2012 Laureates

The first annual Arctic Inspiration Prize ceremony was held in Vancouver, BC on 13 December 2012. The $1 million award was shared amongst four Canadian teams whose projects address pressing issues facing Canada’s Arctic and its Peoples: The Arctic Food Network, the Nunavut Literacy Council, Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit and the Thaidene Nene Initiative.

The Arctic Food Network

The importance of country food as a critical resource for the health and well-being of northern populations is well documented. Country foods are key components of physical, mental, social and economic health of individuals and communities across the Arctic. The Arctic Food Network received $360,000 to assist with its food-gathering system that enables communities to strengthen traditions of hunting and sharing. Comprised of a variety of cabins, sheds and supporting infrastructure that merge architecture, landscape, cold climate technology and Inuit culture, the network will lead to the acquisition, storage, preparation, distribution, and celebration of country food, and other locally-sourced food.

Team members: Lucassie Arragutainaq, Bert Dean, Alan Everard, James Ford, Morgan Ip, Jack Kabvitok, Lola Sheppard, Mason White (Team leader)

Nominator: Mary Ellen Thomas, Senior Researcher, Nunavut Research Institute

The Nunavut Literacy Council

The social and economic costs of low literacy are monumental, impacting the wellbeing of families and communities, health and food security, personal and cultural identity and, economic development and productivity. In Nunavut, low literacy in youth result in nearly half of the working-age population struggling with serious challenges with many Nunavummiut lacking the literacy skills needed to thrive in today’s society. The Nunavut Literacy Council received $300,000 in recognition of their knowledge to action plan to embed literacy into high-quality, culturally-based programming for the benefit of individuals, families, and communities across the North.

Team members: Cayla Chenier, Kim Crockatt (Team leader), Graeme Dargo, George Dunkerley, Sue Folinsbee, Brendan Griebel, Adriana Kusugak, Pujjuut Kusugak, Quluaq Pilakapsi, Shelley Tulloch, Gloria Uluqsi, Anna Ziegler

Nominator: Mary Ellen Thomas, Senior Researcher, Nunavut Research Institute

Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit

The preservation of culture and heritage has been recognized as a key component in the wellbeing of Inuit. As their knowledge systems and core beliefs are typically grounded in nature and the culture of their ancestors, the erosion of their environment and replacement of traditional practices have had a profoundly negative effect. An experienced team of Inuit Elders, facilitators and academics are proposing to help preserve Inuit culture and heritage through the provision of a definitive body of work, a book entitled-- Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit — What Inuit have always known to be true — that communicates Inuit worldview in detail. Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit received $240,000 for its book project which will serve as a resource for academics, researchers, educators and the next generation of Inuit.

Team members: Attoat Akittirq, Norman Attangala, Lou Angalik, Jose Angutingnungniq, Alice Ayalik, Joe Karetak, Rodah Karetak, Elisapee Kidlapik, Bernadette Otuk, Shirley Tagalik (Team leader), Donald Uluadluak

Nominator: Dr. Frank Tester, Professor of Social Work, University of British Columbia

The Thaidene Nene Initiative

For over 40 years, a small Chipewyan community of little over 300 people located approximately 200 km east of Yellowknife on the south shore of Great Slave Lake, the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation, has been advancing an initiative to protect an area of their homeland of over 30,000 km2 called Thaidene Nene, the 'Land of the Ancestors'. In recognition of their knowledge to action plan to promote the responsibility and capacity of aboriginal peoples to act as stewards of their traditional territories, using their own ways of knowing and doing, in meaningful partnership with the rest of Canada, the Thaidene Nene Initiative received $100,000 to contribute to the stewardship, protection and co-management of the proposed national park reserve in Canada’s North West Territories.

Team members: Deneen Allen, Stephen Ellis, Dora Enzoe (Team leader), Gloria Enzoe, Mike Filipowitsch, Larry Innes, Erica Janes, Steven Nitah, Mike Palmer, Francois Paulette, Council of the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation, Thaidene Nene Negotiations Advisory Committee

Nominator: Tom Beaulieu, MLA, Tu Nedhe