“We often have to go through the darkness to see the light”.
Aviâja Egede Lynge
I have had the good luck to meet and start working closely with Aviâja Egede Lynge, in 2013 when she was part of the Global Leadership School of the International Indigenous Women’s Forum (FIMI), and in 2014, when she attended the Human Rights Advocates Program (HRAP) at our Institute for the Study of Human Rights (ISHR) at Columbia University. We have since continued accompanying each other in our life paths. Aviâja Egede Lynge, an admirable researcher, a tireless advocate, and a deep critical thinker about the content, goals, and impact of education systems on Indigenous children, has been shedding light on numerous issues that ideologies of colonization create for children and for society overall. Her strong analytical and holistic thinking, her ability to understand and interpret social issues and cultural differences, and her integrity in communicating her findings have made her work as National Spokesperson for Children in Greenland an invaluable resource for all those who fight for children’s rights.
On November 14, 2023, she received the prestigious Ebbe Munck Award at a ceremony in Copenhagen at the Palace and in the presence of the Queen. I had the honor to be invited as Aviâja’s guest.
Her unique work inspires us to remember that implementing children’s rights is a substantive expression of Indigenous Peoples’ right to self-determination, a way to maintain resilience, to build strength and to weave visions of hope for the future. Aviâja’s remarks during the award ceremony can be read here