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Four Nunavut projects take home awards from Arctic Inspiration Prize ceremony in Whitehorse

A total of $1,246,000 will go directly to benefit projects supporting the infrastructure of Nunavut
Arctic char drying in the sun after a successful day of hunting for Learning, Harvesting, Earning, which was awarded $425,000 in the AIP Category Finalists level. Photo courtesy of Arctic Inspiration Prize

This year’s Arctic Inspiration Prize (AIP) has resulted in four substantial wins across two categories for infrastructural initiatives to improve the lives of Nunavummiut. Added together, the combined projects result in a total of $1,246,000 that will directly benefit the infrastructure of Nunavut.

All 12 project finalists from across the North gathered for the award ceremony hosted by Andrea Brazeau and Leonard Linklater in Whitehorse on Tuesday. The event also featured performances by northern artists under the stage direction of Sylvia Cloutier.

“For twelve years now, the Arctic Inspiration Prize has been celebrating excellence of and for the North. Once again this year, I am astounded by the incredible innovation and problem-solving that is happening in the North,” stated Wally Schumann, Chair of the Arctic Inspiration Prize Charitable Trust. “The AIP is the largest annual prize in Canada, almost as big as the dreams and resourcefulness of Northerners. These 10 winning projects are poised to transform their communities for the better. We can’t wait to see it.”

In the AIP Category Finalists level, which had the potential for each project to be awarded up to $500,000 to each recipient, Nunavut’s Learning, Harvesting, Earning was awarded $425,000.

“In response to the pressing issue of food insecurity in Nunavut,” reads the AIP press release announcement, “this project would teach boys and young men traditional skills of fishing for Arctic Char in both winter and summer settings. The goal is to equip the young participants with the expertise needed for sustainable fishing practices – bridging the gap in traditional skills, and also empowering young men with meaningful employment opportunities and the opportunity to contribute to their communities.”

In the youth category, Investing in the Futures of Inuit Women — an exclusively Nunavut initiative associated with the One Plane Away non-profit organization — received $98,000.

“This project will provide employment and skill building opportunities for young Inuit mothers and women,” stated the release. “The skills learned will provide tools to increase their earning income potential as well as increase their confidence. The participants will be encouraged to form a collective and explore the opportunity of a social enterprise that could bring innovation at a community level.”

Two other winning projects that traverse the territorial boundaries of the North included L.O.V.E. Inuktut, which was awarded $100,000 to “revitalize and safeguard 11 dialects of Inuktut through the creation of beginner-level immersion-style videos.”

The Youth Coalition 4 Food Security North also received $100,000 “to support, engage and connect youth in food initiatives in their regions across northern Canada.”

The AIP is designed to fund and launch North-based teams through innovative projects in the fields of education, health and wellbeing, arts and culture, language, science and traditional knowledge, climate change, and business. The prize is owned and governed by the Northern-led AIP Charitable Trust, as well as other partners across Canada.

The finalists were chosen by three regional selection committees, representing Canada’s North (Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Inuit Nunangat), who selected projects from their own regions.

Kira Wronska Dorward

About the Author: Kira Wronska Dorward

I attended Trinity College as an undergraduate at the University of Toronto, graduating in 2012 as a Specialist in History. In 2014 I successfully attained a Master of Arts in Modern History from UofT..
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