At ArcticNet’s 12th Annual Scientific Meeting, held in December in Winnipeg, Manitoba, three organizations came away with cheques from the fifth annual Arctic Inspiration Prize (AIP). The winners are Qarmaapik House, t(e)ach, and SmartICE, sharing $1.5 million.
Qarmaapik House in Nunavik received $700,000 to expand its parenting program to provide families and community members with tools, resources and support for healthier environments for children and youth. Hilda Snowball, Mayor of the community of Kangiqsualujjuaq, leads the project team along with community health and social service providers, elders, parents and educators.
The t(e)ach project received $400,000 to support a computer science and game development community in Nunavut by developing an online infrastructure to teach programming, game design, engineering and computer science to students at beginner and advanced levels. The team includes technical experts, curriculum producers, mental health workers and youth ambassadors from the north and south, led by Team leader Ryan Oliver of Pinnguaq Association.
SmartICE was awarded $400,000 to expand its service across the Arctic. SmartICE is a diverse partnership of community, academic, government and industry that has developed a near real-time monitoring and dissemination system that improves safety conditions for coastal sea-ice travel and shipping. Integrating Inuit Traditional Knowledge into its system, SmartICE (Sea-ice Monitoring And Real-Time Information for Coastal Environments), is led by Trevor Bell, a Professor of Geography at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Olympian Clara Hughes and Andrea Brazeau from Nunavik co-hosted the awards ceremony that included remarks by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and featured a performance of Vincent Ho’s Arctic Symphony with students from Nunavut Sivuniksavut.
Winners also received artwork created by Jean Taylor, a Tlingit artist from the Yukon (Qarmaapik House); Inuvialuit artist Derrald Taylor (t(e)ach), and Tlingit artist Mark Preston, also from the Yukon (SmartICE).