An Inuvik man has been accepted into the Gordon Foundation’s Jane Glassco Northern Fellowship Program aimed at creating Northern policy makers.

The 2018 Jane Glassco Northern Fellowship portraits in Whitehorse, Yukon.
Photo by Alistair Maitland Photography

Peter Greenland, 25, will join 14 other young professionals from across Northern Canada, including four others from the Northwest Territories.

“I was surprised at first,” said Greenland, when asked about getting the news he was accepted. “There’s a lot of people that have done great things with the fellowship and I didn’t know if I would get in.”

The fellowship aims to ‘bring together young Northerners, aged 25 to 35, who want to build a strong North that benefits Northerners’ according to their official website. According to Melania Sheldon, Program Manager, with the fellowship said that means fostering young policy makers – from the North – that want to improve the North.

“We want to see these young Northerners passionate about making change,” said Sheldon. “They see something wrong with their community and they want to make a change.”

Greenland says he has already started that process in his own community.

“I would like to create more on the land opportunities, the times are changing, more people are spending more time inside,” said Greenland.

While Greenland already has an idea of the types of changes he wants to create in the North, he still says he has a lot to learn in how to actually implement those changes. That is where the foundation will step in to provide Greenland with a ‘pan-Northern’ network system and guidance from Northern leaders, including former NWT Premier Stephen Kakfwi, for the next two years.

“It’s humbling yet empowering,” said Greenland. “I’m looking toward creating a (Northern) network.”

The fellowship has already met once in Whitehorse this past February to begin their networking not only between current members but with past members as well. Alumni from the Glassco program now include Northern mayors, elders, and government officials, fulfilling a goal of the program.

“While it is not a requirement for them to stay in the North, we want to foster policy makers that are from the North and that stay in the North,” said Sheldon.

Greenland says he fully intends on carrying on this tradition when his time in the fellowship has come to an end.

“I can remember being 11 years old and wanting to move back North,” said Greenland, who’s family moved to Ontario when he was 10, before switching between living in the territories and Southern Canada. “My heart was always in the North.”

The fellowship will next meet in Iqaluit from August 16 to 19. The fellowship will hold a number of meetings throughout the weekend in between different on the land gatherings.

Greenland will be joined on the fellowship by Heather Bourassa of Fort Good Hope as well as Don Couturier, Chloe Dragon Smith and Kristen Tache of Yellowknife.

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  1. Congratulations, and happy to see your pursuit of the program has indeed, been worth the effort. Great things can happen, and you are a role model to all the younger people in taking charge for the future.