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National Geographic Live

Kiliii Yüyan: Life on Thin Ice

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In the Arctic North, Sea Ice is synonymous with the sand in the desert. The ice is vital for transportation, for food, for living. And while the temperatures seem inhumane, the Arctic is teeming with life. Indigenous tribes call this frosty land home, but they’re not alone. Polar bears, musk ox, whales, and caribou are some of the arctic animals co-existing with more than 40 different ethnic groups in the north.  

Through beautiful images and awe-inspiring moments, Arts Commons Presents’ National Geographic Live series takes you on a journey with their first Indigenous speaker, Kiliii Yüyan, to understand the native people and their relationship to a frigid land and its animals. 

"Growing up in the United States far away from my ancestral lands, I found myself divorced from my culture... The heroes from my grandmother's stories lived in my imagination. As I grew older, I found myself drawn to traditional ways of subsistence, especially with fishing and boats." - Kiliii Yüyan 

"Right now, the Arctic is at a confluence of both climate change and mental health issues—it strikes deep into the heart of indigenous communities and I feel compelled to understand their stories." - Kiliii Yüyan