoconference focused on three areas: How we live; Understanding Animas in the Arctic; and Skills Sharing. Each half-hour session gave parcticipants the opportunity to ask questions and share personal experiences.

The presentation was organized by the Canadian Museum of Nature and the Centre for Traditional Knowledge. According to Carol Thiessen, project manager, the concept of the arctic exhibit was to link science with indigenous knowledge. This pilot project will be further developed into a permenant "Arctic Communication Gallery" at the Canadian Museum of Nature, located in Ottawa who's goal it is to provide extensive communication with those living north of 60.