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Al Gore to train Yukoners

Two Yukon environmentalists will spread the Gospel of Gore after visiting the Nobel Peace Prize winner and former US vice-president.

Two Yukon environmentalists will spread the Gospel of Gore after visiting the Nobel Peace Prize winner and former US vice-president.

Council of Yukon First Nations employees Cindy Dickson and Colleen Henry will attend the intensive two-day seminar with Al Gore in Montreal next month.

The invitation-only sessions will train Dickson, Henry and 200 other Canadians in communication and presentation skills.

Gore will train the attendees on presenting the climate change slideshow featured in his Academy Award-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth.

Spreading the word about climate change and its impacts is still a struggle so the extra training is welcome, said Dickson, director of circumpolar relations at CYFN.

But the trip is also an opportunity to inform colleagues across Canada and Gore himself about the North’s battle with a warming world, she added.

“The Western Arctic is one of the fastest warming places on Earth,” said Dickson.

“Our climate is changing rapidly and the communities know this because they’re feeling it.”

While melting polar ice caps figure prominently in the documentary, there are other issues troubling the Arctic, like food security and changes in animal habitats.

While in Montreal, Dickson will try and slip Gore a copy of the DVD Through Arctic Eyes, which documents changes in the northern eco-system caused by climate change.

“We’ll do everything we can to get the Arctic issues out there,” she said.

The workshop is sponsored by the Climate Project Canada, a non-profit organization that trains people in climate change education.

Through the organization, Gore has taught 1,000 people how to present his slideshow.

Gore won the Nobel Prize in 2007 for his work on climate change, an issue he’s championed since leaving politics after losing his 2000 presidential bid.

An Inconvenient Truth is fourth-highest earning documentary of all time and the accompanying book was a New York Times bestseller.

People who’ve already been to the workshop have described the experience as “life altering,” said Henry, the 2010 Arctic Biodiversity Assessment policy adviser.

“I’m not sure what to expect, but I’m excited and have pretty high expectations,” she said.

Henry and Dickson decided to apply for the workshop last Friday on a whim.

They learned on Sunday that they had been chosen for the training sessions, which take place April 4 to 6.

“Honestly, I thought it was a long-shot,” said Henry.

“Perhaps they needed some representation from the North.”

There, Henry will continue building relationships with international researchers and will collect information on environmental changes for the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment project.

It provides a synthesis of most current scientific research and traditional knowledge on the Arctic environment.

“These forums are important so communities can feed information into the collective

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