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Two Yukon projects awarded funding as part of Arctic Inspiration Prize

Two Yukon projects in Haines Junction and Whitehorse receive prize and funding
Recipients of the Arctic Inspiration Prize pose for a photo together following the awards ceremony. (Courtesy/Arctic International Prize)

Two organizations in the Yukon were among seven projects awarded the Arctic Inspiration Prize for “their groundbreaking by the North and for the North projects,” according to a statement by the organizers.

The two Yukon teams were honoured during a ceremony on Feb. 8 in Ottawa. More than $2.7 million was awarded to the seven selected projects, which were fielded from across Canada’s North.

The first Yukon project is the Shäwthän Näzhì: Recovery Support Program which was awarded $500,000 to “provide intensive and on-going after care support following attendance at treatment programs,” a statement on the organizer’s website said.

The project, which runs for a three-year period, will include “capacity building within the Yukon Indigenous wellness practitioner community, an intensive recovery support program and model sharing combined with train-the-trainer implementation.”

In the youth category, the N’’tsaÜw Chu’ Kedts’edán Kù Traditional Camp was one of the three projects which received funding for their demonstrated “outstanding commitment to making a difference in their communities,” the organizers said.

The Yukon project was awarded $100,000 to build a traditional camp at Porter Creek Secondary School, to help the school and the greater community engage in authentic cultural programming.

The organizers added the camp “will build capacity in educators and help students see themselves and their cultural teachings as valued.”

Wally Schumann, the chair of the Arctic Inspiration Prize Charitable Trust, said the award is focused on northern excellence.

“Their projects are outstanding examples of people from diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise coming together to use their skills and knowledge to bring about the change they want to see for their communities,” he said.

Funds were awarded to other projects across the North. The Pilimmaksaijuliriniq Project was awarded $1 million to “build additional mental health competencies and Inuit wellness traditional teachings to support the delivery of community-based programming across Inuit Nunangat.”

The award organizers said the project will provide support to community organizers, champions, activists and trainers who “deliver community-based programming with the goals of fostering, protecting and building the resilience of all community members.”

Lessons from our Elders, an initiative to engage high school students in identifying historic artifacts cited in stories told by community elders, was awarded $450,000.

The project will identify 10 communities over a one-year period to “produce a virtual exhibition with artifacts that most northerners would otherwise never see, and stories that most northerners would otherwise never hear.”

A new research governance organization created by Nunavik organizations and communities named Atanniuvik, which will advance Nunavik Inuit self-determination in research, won $500,000.

In addition, the Northern Games Youth Collaboration “Inuvialuit Piuyausiq” was awarded $100,000 to organize a Northern Youth Development program in Tuktoyaktuk.

The project will help the next generation of leaders in promoting healthy activity and cultural connectedness by focusing on mentoring youth and highlighting volunteerism.

The last project which received funding was the Nunavut Youth Creative Collective which was awarded $100,000 to “develop their agency that proposes working as a social enterprise to increase Inuit representation in advertising, media and other digital forms like social media and website design,” the organizers said.

The Arctic Inspiration Prize is the largest annual award in Canada aimed at inspiring, enabling and celebrating the achievements of the people of the North. Every year, it awards one $1-million prize, up to four prizes of up to $500,000 each and up to seven youth prizes of up to $100,000 each.

Contact Patrick Egwu at

Patrick Egwu

About the Author: Patrick Egwu

I’m one of the newest additions at Yukon News where I have been writing about a range of issues — politics, sports, health, environment and other developments in the territory.
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