For the first time ever, the Arctic Inspiration Prize (AIP) has awarded over $3 million to seven teams across the North for their ground‐breaking projects. The prizes were awarded in a pan‐northern virtual celebration broadcast across the country on APTN February 26.
The $1 million prize went to “Imaa, Like this”: Children and Youth Expressing Themselves Through Music for their project focused on teaching Inuit children music, employing Inuit youth as music instructors, mentoring Inuit youth musicians to become community music leaders, and providing professional development opportunities for Nunavut educators and post‐secondary students on integrating traditional Inuktut music into their programs.
Four prizes were awarded in the AIP up to $500,000 category.
Niqihaqut was awarded $451,000 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, all guided by Inuit values. It hopes to provide local incomes, contribute to healthier diets, and help preserve local knowledge.
Aiming to bridge the gap between educational and health care services, Tusaajuit was awarded $500,000 to ensure community members have access to educational resources about hearing loss and to facilitate access to hearing care. This project also hopes to address the root causes of hearing loss by focusing on hearing loss prevention.
The First Nation of Na‐Cho Nyak Dun’s Indigenous Food Sovereignty Hub won $485,000. This project proposes to reduce barriers to accessing healthy and culturally relevant foods while empowering individuals to design their own paths toward food sovereignty.
The final laureate in the AIP category is Youth Training in Ethical Knowledge Sharing and Coproduction to Advance Northern, Indigenousled Conservation and Stewardship. This team was awarded $500,000 to train a generation of youth 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.
Two prizes in the Youth category were awarded, worth up to $100,000 each.
Artspace was awarded $100,000 to offer arts programs in the evenings and weekends, as well as daytime drop‐in space, that cater to youth, individuals experiencing homelessness, and professional artists.
The Western Arctic Youth Collective (WAYC) was awarded $97,000 to create a network of allies and supporters of youth that understands each other’s worldviews and experiences and to organize creative and relevant programming for young people in the Gwich’in Settlement Region and Inuvialuit Settlement Region while connecting with like‐minded groups in other northern regions.
Hosts for the Awards Ceremony were Yukoner Chantal Rondeau and Nunavik’s Andrea Brazeau, with NWT’s Leela Gilday as artistic director and producer Animiki See Digital Production.
Performances included Nunavut’s Silla and Rise, Yukon’s Dakhká Khwáan Dancers, the Northwest Territories’ Wesley Hardisty and The Pan Lab Alumni Choir from Nunatsiavut.
This year’s virtual ceremony was also hosted by Whitehorse as the host city and partners the Arctic Indigenous Investment Conference and the Yukon Arts Centre.