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Arctic Sovereignty at Edmonds Community College

Donn - 2008

March 31, 2011

Above: Donn Charnley

By Donn Charnley, Professor Emeritus, Shoreline Community College

In the March course on Arctic Sovereignty, my understanding and knowledge of the Inuit in Arctic Canada was broadened. Since the mid-1930s I have visited, camped, hiked, climbed, sailed, and skied in Canada. I feel the need to know as much as I can about my warm neighbors as I can. I have been honored to know, and dance with, the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations of British Columbia since 1958. To this end I have carved masks, made button blankets, and learned the appropriate songs for the dances I have been given the privilege to perform. But I knew little about the far North.

The course was taught by Nadine Fabbi as part of the Creative Retirement Institute at Edmonds Community College. Nadine discussed the history of contact in Canada’s Arctic, between explorers and the Inuit, and the more recent issues concerning climate change. I was intrigued by who has sovereignty over these lands now that there is greater interest from those living outside the Arctic. Nadine is an excellent teacher, a knowledgeable and caring advocate for her native country and for its people. I look forward to learning more.

The Creative Retirement Institute is a member-driven, self-supporting organization whose mission is to provide quality, affordable educational opportunities for adults in a supportive environment. I have enjoyed taking and teaching classes for the Institute – they are always engaging.

I look forward to both taking more of Nadine’s classes – and, hopefully, to have her in some of mine!

Donn Charnley is an Emeritus Professor of Geology, Shoreline Community College. For ten years he worked for the Seattle Public Schools as a teacher and high school counselor. He was also a Washington State Senator and Legislator and ski instructor for many years.

This event was sponsored by the Creative Retirement Institute and is part of a long-standing relationship between the Institute and the Center.