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Projects across the North vie for annual Arctic prize

The 8th Annual AIP Awards Ceremony in 2019 featured performances by: Deantha Edmunds, Inuk classical soloist; the guitar-fiddle duo of Yukoners Boyd Benjamin and Kevin Barr; Nunavik’s Sylvia Cloutier; Dene Orator Lawrence Nayally; and Arctic Soul icons Josh Q and The Trade-Offs. © Justin Tang/Arctic Inspiration Prize

The Arctic Inspiration Prize (AIP) ceremony is going virtual this year! Ten projects have been selected as finalists for the ninth annual AIP. They include:

In the $1M category: 

Ilagiitigut anngiangijaqatigiinnirq ilurqusivuttigut – This project from the Isuarsivik Regional Recovery Center in Nunavik will address substance abuse by focusing on intergenerational trauma, the reclamation of Inuit identity and culture, and connection to the land. Elders, addiction counsellors, hunters, scholars and community members will create wellness best practices using Inuit traditional knowledge. 

“Imaa, Like this”: Children and Youth Expressing Themselves Through Music – This project aims to teach Inuit children music, employ Inuit youth as music instructors, mentor Inuit youth musicians to become community music leaders, and provide professional development opportunities for Nunavut educators and post‐secondary students to integrate traditional Inuktut music into their programs. 

Northern Centre for Justice, Dignity and Leadership – The Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society envisions building a virtual hub committed to strengthening services and supports that are grounded in Indigenous knowledge for those harmed by violence in the Yukon, particularly Indigenous women and girls. 

In the up to $500,000 category: 

Dene Ahthít’e: Rebuilding the Indigenous Economy in the Dehcho – This NWT initiative from the Edéhzhíe Management Board aims to offer programs to address the legacy and lasting effects of colonization, cultural genocide, intergenerational trauma and economic dependency by re‐establishing Dene values and laws as guiding principles for economic development, livelihood generation, and entrepreneurial development. 

Niqihaqut – The Spence Bay Hunters and Trappers Organization in Nunavut proposes to develop a new model of social economy and food sovereignty anchored in sustainable and innovative harvesting, and the processing and use of country foods, guided by Inuit values. 

Tusaajuit – Kativik Ilisarniliriniq in Nunavik aims to provide community members access to educational resources about hearing loss and prevention and facilitating access to hearing care. 

The First Nation of Na‐cho Nyak Dun’s Indigenous Food Sovereignty Hub – This Yukon project from North Star Agriculture proposes to reduce barriers to accessing healthy and culturally relevant foods while empowering individuals to design their own paths toward food sovereignty. 

Youth Training in Ethical Knowledge Sharing and Co‐production to Advance Northern, Indigenous‐led Conservation and Stewardship – From the Canadian Mountain Network, this project will aim to train a generation of youth in the Yukon, NWT, and Nunatsiavut to design and deliver relevant research projects using Indigenous research methods, community‐based research methods, and ethical approaches to knowledge sharing between Indigenous and Western ways of knowing. 

In the Youth category (up to $100,000): 

Artspace – From Makerspace Yellowknife, Artspace seeks to offer arts programs in the evenings and weekends, as well as daytime drop‐in space, that caters to youth, individuals experiencing homelessness, and professional artists. 

Western Arctic Youth Collective – This project would create a network of allies and supporters of youth to organize creative and relevant programming for young people in the Northwest Territories, Inuvialuit Settlement Region. 

The AIP ceremony will be broadcast February 19, 2021.