Insights on climate realities concludes Arctic Encounter Symposium

Four mothers spoke about the changes they’re seeing in western Alaska, and how it’s forced two of them to relocate their families
Three days of programming provide a platform for experts to come together and address a myriad of pressing issues in the Arctic region
Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 7:34 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Arctic Encounter Symposium (AES) concluded its 2023 event after convening policymakers, industry leaders, military leaders and other experts to confront the leading issues in Arctic policy, innovation and development.

The event featured a range of panel discussions that touched on everything from the geopolitical security of the Arctic to sustainable fishery management best practices.

At the final luncheon of the week, attendees had the opportunity to hear from four Alaska Natives about how they are facing climate realities on the front lines, and in some cases, being forced to relocate. Four mothers shared their perspectives on experiences navigating day-to-day life in a rapidly shifting ecosystem and climate.

One of the speakers, Carolyn George, a resident of Newtok, talked about the changes she has observed in the region over the course of her life.

“I grew up there all my life. It’s not like how it used to be,” she said. “It’s changed a lot, it’s unrecognizable. It used to sit high when I was growing up, there was hills, it was dry, and now it’s wet.”

The keynote luncheon session also featured Arctic experts Jackson Blackwell, Sara Cohen and Tommy Beaudreau.

Throughout the event, attendees heard from a range of experts in national security, natural resource management, and the military, among others. The Arctic Encounter Symposium provided a platform for policymakers, industry leaders, military leaders and other experts to come together and address the pressing issues facing the Arctic region.