Growing up attending Danish schools, she said she and her fellow classmates were never inspired to believe they could achieve. Now, she is one of the very few Inuit professors working in academia, as an assistant professor in education at the University of Saskatchewan.
"It's still a dream world, of being able to make things happen," said Jessen Williamson in a recent interview with CBC Saskatchewan.
Bringing Inuit knowledge to the forefront is part of what she does now, with Jessen Williamson next slated to speak to Arctic sustainability, as one of the focuses of this year's G7 political summit.
Education and her work has personally enabled her to cross cultures and imaginations, Jessen Williamson said. She wants to see education be similarly transformative for northern communities facing a "dire" situation.
"When you know that a knowledge is captured by a language, you can go across the boundaries, and try to explain things from a totally different world," she said.