The Arctic Youth Wellbeing Network aims to engage youth in issues of mental health, develop their leadership capacity and skills, and provide resources and opportunities to create positive impact in their communities and beyond.


The AYWN is in a period of transition as we plan for further project phases. Got an idea you want to make happen? Want to contribute to the development of mental health programming? Join us!

Do you want to get engaged in making a difference to mental wellbeing across the Arctic?

  • Build your skills in leadership and advocacy

  • Share knowledge with other network members

  • Create social change


If you want to help youth to deliver initiatives that create positive impacts in their communities, connect with us about the AYWN Project Stream.

Network members need an outlet for action. That’s why the Network is currently developing a Project Stream which will support Network members to take what they learn and the connections they make, and together enact change in their communities. This could look like:

  • One-on-one project mentorship for Network members who become “Project Creators”
  • Project support from within the Arctic Youth Wellbeing Network team


Allison Crawford – Canada, CAMH, Project Lead
Christina Viskum Lytken Larsen – Denmark/Greenland, Arctic Council Researcher

The objectives of the first session were to get to know the fellow youth participants and learn about Project CREATeS and the Arctic Council. The work Project CREATeS and the Arctic Council are doing is to:

  • Create an opportunity and methods for community engagement and knowledge translation to support the suicide prevention and mental wellness efforts of the Arctic States.
  • Sustain the circumpolar network that has been established through the Arctic Council so that we can continue to collaborate and share best practices in suicide prevention.
  • Broaden the circumpolar network to include more community members and youth.

Christina Viskum Lytken Larsen showed some short films made by the Arctic youth that participated in Project CREATeS, with content on their local communities struggles, healing, culture, etc. You can now find them posted on their website,

Allison Crawford – Canada, CAMH, Project Lead
Christina Viskum Lytken Larsen – Denmark/Greenland, Arctic Council Researcher

During the second session, we learned about Indigenous Approaches to Suicide Prevention through a presentation by Dr. Allison Crawford and Christina Viskum Lytken Larsen. We considered international examples of National Suicide Prevention Strategies (NSPS) for Indigenous communities and thought about how these strategies might work in different communities. We also discussed the priority areas in the National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy done by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. After the presentation, we shared our ideas as a group around the importance of creating or having a National Indigenous Suicide Prevention and what this type of strategy could include.

Jocelyn Joe-Strack Daqualama – Canada, Indigenous Knowledge Research Chair, Yukon University

Jocelyn Joe-Strack, Daqualama (Da-kal-a-ma), is a member of the Wolf Clan of northwestern Canada’s Champagne and Aishihik First Nation. Jocelyn is an Indigenous scientist, philosopher and entrepreneur who strives to evolve tomorrow’s policies by blending yesterday’s ancestral lessons with today’s systematic knowledge. In this session she used her experience as a trained microbiologist, hydrologist and policy analyst along with her cultural foundations to explore resilient approaches to challenges such as climate change, societal wellbeing and prosperity. Jocelyn is the newly appointed Indigenous Knowledge Research Chair at Yukon University. Her research focuses on Youth Climate leadership, revitalizing traditional storytelling and fulfilling the Spirit and Intent of the Umbrella Final Agreement. Daqualama was born and currently lives in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory with her husband and two young children.

Heidi Zilmer – Denmark, Designer

For the fourth session of the Arctic Youth Wellbeing Network, we heard from Heidi Zilmer of Denmark. Heidi talked to us about workshops that she does with young people in Greenland through Project Sanasa. She provides mentorship and guidance to young people as they paint large, outdoor murals on structures in their communities. The beauty of the paintings moved us and we were inspired by Heidi’s observations about how the murals brought a sense of wellbeing to both workshop participants and community members. In the sharing circle afterwards, we reflected on how art can contribute to mental wellness, both for us personally and for communities in the North. ‘Sanasa’ means ‘let’s build something together’ in Greenlandic and we talked about how Heidi’s project to bring a love of building and creativity to young people in Greenland could be useful for other Arctic youth.

Jon Petter Stoor – Sweden, Clinical Psychologist and Researcher

For the fifth session of the Arctic Youth Wellbeing Network, Petter Stoor, Pikku-Nilsá Ánde Biehtár, of Sweden. Petter talked to us about his research in mental health and suicide prevention among Sámi. Petter’s research interests mainly concern Sámi health, with main focus on mental health, suicide and prevention of suicide among Sámi, particularly great interest for Indigenous peoples health in the Arctic and men, in Norway and Sweden. He has worked on psychosocial health issues on behalf of the Sámi Parliament in Sweden and written a plan for suicide prevention among Sámi, on behalf of SANKS and the Saami Council. In 2017-18 he was an appointed member of the commision that developed a proposal for ethical guidelines in Sámi health research in Norway that was accepted and turned into policy.  Petter has also been engaged in international suicide prevention projects for Indigenous peoples in the Arctic, through the Arctic councils work group for sustainable development (SDWG). He makes sure as a researcher in the field of Indigenous peoples health, he remains aware of the need for collaboration with the Indigenous peoples, by collaborating with Sámi non-governmental organizations.

Lisa Boivin – Canada, PhD candidate at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine.

Lisa is an interdisciplinary artist, bioethicist, and healthcare educator. Lisa is a member of the Deninu K’ue First Nation in the Northwest Territories, Canada, and is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine. She is also the author and illustrator of two books: I Will See You Again and We Dream Medicine Dreams.

Linda Mamaaq Joule – USA, Elder from Qikiqtaġruk (Kotzebue), Alaska.

In this seventh session, Mamaaq (Linda Joule) was featured. Mamaaq is a respected Elder, grandmother of 12 and mother of 5, and lives with her husband of 47 years, Reggie Joule, in Qikiqtaġruk (Kotzebue), Alaska. She studied Rural Development at the University of Alaska (UAF), and received both her Bachelors and Masters degrees from UAF’s rural delivery program, which she helped to establish with other rural Alaskans. Mamaaq has also taught in Rural Development at Chukchi College. She has been teaching parenting classes based on Iñupiat cultural values and family systems in Northwest Alaska for 40 years. Mamaaq spoke to us about the role of youth in the family life cycle and Inuk values and shared some techniques for effective communication and problem-solving in your own home and community. Allison Crawford facilitated a sharing circle with guiding questions where all participants were welcome to speak on their perspectives and experiences. We finished the session with a mindfulness practice, facilitated by AYWN Intern Brittany Graham.

Lisa Boivin – Canada, PhD candidate at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine.

In this eighth session, Lisa instructed us on digital and analogue collage techniques and offered her perspective and advice on creating artwork that reflects who we are and how we walk through the world. Our members enjoyed making collages together and sharing thoughts on the images and materials provided to us. Lisa generously shared her digital collage workshop resources, including instructional videos, images and shapes, which are available for download and viewing here.

Karina Møller – Greenland, Singer, actress, and composer of Inuit descent

Karina Møller (she/her) is a singer, actress and artist, originally from Greenland. Karina has lived in Alaska for 15 years, and is a vocalist in the band Payuma Alaska. She has also been a member of other musical acts over her career, including Suluit (Denmark), Liima Inui (Greenland) and Ulf Fleicher (Greenland), and performs throat singing. Karina spoke about Inuit strengths such as hunting, community collaboration, engagement with elders, sharing food, respecting youth, and about spiritual healing, where her focus is moving forward while acknowledging the culture.

Devlin Fernandes – Canada, Executive Director for Gwich’in Council International

Devlin Fernandes (she/her) works as the Executive Director for Gwich’in Council International. Devlin’s career has been built around capacity and leadership development, designing and delivering projects in partnership with communities, and advancing solutions that respect and build on the connections between people, place, and economy. She is passionate about social justice, Indigenous rights issues, and the environment. Devlin earned her Masters Degree in Forest Conservation from the University of Toronto, examining Indigenous involvement in forestry in Ontario, and has worked with numerous First Nations across Canada. Devlin spoke about her recent work focused on advancing a conservation economy framework in the Northeast Superior region of Ontario, designing and implementing a social innovation lab to advance community resiliency in northern British Columbia, and supporting community-based fisheries. Devlin is a lifelong learner, collaborative problem solver, and avid berry picker. She is thrilled to be serving the Gwich’in, and is based in Yellowknife, NT.

Markus J. Thonhaugen (DJ iDJa) – Sami Producer and DJ

DJ iDJa (he/him), also known as Markus J. Thonhaugen, is a Sámi producer and DJ who combines traditional yoik with electronic music. DJ iDJa aims to build a bridge between music worlds with his work, creating something unique and new through blending his inspirations, which include the sounds of Chicago-house, techno and disco, and traditional Sámi styles of music. Together with ÅVLA and Ramona Linnea, he released his debut album Gieriesvoete last year. DJ iDJa has made a name for himself and built many friendships through performing his original productions, remixes, and edits across Sápmi and Europe.


The AYWN was launched in collaboration with The Centre For Addiction and Mental Health with support from the Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) of the Arctic Council as part of the Local2Global initiative.