November 2022, In Egypt, Sharm El-Sheikh COP-27

Nov 1, 2022

The first three days into our trip were very emotional for me to leave my family and friends behind to travel overseas with someone I hadn’t known for too long. I was terrified, bawling my eyes out. It was quite a cultural shock. Immediately, I adjusted! The food, the people, the dry heat and the sun, and being surrounded by indigenous people from all around the world made it feel right at home. They wore their beautiful traditional pieces daily while I was here, wishing I had brought mine.

Most of my classic pieces contain sealskin, and with sealskin banned in most countries, I wanted to avoid risking my precious belongings. I learned that as indigenous people, no matter where you’re in the world, we face similar challenges. In one of the conferences, I spoke a little bit about how in my community, we’re lacking so much snow compared to 20 years ago—the Winter season is becoming shorter each year. They talked about rising water and homes being entirely under the sea. At the same time, we face ice melting in the high arctic. Global warming is happening. And we must take action immediately to save our sacred lands for the next generations and live on our ancestors’ legacy for another thousand more years. Also, yes! I tried pigeon for the first time! Thank you for asking! And I’m not proud of it! LOL No, no, it tasted exactly like ptarmigan! The thought of it made it unpleasant at the end of our meal. 

JANICE PARSONS President of Qarjuit Youth Council