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Two Yukon projects win Arctic Inspiration Prize

Indigenous community safety partnership and youth raft guide training get award and funding.
Two of the projects named as laureates of the 2021 Arctic Inspiration Prize will benefit the Yukon. (Arctic Inspiration Prize/Facebook)

Two projects benefitting the Yukon are among the laureates of the 10th annual Arctic Inspiration Prize and will receive the influx of cash that comes with that honour.

The Arctic Inspiration Prize (AIP) recognizes the achievements of Northern people who work on innovative projects in the fields of education, sustainable housing, performing arts, traditional knowledge, language and science.

“As the AIP celebrates 10 years of by the North, for the North impact, we are so honoured to recognize these eight teams for their innovation, creativity and dedication to their communities,” said Wally Schumann, Chair of the Arctic Inspiration Prize Charitable Trust.

“What’s more, this investment of over $3 million will unlock so many more contributions from project partners from across the North and South who have already committed to supporting these important initiatives, bringing the total project value to over $5.8 million for these laureates.”

The impact of two of the eight projects will be immediately felt in the Yukon.

Firstly, $500,000 will be going to the Indigenous Community Safety Partnership Program. It’s goal is to empower Yukon First Nations through Indigenous-led training, certification and mentorship. The training’s goal is to address the root causes of inter-generational trauma, violence and vulnerability.

“By embedding skills and program ownership within First Nations, and decreasing long-term reliance on consultants, this innovative approach to Indigenous-led training and certification promises to enable communities to proactively implement, administer and govern holistic initiatives based on their unique cultures and traditional laws.”

Another AIP laureate for 2021 was an Indigenous Youth River Guide training program set up for both the Yukon and the Northwest Territories. It aims to create opportunities for youth to learn skills including canoeing, wilderness medicine and whitewater rescue training. The guide program received $100,000.

“Building the capacity of Indigenous youth to become wilderness guides would more equitably distribute the wealth attained through tourism in the North to the original landholders. Having more Indigenous youth building relationships with the land would create a larger network of land protectors across the Arctic,” the Arctic Inspiration Prize wrote about the youth training program.

Contact Jim Elliot at

Jim Elliot

About the Author: Jim Elliot

I’m a B.C. transplant here in Whitehorse at The News telling stories about the Yukon's people, environment, and culture.
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