What is modern living like for people in the Arctic Circle? These native artists will show you.

It didn't take long for Khadry Okotetto to realize he wasn't cut out for a life in finance.

Born in the remote Siberian tundra, far beyond villages and roads, Khadry didn't learn Russian until he was sent off to boarding school at age 7. His native tongue is that of the Nenets, one of the many indigenous peoples of the Arctic Circle — and barring a brief moment (which now makes him laugh) when he studied banking in college, Khadry has dedicated his life to the traditional music and folklore of his people.


Photo by Asya Malysheva/Circum-Arctic Art Show. Used with permission.


In the Nenet language, Khadry's name means "eternal blizzard." He finds that oddly fitting. "I end up all over, in unexpected places," he told the Circum-Arctic Gallery in Reykjavík. "I love freedom. I love to travel. I love to do what I like." Though he now has a home and studio in Moscow, he's still true to his nomadic roots — often traveling the world to perform and connect with other cultures.

Khadry is just one of over 30 indigenous artists featured in the first-ever international Circum-Arctic Art Show.

Opening on Oct. 15, 2015, at the Gamla Bíó theater in Reykjavík, Iceland, the Circum-Arctic Art Show is a rare opportunity for people to share in the rich cultures of indigenous Arctic people.

Although many of these communities continue to honor their thousands-year-old traditions, they're also constantly adapting to the changes of the modern world, including new technologies and rising temperatures. But no one has ever turned the spotlight on their struggles and experiences in quite the way that the Circum-Arctic Art Show is doing now.

Because let's be honest: Most of us have no idea what modern Arctic life is like.

We probably think of snow huts and fur-lined hoods on burly coats that keep the sub-zero temperatures out. While that's not necessarily inaccurate, it's a totally oversimplified stereotype.

Turns out, there's an incredible range of diversity among indigenous Arctic peoples. And while there are certainly some similarities between them, each individual nation has its own unique language, culture, and history. Sure, you may have heard of the Inuits and maybe the Saami (and now, I guess, the Nenets). But what do you know about the Dolgans or Nganasans? How about the Tlingit?

Here are just a few of the artists whose wonderful work will be displayed at the Circum-Arctic Art Show:

Lucy Nigiyok, Inuit

Born and raised in Canada's Northwest Territories, Lucy Nigiyok learned the craft of sewing and printmaking from her mother — and neither one ever owned a sewing machine.

Mary Ann Penashue, Innu

For more than 20 years, Mary Ann Penashue has used modern-day colors and painting techniques to depict her aboriginal ancestors on canvas. Her grandparents, pictured above, were painters as well, and her work is a way of honoring that tradition.

Zarina Kopyrina, Sakha

Zarina Kopyrina also learned traditional Sakha songs from her grandparents, but it was her own idea to combine the deer-skin rhythms and mouth-harp melodies with electronic drums and special effects. She believes strongly in the shamanistic role of music in her culture, and she's even appeared on several Russian reality shows such as "X-Factor" and "American Fiancé."

Fredrik Prost, Saami

Fredrik Prost first learned traditional Saami handcrafts from a village elder in his northern Sweden village when he was just 15 years old. He quickly came to view these traditions as a means of connecting the past and the present and the people to the land. He considers his intricately detailed artwork to be a lifestyle more than a career and proudly gathers antlers, wood, and other raw materials from the environment around him.

John Sabourin, Dene

Working in both painting and stone carving, John Sabourin's art is firmly rooted in animal life and the mythology of places. The piece above is part of a series called "Dream Invaders," depicting the swirling visages of the animals that visit his dreams and inspire his creative process.

Billy Gauthier, Inuit

Billy Gauthier always had artistic inclinations, but he didn't start carving until he was 18 years old. His work tends to explore spiritual connections with the earth, both in traditional and modern ways — a stone marriage of folkloric demons and the present-day spirits of alcohol and the environment.

All of these amazing artists live at the intersection of tradition and the ever-changing world of today.

As they continue to hone their craftsmanship, these artists will also be forced to question their connections to their own environment. With so much of their lifestyles steeped in nature and the land, what will it mean when the animals they depict are gone, or when the rising sea levels swallow up the ground beneath them?

The survival of any art form depends on the support of its patrons. But for these indigenous Arctic artists, the survival of their cultures, languages, and lifestyles depend on us as well. So let's demand climate action — before the rest of human culture disappears as well.

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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