Meet the members of the Norwegian Chairship's Youth Committee (CYC)

  • Ms. Geneviève Degré-Timmons
  • Ms. Lauryn Maiyu Jones
  • Ms. Clara Johanne Storgaard Madsen
  • Ms. Kassandra Eleni Bredrup Petsa
  • Mr. Julius Mihkal Eriksen Lindi
  • Ms. Beatrice Bucht
  • Ms. Parahini Parabaran
  • Mr. Viljo Aapeli Vuorimäki
  • Ms. Sara Elvira Kuhmunen

© Geneviève Degré-Timmons

Ms. Geneviève Degré-Timmons

Position: PhD Candidate, Université Laval
Representing: Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS)
Bio: Canada
Geneviève Degré-Timmons is a mature PhD candidate at Université Laval and the Chair of the Association of Polar Early-Career Scientist Canada (APECS Canada). After more than 6 years following the completion of her B.Sc. in biology at University du Québec à Rimouski, she returned to graduate school to continue learning from different knowledge systems and expand her knowledge in wildlife conservation, particularly for species-at-risk of cultural importance. Initially, she started as a M.Sc. student in Forest Sciences (Université Laval) and eventually decided to roll up into a PhD. She is a recipient of the CFUW Dr. Alice E. Wilson award, Weston Family Northern Research award and NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship. Prior to embarking in this journey, she worked as a research professional and contributed to several studies aimed at understanding the impacts of anthropogenic and natural disturbances on caribou habitat in Northwestern Canada, and led field campaigns in remote locations, including Northwest Territories, Northern Alberta and Nunavik, Canada.
Prevailing theory and policy predict that boreal caribou will avoid recently burned areas due to limited foraging opportunities and to minimize predation risk. However, there is growing evidence that caribou seasonal response to fire varies regionally, and has less impact on caribou demography than anthropogenic disturbances. Geneviève’s research will examine how caribou respond to habitat change post-fire in the Northwest Territories. Improving our understanding of changes in caribou demography and behavior that may result as the effects of global warming unfold is fundamental to wildlife conservation and management

© Lauryn Maiyu Jones

Ms. Lauryn Maiyu Jones

Position: Student, Board of Directors Arctic Youth Network
Representing: Arctic Youth Network
Bio: Alaska (US)
Maiyuraq Lauryn Nanouk Jones is Inupiaq from the people of Unalakleet, Alaska. She is currently on the Board of Directors for Arctic Youth Network and apart of the 2023-2024 Cohort of Arctic Youth Ambassador Program. Maiyu is a current student at Western Washington University getting her Bachelors Degree in Environmental Science with an emphasis on Freshwater and Terrestial Ecology and two certificates in Ecological Restoration and Salmon Habitat Restoration.

© Clara Johanne Storgaard Madsen

Ms. Clara Johanne Storgaard Madsen

Position: Head of Section in the Research Administration, Naalakkersuisut (Government of Greenland)
Representing: Kingdom of Denmark (Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat))
Bio: Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat)

I am a born and raised Nuummioq (from Nuuk). Throughout my life, I have resided in both Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland) and Denmark, with a significant portion of my lifetime spent in Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland).

I hold a bachelor's degree and master’s degree in Cultural and Social History from Ilisimatusarfik - University of Greenland. My master’s thesis explores the representation of Inuit through photographs, examining the incentives for photographing Inuit 100 years ago and the reuse of these photographs in the 21st century. Throughout my academic tenure, I have been a mentor for two cohorts, providing guidance and support to students during exam periods.

As indicated in my CV, I have accumulated experience in political organizations over the course of four years now, leveraging my various student assistant roles to gain knowledge and skills. Currently, I work as Head of Section in the Research Administration at Naalakkersuisut – Government of Greenland. In this position, our team works with executing ad hoc tasks and implementing the Greenland National Research Strategy 2022-2030. Naalakkersuisut’ s vision is that research must benefit Kalaallit Nunaat and have an international outlook.

I value the importance of diversity and inclusivity, recognizing that each individual brings unique perspectives, experiences, and goals to the table. I believe that fostering a culture of understanding and empathy is essential for effective collaboration and communication, and I strive to create an environment that is welcoming and respectful of all individuals.

© Kassandra Eleni Bredrup Petsa

Ms. Kassandra Eleni Bredrup Petsa

Position: Teacher, member of Youth Regional Network
Representing: Nordland County Youth Council
Bio: Norway
Kassandra was elected County Councillor in Nordland in 2019, and has been representing the Progress Party since 2014. Kassandra has been actively involved in School elections over the years as young politicians, strongly believing in that as a representant from a youth party she will be able to encourage youth to be more involved in politics. The School Election Project is a project started in 1989 that co-ordinates mock high school elections in Norway in connection with national and local elections in Norway. The mock elections are held in the weeks prior to the ordinary elections, and the results are published a couple of days before the election and draw much attention from media and political analysts. They often predict the tendency in the ordinary elections.

Kassandra was spring 2024 elected vice president to the Assembly of European Regions (AER) Youth Regional Network. The mission for the AER is to address political concerns of a pan-European nature, to foster leadership excellence on all levels of governance. Furthermore the aim is to provide services for better decision-making and provide visibility, putting European regions on the map. Kassandra will be the young arctic voice in this partnership.

Kassandra has a drive for getting more women engaged in politics.

  • She advocates freedom of expression

  • She is fighting for animal rights

  • She argues for the need of strengthening welfare and supporting the most vulnerable groups in our society, locally and globally

Kassandra is acting head of the County Parliament’s Committee for Society, Culture and Environment. Culture is vital for people’s wellbeing and development. “I believe in the diversity of culture in a wide field of expressions as a thrive for social development and inclusion, as well as identity building in the Arctic region.

We need to create a vigorous region with a growing population, economic growth, strong employment, and robust welfare. We need to strengthening research and development, innovation, entrepreneurship, and infrastructure.

We need to believe in a bright future for us – the people living in the Arctic.”

“Social security - Large distances, demanding climatic conditions and periods of darkness present particular challenges when it comes to prevention, preparedness and handling of unwanted incidents in the north.

A credible defence is fundamental. The people in the Arctic region must be able to safeguard and protect ourselves - to ensure peace and stability against serious threats to our democratic values.

© Piera Heaika Muotka / Saami Council

Mr. Julius Mihkal Eriksen Lindi

Position: Project Advisor in Saami Council’s Arctic and Environmental Unit
Representing: Saami Council
Bio: Norway

Julius Mihkkal Eriksen Lindi is a Project Advisor in the Arctic and Environmental Unit of the Saami Council. He is 26 years old and has deep roots in his hometown Kárášjohka - Karasjok, Norway. His work is currently centred on elevating Sámi peoples' involvement in the Indigenous Peoples' Contaminant Action Program as well as assessment and evaluation work for climate intervention technologies in UArctic’s Frozen Arctic Conservation project. Being a Northern Sámi with an educational background in Applied Physics and Mathematics, he is well suited to review the technical aspects embedded in climate intervention ideas as well as interfacing Indigenous perspectives and knowledge to his work. He also has since 2020 been active in the nationwide Sámi Youth organization in Norway, Noereh, currently being the chair of the board. He has also represented as the Permanent Participant Youth Focal Point on behalf of Saami Council.
Most of his experiences with youth engagement can be derived from his participation in Sámi youth and student organizations, both at a local level and cross-border cooperation with Noereh’s sister organizations such as Suoma Sámi Nuorat and Sáminuorra. He has been focusing on topics such as the mental well-being of Sámi youth, safeguarding the climate and environment in Sápmi in light of climate change, and the improvement of learning opportunities for Sámi languages for youth across Norway. He is motivated and committed to continue this work as long as the work will serve to do good to the youth and the communities they live in

© stock

Ms. Beatrice Bucht

Position: Project Manager, Nordic Association, Sweden
Representing: Sweden
Bio: Sweden

© Parahini Parabaran

Ms. Parahini Parabaran

Position: Student & leader of Troms County Youth Council
Representing: Troms County Youth Council
Bio: Norway

Parahini is a unique advocate for youth participation and Arctic sustainability in Northern Norway, and with a longstanding commitment to these causes, she has established herself as the face of Northern Norway's youth. Since the tender age of 13, Parahini has been actively involved in initiatives aimed at addressing Arctic challenges. Her first youth advocacy campaign took place in 2018, when she collaborated with politicians in her municipality of Karlsøy to create a local youth council. Later, in 2020, her work was acknowledged by Norwegian youth when she was elected into Troms and Finnmark Youth County Council, eventually to be elected as leader.

In her capacity as leader of the regional youth council, Parahini has led the way for countless youth councils in Norway. In 2020, she was chosen to participate in the national youth panel responsible for providing input to the Norwegian government's white paper on the Arctic, a report shaping policies and strategies for the northern regions. Furthermore, as a longstanding member of the national County Leaders Committee, she collaborated with youth councilors from all over Norway to compose a letter to the Minister of Children and Families in 2024, urging the Norwegian state to create a national youth council. As a result, her input on decentralization in the Arctic and youth participation in Northern Norway continues to be presented before the national government today.

However, Parahini’s advocacy also transcends national borders. In 2023, she represented Northern Norway at Arctic Frontiers and held a compelling speech on the importance of international youth cooperation, urging world leaders to follow the Norwegian principles of democracy and inclusion of all age groups in the political sphere. Likewise, she collaborated with youth representatives from all over Europe under the auspices of Interreg NPA to create a brochure for young people in the Arctic, compelling youth in the northern regions to voice their opinions and engage more actively in the political world. Thus, Parahini has collaborated with young people beyond national borders, inspiring them to follow in her footsteps of active youth participation.

Whether as leader of the Troms Youth County Council or founder of her municipal youth council, Parahini’s leadership is nothing short of inspiring. Since 2018, she has tirelessly advocated for the voices of young people, raising their concerns and perspectives on matters that affect the Arctic region. Parahini's visionary leadership, persuasive communication skills, and strategic political thinking make her an exemplary youth leader in Troms County. Likewise, we are confident those same skills make her an ideal candidate for the Chairship Youth Committee of the Arctic Council.

© Viljo Aapeli Vuorimäki

Mr. Viljo Aapeli Vuorimäki

Position: Student at University of Lapland
Representing: University of the Arctic (UArctic)
Bio: Finland

Having been born in France and having lived in a multicultural environment in Belgium Bryssels for 17 years and moving to Rovaniemi to start my studies of political sciences, my interest towards the arctic and international relations has only been growing. I have been an active member of the university community by joining the student union's executive board to handle internationality and responsibility in my first year of studies. My knowledge towards international affairs is vast and I believe I can bring valuable input into the decision making in the Arctic. In addition to my understanding, I speak 3 languages (Finnish, English and French) fluently which enables me to effectively communicate with a majority of people.

Becoming a student representative would be an honor and would give the chance to represent students on an even larger scale. I am motivated and willing to make time when it is necessary to do so.

The importance of the arctic is rapidly evolving, with more questions than answers and that is why networks such as the UArctic play such an important role. These networks are not only valuable for the north but also for the world as they provide precious scientific research, education as well as networking and outreach activities. Especially for education student representation is beneficial to all board members as they bring new perspectives to the table.

© Sara Elvira Kuhmunen

Ms. Sara Elvira Kuhmunen

Position: President of Sáminourra
Representing: World Reindeer Herders
Bio: Sweden