Today’s panels resonated with me in a number of ways. On the one hand, what people were saying resonated with me personally. In the panel Status Report: Decolonizing Arts Institutions panelist Steven Loft said we need to take care of our belongings that are housed in institutions in a culturally relevant way. To me, this is of utmost importance when it comes to Indigenizing institutions and showing respect to our belongings.
Or, in the panel Duodji and Other Northern Craft Practices, Doug Smarch Jr. said that too often people still hold the perspective of Indigenous people as “primitive” and he’s quick to point out that our tools are not primitive. This reminded me that I, too, always challenge people who hold that view to make stone tools themselves—such as a slate ulu blade that my ancestors used to make and use, or a flintknapped chert end blade that the Tuniit once made. All of these messages made me feel heard and instantly connected with everyone around me.
On the other hand, I kept hearing people from across the circumpolar North say that it is our past that guides our present, which in turn is inspired by our future. To me, this is a powerful perspective to have, which resonates across cultures, languages, lands and generations. The intergenerational work that everyone is doing is incredible. This brings me to what Leanne Betasamosake Simpson says about theorizing cultural resurgence. She says “our collective truths exist in a nest of individual diversity.”  This is what makes the Arctic Arts Summit such an inspiring and exhilarating experience; you are left with inspiration and at the same time connection to one another.
 Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back (Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring Publishing, 2011), pp. 43.
The Arctic Arts Summit’s Knowledge Creators Next program brings together northern Indigenous post-secondary students, young activists and emerging professionals to attend the Summit. Participants in the Knowledge Creators Next (KCN) program will be sharing their daily reflections—in the form of tweets, photographs, poems, sketches, videos or other short responses—on the Arctic Arts Summit’s digital platform and across social media.