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Over $3.2 million awarded to ten teams across the North

Press Release

May 8, 2024

Ten innovative teams from across Canada’s North were awarded a share of over $3.2 million for their groundbreaking by the North and for the North projects. These Arctic Inspiration Prizes were awarded during a celebration held on May 7, 2024 in Whitehorse in partnership with the Arctic Indigenous Investment Conference.

$1 Million Arctic Inspiration Prize Winner

Inotsiavik Centre ($1,000,000): Inotsiavik, meaning “a place to live well” in Nunatsiavummiutut, is an Inuit youth-led initiative dedicated to language and culture revitalization. This program will increase proficiency in Inuit cultural skills and Inuttitut in a safe, welcoming environment. Inotsiavik’s goal is to establish a not-for-profit cultural centre in Hopedale to host a range of programming committed to strengthening skills, confidence, and pride in Inuit identity. Inotsiavik aims to nurture traditions, promote intergenerational healing, and enhance overall health and well-being within Nunatsiavut.

AIP Category Winners (up to $500,000):

Thay K’i Anint’i ($499,000): Since the Yukon entered a Substance Use Health Emergency in January 2022, after-care resources continue to be limited. Thay K’i Anint’i will offer recovery and wellness programming to support individual and community health recovery programs built around Indigenous culture and western practices in partnership. This two eyed recovery and wellbeing centre would expand to bring after-care models throughout the Yukon with the goal of supporting recovery models for all Yukoners.

Learning, Harvesting, Earning ($425,000): In response to the pressing issue of food insecurity in Nunavut, this project aims to make a lasting impact through a two-pronged approach. The heart of the initiative lies in teaching boys and young men the 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. This innovative approach not only addresses food insecurity; it also creates economic sustainability for the project. By bridging the gap in traditional skills among indigenous boys and young men, this project seeks to empower them with meaningful employment opportunities and a chance to contribute to their communities.

Indigenizing Work with Traditional Knowledge and Support Project ($112,000): Aurora Heat is an Indigenous and woman-led social enterprise based in Fort Smith, NT. Their project, Indigenizing Work with Traditional Knowledge & Support seeks to address the multifaceted challenges faced by many employees at Aurora Heat, a sustainable business producing and selling reusable products made of beaver fur. With a focus on addressing the root causes of employment instability, food insecurity, and loss of Indigenous cultural connections, they aim to create an innovative and healing way of work on the company’s new property. By enhancing their already flexible, supportive workplace, Aurora Heat ‘s goal is to inspire self-reliance and encourage positive mental and physical health for their employees and their families.

Hebron and Nutak Reunions ($298,000): The Hebron and Nutak Reunions will provide an opportunity for the remaining able-bodied evictees to return to their homeland together at Hebron and Nutak/Okkak Bay in the summer of 2024. Though the program is short in duration, the impacts will be far-reaching and long-lasting with continued opportunity to return in the future with the descendants and able-bodied evictees. These reunions will provide a healing opportunity for the evictees and those participants who may be impacted by the eviction from Hebron and Nutak.

Therapeutic Farm School ($500,000): The Therapeutic Farm School program is designed for K-12 students with disabilities in Yukon, particularly those with neurodiversities such as Autism, ADHD, and other cognitive delays. The program will encompass learning through experiential means, on the land from a First Nations perspective, with a combination of supports, including Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Play Therapy, Applied Behavior Analysis, Music Therapy, and Equine Therapy. The Therapeutic Farm School program is an example of an intensive educational therapeutic support program, which will help students to develop and practice self-regulation strategies, that can be generalized to a typical classroom; these skills will assist students in making more meaningful connections with others, leading to positive mental health outcomes, higher rates of graduation and more successful learning experiences.

Arctic Inspiration Youth Prize Winners (up to $100,000):

Investing in the Futures of Inuit Women ($98,000): This project will provide employment and skill building opportunities for young Inuit mothers and women. It involves two programs which will both provide employment skills and a pathway for greater financial independence. The skills they learn will provide tools to increase their income earning potential for their future, as well as their confidence. The employment training program will provide part-time employment at One Plane Away, while they develop new skills to work in the not-for-profit sector and increase potential for employment. With this experience, they will be able to experience first-hand how their efforts can support Nunavut mothers and babies. The Traditional Inuit Sewing project will be offered in three communities. Participants will be encouraged to form a collective and explore the opportunity of a social enterprise that could bring innovation at a community level.

Yukon Young People’s Theatre Festival ($99,000): The Youth Theatre Festival Committee of Yukon Theatre for Young People (YTYP) proposes to hold a 3-day Yukon Youth Theatre Festival at the Yukon Arts Centre in early 2025. Youth Festival Committee of YTYP believes firmly in the transformative power of theatre and arts-engagement and have experienced first-hand the positive outcomes to their own mental health when they were able to participate in theatre activities during their own high school experience. The goal of this project is to provide those young people with an opportunity to experience the benefit of the performing arts, and the positive impacts they have on health and well-being.

Youth Coalition 4 Food Security North ($100,000): The Youth Coalition 4 Food Security North is a project that will support, engage and connect youth in food initiatives in their regions across northern Canada. Their goal is to get youth engaged with local food production and empower them to share knowledge and experiences. This will empower youth to advocate for sustainable, culturally appropriate, resilient food production models in the North. This project will create a network of resources by youth, for youth, to support engagement in food dialogues and initiatives in the North.

L.O.V.E. Inuktut ($100,000): L.O.V.E. Inuktut is a ground-breaking initiative dedicated to revitalizing and safeguarding the 11 main dialects of Inuktut which was determined by the expertise of Inuktut Tusaalanga, across Canada’s Arctic through the creation of beginner-level immersion-style videos. This project will work on an innovative app that integrates these language-learning videos into daily life. The key differentiator of this project lies in its emphasis on youth-driven initiatives, fostering intergenerational knowledge exchange and preserving Inuit wisdom. Positioned as a complementary addition to existing resources, the app will link to various Inuktut resources, ensuring a comprehensive learning journey and contributing to the sustained growth of Inuktut language and culture for years to come.



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