2018 Finalists

Members of the Arctic Inspiration Prize Regional Selection Committees for Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Inuit Nunangat met between 9 and 19 November to review the nominations received for the 2018 prize. Ten nominations were shortlisted for the 2018 Arctic Inspiration Prize for their innovative knowledge to action plans focusing on issues of critical importance in Canada's North, including: food security, language revitalization, lateral violence, early childhood education and on-the-land science education. Laureates in all three prize categories will be selected from these high-quality shortlisted nominations by the National Selection Committee and will be announced on 12 February 2019 at the 2018 Arctic Inspiration Prize Awards Ceremony in Whitehorse, Yukon.

$1 Million Category

Northern Compass

A strong, prosperous, healthy North relies on creating opportunities for young people to feel prepared, hopeful, and ready to take on every challenge. To best achieve their potential, young Northerners require the knowledge, skills and competencies to make decisions about their career and education, and then pursue these pathways. Northern Compass meets this need and offers youth a better chance at fully seizing every opportunity available to them. Northern Compass intends to create practical tools and an innovative support network that address and eliminate the broad spectrum of barriers that youth across all three Territories face while making successful transitions into post-secondary education (PSE), careers, and beyond. The program model will motivate and encourage youth to graduate high school, make informed decisions about their future, and then provide the support and access necessary to pursue and achieve their goals.

Team Leaders: Karen Aglukark, Student, University of Ottawa; Rebecca Bisson, Executive Director, Northern Youth Abroad; Lois Philipp, Founder, Northern Loco; Jim Snider, Vice Principal, Elijah Smith Elementary School

Nominator: The Honourable Alfred Moses, Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs, Minister Responsible for the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation, Minister Responsible for the Workers' Safety and Compensation, Commission, Minister Responsible for Addressing Homelessness, Minister Responsible for Youth, Government of the Northwest Territories

Pirurvik - A Place to Grow: Early Childhood Education for Nunavummiut

The Pirurvik Preschool in Pond Inlet provides early childhood education (ECE) that is rooted in the Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit principal Pilimmaksarniq, which is a traditional practice of allowing children to learn at their own pace. Children are allowed to follow their own natural curiosity by choosing topics that interest them. Pirurvik - A Place to Grow aims to change the lives of children throughout Nunavut by developing innovative and comprehensive ECE programs that are rooted in Inunnguiniq and in traditional child-rearing practices, and that are responsive to the needs of each community. The goal is to augment current programming for infants and toddlers aged three months to five years in seven communities that span across all three regions of Nunavut. The model could eventually be replicated throughout the territory.

Team Leaders: Tessa Lochhead and Karen Nutarak, Co-Directors of the Pirurvik Preschool

Nominator: Adriana Kusugak, Executive Director, Nunavut Literacy Council

Uqarluta Inuinnaqtun - Let's Speak Inuinnaqtun

Driven by Inuinnait youth, with support from Elders, activists, families, and researchers, the Uqarluta Inuinnaqtun project addresses the critical reality that Inuinnaqtun-the foundation of Inuinnait culture-has fewer than 600 fluent speakers remaining. Without sustained, coherent action, this language will be extinct in less than two generations. Uqarluta Inuinnaqtun - Let's Speak Inuinnaqtun aims to establish a partnership between communities to research, plan, coordinate, execute and evaluate Inuinnaqtun revitalization programming, including a full-time immersion program in each community delivered to youth; a mentor/apprentice program; and an intensive language documentation program. Expected outcomes include more fluent Inuinnaqtun speakers, increased intergenerational connectedness, enhanced cultural knowledge, higher self-esteem, and greater community wellness. The project could be replicated to sustain other critically endangered Inuit dialects in subsequent years.

Team Leader: Pamela Hakongak Gross, Executive Director, Pitquhirnikkut Ilihautiniq/Kitikmeot Heritage Society

Nominator: Aluki Kotierk, President, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.

AIP Category (Up to $500,000)

Nunami Sukuijainiq: A Youth Arctic Ecology Land Camp Program

Nunami Sukuijainiq is a land-based and hands-on science education program designed for Nunavik youth. With this project, youth from all Inuit communities in Nunavik would have the opportunity to participate in Arctic ecology land camps which focus on marine and freshwater edible resources, hydrology, entomology, contaminants, permafrost and the ecology of lakes, plants and Arctic char in rapidly changing northern environments. The project would also provide mentoring opportunities for Inuit youth already enrolled in post-secondary science programs across Inuit Nunangat. To inspire other Arctic communities and regions, short documentary films would be produced during the ecology land camps. With the participation of Elders, local experts and researchers, Nunami Sukuijainiq aims to stimulate and nurture an interest in science in Inuit youth and to help them develop valuable skills as future environmental leaders in Nunavik.

Team Leaders: Eleonora Townley and Jeannie Annanak, Youth Committee Members, Kangiqsualujjuaq

Nominator: Michael Barrette, Associate Director, Renewable Resources, Environment, Lands and Parks Department, Kativik Regional Government

Nunavut Law Program

The Nunavut Law Program (NLP) provides a Nunavut-based professional legal education to Nunavummiut. The proposed AIP project will provide NLP students with professional hands-on learning opportunities as well as a strong foundation in Inuit traditional law through: the establishment of a legal clinic in Iqaluit for students to gain practical experience; participation in mooting (an opportunity for students to compete in a mock court of appeal); peer-mentoring; exchange programs; bursaries to support student success; and traditional law and cultural activities. This project would provide holistic and scholastic opportunities to ensure student success as well-rounded and prepared legal professionals ready to serve and increase access to justice in Nunavut.

Team Leaders: Stephen Mansell, Director, NLP; Aaju Peter, Cultural Advisor and Lecturer, NLP

Nominator: Sandhya Chari, Treasurer, Law Society of Nunavut

Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in Teaching and Working Farm Extended-Season Greenhouse

Indigenous households across Canada experience food insecurity at a rate nearly twice that of non-Indigenous households (Council of Canadian Academies, 2014). To help address this issue locally, the Tr'ondek Hwech'in (TH) partnered with Yukon College to create a farm capable of sourcing fresh produce and other food staples in a sustainable way within TH traditional territory and Settlement Lands. Currently, the northern growing season is constrained to a five­ month period from May to September. This project is proposing an extended-season cold-climate greenhouse, the first of its kind in Yukon, that would transform the farm into an operation capable of sustaining local production and providing experiential learning opportunities for up to 10 months of the year, even during some of the coldest periods of winter. The final design would also be deployable to other Yukon First Nations and northern communities seeking to implement localized solutions to food security challenges.

Team Leader: Derrick Hastings, TH Farm Manager

Nominator: Sandy Silver, Premier of Yukon

Traditional Techniques Tweaked to Galvanize Indigenous Northern Artisans

In an effort to address limited opportunities for economic development in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and the Gwich'in Settlement Area, this project intends to celebrate and promote the remarkable work done by northern, Indigenous artisans. The objective is to create an association of northern Indigenous artists and crafters across the region to work at developing sustainable business ventures, improving local artisans' skills, ensuring authentic, high quality products, and building confidence as sustainable business owners. Establishing a sustainable regional association of professional artists and crafters will increase the value of the arts sector as it improves quality, stimulates innovation, and supports sustainability. The end result, an Indigenous-owned and operated venture with self-determined quality, products, prices, and markets that will support sustainable and culturally valuable lifestyles.

Team Leader: Sue McNeil, Manager, lnuvialuit Community Economic Development Organization (ICEDO)

Nominator: Peter Clarkson, Regional Director for the Beaufort Delta, Government of the Northwest Territories

Transforming Lateral Violence

The purpose of this project is to produce a significant reduction in the frequency and intensity of lateral violence within Yukon's Indigenous communities. Lateral violence includes any act of emotional violence committed by one member of an Indigenous community toward their fellow community members. Decades of institutionalized colonial violence and displacement from language, land and culture creates a cycle of violence. This project would shift the social environment through two types of training: in one, participants would learn to understand, prevent, interrupt and redirect situations of lateral violence in a visible way that models courageous kindness; in the second, the project would partner with three First Nations: Vuntut Gwitchin, Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in and Selkirk First Nation, to design and deliver strategies that discourage lateral violence and encourage lateral kindness. Through the project, communities would reconnect with their traditional values, which translates into a clear behavioural roadmap going forward.

Team Leaders: Thomas Shepherd, President, Social Innovation Consulting; and Marilyn Jensen, Senior Associate, Social Innovation Consulting

Nominator: Judy Gingell, CM, Former Chair, Council of Yukon First Nations; Former Commissioner of Yukon

Youth Category (Up to $100,000)

From Scrap to Art

No longer mentored as hunters due to intergenerational trauma, at-risk youth often feel they cannot contribute and become valued community members. Suicide, violence, drugs, alcohol and vandalism can send youths and communities into a downward spiral. From Scrap to Art aims to capture the innate creative brilliance of the youth of Cambridge Bay to help young Northerners forge intergenerational connections, develop practical and artistic skills, and confidently approach their futures with goals and a sense of identity - all while strengthening community wellness and pride. Under the guidance of Inuit and Maori mentors and northern educators, the youth team proposes to develop teaching materials, and set up a dedicated welding studio where they can teach other young Northerners the skills of welding - transforming discarded metal into art. Through the project, youth will have the opportunity to develop and express themselves through art, while at the same time helping the environment by recycling unused materials abandoned in landfills.

Team Leader: Andrew Kitigon, Cambridge Bay

Nominator: Cynthia Ene, Executive Director, Kitikmeot Chamber of Commerce

Truth & Reconciliation: A Call to Action from Youth/Millennials

While the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its 94 calls to action in 2015, many youth and millennials indicate that they haven't seen significant meaningful change. This innovative project plans to address these concerns by: training and equipping youth to interview Elders and other local leaders to help paint a picture of the progress that has been made toward truth and reconciliation; convening youth and Elders to prepare a report that outlines their findings; and hosting a forum where youth and Elders present their report to leaders of the territorial and municipal governments, youth-based NGOs and Yukon First Nation governments - with the aim of having government incorporate the findings into government plans and processes. This project will produce practical and culturally-relevant recommendations to help government leaders create a better future for all Yukoners.

Team Leader: Paige Hopkins, Editor in Chief, Shakat Journal

Nominator: Dan Curtis, Mayor, City of Whitehorse