The Arctic Inspiration Prize (AIP) on Nov. 24 announced its 2021 finalists, among them are six NWT residents and one Nunavummiuq aiming to win up to $500,000 and the honour of being recognized by AIP.

Diana Selguero is the one Nunavut nominee up for the prize. The project she hopes to develop is a mobile app for Nunavummiut for people in remote communities to better access mental health resources and reduce mental health crises, especially among youth.

Among the NWT nominees include Diane Koe, who is proposing to host a traditional camp offering young people, Elders and others the opportunity to learn traditional activities, among which include fishing and making dryfish.

Peggy Day hopes to use the AIP money to fund Hope House in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, which would provide clients experiencing homelessness with counselling and referrals to rehab, social housing and job opportunities.

Yellowknife’s Rachel Cluderay is proposing to develop a training program to provide tools and resources to people who deliver on-the-land programming, to better prepare people to assist those dealing with mental health challenges in remote environments.

In Tuktoyaktuk, Kendyce Cockney is hoping to help prepare the community to make difficult decisions regarding climate change, which might include a possible relocation of the community. Kendyce hopes to help empower residents to build climate change capacity for future generations.

In th youth category are two NWT-based projects. The first is river guide training for Indigenous youth, Angela Koe-Blake hopes to remove barriers and create opportunities for young people to learn land-based skills, which will include white and flatwater canoeing, as well as wilderness medicine and whitewater rescue training.

Last but not least is a project by Jacey Firth-Hagen to help educate youth, Elders and community members with an on-the-land Treaty education camp.

The AIP is the largest annual prize in Canada, with one $1-million, four $500,000 and seven youth prizes of $100,000. It is led by the AIP Charitable Trust, which consists of many partners north and south, and has various Indigenous, government, industry and philanthropic partners.

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