The GENI program gives Nynke van Dijk the essential knowledge and contacts to carry out her job as museum manager in a small community in Finnmark.
Why did you choose to study the GENI program at UiT/USask?
– I have always been interested in the natural resource management and history. I did master programs in these subjects in the Netherlands. After I moved to Norway, I slowly made my way up north, looking for work and getting more and more interested in the situation in Northern Norway. Here history, culture and nature come together to form complex issues, and I wanted to learn more. At one of the Arctic Frontiers conferences I came across information about the GENI program. This would give me more knowledge about the situation in the Arctic and prepare me for any future job, since I had decided I wanted to make northern Norway my home. The subjects, the field schools and the opportunity to build a network were all reasons for me to choose to study the GENI program.
What do you think about the program?
– So far, I really enjoy the program. Some courses focus more on the Canadian situation and some more on the Norwegian Arctic, and others give more general Arctic overviews. This gives you a very clear understanding about the different challenges and opportunities the Arctic faces. I think that for anyone working in the Arctic, this program can give you a very good understanding of the culture and history of the Arctic, but also gives a very clear understanding about economic and legal challenges.
Can you tell a bit more about what it is like to be a student at the GENI program?
– To be a student at the GENI program, means long-distance learning. The field schools are amazing opportunities to meet people who can give you insights in living and working in the Arctic. The courses are diverse, spreading from indigenous law to resource economics. The applied research project gives you the opportunity to contribute to a community with your research and teaches you the issues a local community is working on.
What are your plans for the future?
– Since starting the GENI program I have found a job as manager at a museum in a small community in Finnmark. I researched environmentally sustainable tourism for my Applied Research Project and will expand on this to research sustainable tourism for my thesis. I will have contact with the major of the town, to make sure that my research can be used and benefits the community. I plan to stay in this job for the foreseeable future. I can use my gained knowledge in how I make museum exhibitions, incorporating indigenous voices and knowledge and not present the Sami as an “exotic species” but as part of the history and culture of the community. Furthermore, I want to contribute to community by working with local organizations to make the community more attractive for business and people to live. The knowledge and contacts I gained from the GENI course are very essential in this. In the far future I hope to find my way to get elected into local politics to be the one to actually works on implementing these policies, while continuing my job at the museum and educating people on what I have learned in this degree.