A Nunavut submission to the Canadian Smart Cities Challenge has won $10M. Pinnguaq will use the funds to create Makerspace hubs across the territory.

The winning proposal, called Katinnganiq: Community, Connectivity, and Digital Access for Life Promotion in Nunavut, will create a network of spaces to teach Nunavummiut science, technology, engineering, arts and math.

For over a year, the project has been piloted in Iqaluit and it has shown that it helps build resilience, capacity, and creates community around wellness. Being able to create these community hubs will leverage digital access and connectivity to increase the availability and accessibility of mental health resources and support systems like peer to peer networks, educational initiatives, and creative outlets to all Nunavummiut. This includes an Inuktitut based digital literacy curriculum, improved and innovative network infrastructure, mobile applications, gamified interventions, and digital art therapy.

The Pinnguaq Association, a Pangnirtung-based organization that operates the Iqaluit Makerspace, partnered with the Nunavut Association of Municipalities, the Embrace Life Council and Qaujigiartiit Health Research to submit the proposal.

The organizations are looking at ways to make the makerspaces sustainable and unique to each community’s needs, especially for the tech education to be available to kids and adults who otherwise don’t have access.