It was just after midnight that we landed. As someone who grew up far down South (the Okanagan Valley, BC), I was used to the sun never setting any later than 9:00 PM, so when the sky was still bright when we checked in to our hotel (just after 1:00 AM), I was more than a little bit disoriented.
Whenever preparing for travel, I always try my best to anticipate the things I will encounter: looking at maps to get a feel for the layout of the streets, reading up on the place’s history and major attractions, and trying to get a sense of the region’s spirit—I’m not one for surprises, so I like to know what’s coming. So, not only was I surprised by the perplexingly bright sky, but I was surprised that I was surprised. Of course, I knew that the days up North were longer in the summer, especially this close to the solstice, but my Southern mind was so used to black nights that a sunny night sky felt like something that could only exist in stories, and not something that was just an Air Canada flight away–but here we are.
The bright blue midnight sky showed me just how narrow my worldview really was, and that surprises can be helpful to teach you just how little you know. It made me excited for the coming days at the Arctic Arts Summit, as I expect to be surprised further by the varied experiences of its attendees.
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.