Québec's Audrey Morin is reaching out to northern communities.

 Photo: Audrey Morin.

Photo: Audrey Morin.

#23 - AUDREY MORIN
AGE: 21
HOMETOWN: Saint-Félix-de-Kingsey, Québec

Written with contributions from nominator Justin Fisch.

Audrey Morin is driven by the desire to re-connect Québecers with their natural and cultural heritage in Québec's remote regions.

Pinnacle moments in her journey have centered around her time in northern communities, providing her with the hands-on experience that helps her understand how these regions operate. One of those experiences was a trip with Students On Ice, where she truly began to understand what living remotely is like. As Audrey explained herself, “I found myself thinking and contemplating about nature in the North. Seeing it brought me to understand how important it is to protect nature.”

Audrey is a top student in the Leisure, Culture & Tourism program at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, a bachelor's degree that has taken her throughout the province, building community and integrating environmental activities into their practices.  

While working for Parks Canada this summer, Audrey created new urban outreach programming for the agency, designed to connect Canadians in large cities to their Arctic national parks. As part of her initiative, Audrey wrote up a comprehensive guide on how to draw on northern national parks to teach urbanites about life in remote regions, drawing on her experiences in Arctic conservation, northern environmental issues, and sustainable development in Canada's territories. In her work, Audrey shows the importance of ecotourism to maintaining ecological integrity and economic development in communities targeted by hurtful development practices.

The outcome of Audrey's work is a comprehensive guide to urban outreach, tested and approved, which has been filed at Parks Canada's central office in Gatineau, Québec. Her initiatives have been on display at festivals, concerts, museums, and fairs from Toronto to Québec City, and are likely to spread throughout the country next summer with Parks Canada's urban outreach teams.

As someone who brings people together, Audrey is a natural educator. She was nominated by colleague Justin Fisch, who noted her ability to bring people together and to foster a community that is engaged and excited about the work they undertake. “From Audrey, I learned to engage a variety of audiences and to build programming using a novel participatory approach. Audrey is an active and engaged community member, and cares very much about bottom-up solutions to collective action problems. By engaging her constituency from the very beginning, Audrey ensures the success of her programming for the long term, and not solely for a few events.”

Audrey aims to continue to work in ecotourism, a growing field that’s helping businesses and operations become more sustainable practices. As she notes, “It’s important to travel in a way that’s as sustainable as possible. That idea includes more local traveling and understanding the culture and environment that surrounds you.” Through this idea, she plans to continue discussions with her communities to understand how each person can take action in their daily lives to reduce their environmental impact.

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