Eleven Finalists Selected for the 2019 Arctic Inspiration Prize

November 21, 2019

Eleven exceptional “by the North, for the North” projects have been selected as finalists for the eighth annual Arctic Inspiration Prize (AIP). Ranging in scope and focus, each and every project demonstrates the potential to generate lasting impact across Canada’s North. Encouraging, enabling and celebrating Northern achievement and innovation, the AIP is the largest prize in Canada dedicated to the Canadian Arctic, awarding up to $3 million every year across three categories.

The three Regional Selection Committees for Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Inuit Nunangat, comprised of Northerners representing diverse sectors and communities, reviewed and selected nominations from their regions. Their recommendations will go to the AIP’s National Selection Committee, who will select and announce the Laureates at the AIP’s 8th Annual Awards Ceremony, to be held at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa on February 5, 2020 in conjunction with the Northern Lights Business and Cultural Showcase.


Imaa, Like This: Children and Youth Expressing Themselves Through Music

Team Leaders: Naiome Eegeesiak, Darlene Nuqingaq
Geographical Scope: Nunavut
This program intends to teach music to Inuit children, mentor Inuit youth musicians to become community music leaders, and train Inuit post-secondary students to be Inuit music educators.

Northern Compass

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
Geographical Scope: Nunavut and the Northwest Territories
Northern Compass intends to create pathways relevant to the cultures and contexts of Northern youth enabling them to successfully transition from high school through post-secondary education and on to fulfilling careers.


Dehcho: River Journeys

Team Leader: Sharon Snowshoe, Director, Gwich’in Tribal Council
Geographical Scope: Twenty communities in the Mackenzie River watershed.
This project aims to have students collaborate on two short films to create a multi-media experience exploring how the past 100 years have transformed the great Mackenzie River. This project would also feed into an exhibition at the new Fort Simpson Heritage Centre telling the story of the political and environmental journey of the Dene over the 100 years since the signing of Treaty 11.

ᑲᒪᔩᑦ Kamajiit Program

Team Leader: Susan Aglukark, Writer, Developer, and Founder, Arctic Rose Foundation
Geographical Scope: Nunavut
This project proposes to address the root causes of high school drop-out rates and suicide in three communities in Nunavut through a before- and after-school program that would provide youth with access to healthy food, a hands-on creative activity program grounded in Inuit culture and language, and other services.

Listening to the Grandfathers and Grandmothers: Northern Indigenous Land Guardians Learning and Leading in Mountain Research or Mountain Guardian Research Training (MGRT)

Team Leader: Norma Kassi, Co-Research Director, Canadian Mountain Network
Geographical Scope: Yukon and the Northwest Territories
The MGRT project proposes to train youth (18-30 years old) to design and deliver community-based, Indigenous-led research projects and engage in partnerships using Western knowledge, with the goal of protecting the land and waters within their traditional territories.

Nunavut Law Program

Team Leaders: Stephen Mansell, Director, NLP; Aaju Peter, Cultural Advisor and Lecturer, NLP
Geographical Scope: Nunavut
The Nunavut Law Program (NLP) aims to provide a Nunavut-based legal education to Nunavummiut, including a circumpolar exchange program, opportunities to participate in mooting, and exposure to traditional law and cultural activities.

Resilience Training and Healing Program

Team Leader: Chad Thomas, Yukon First Nations Wildfire
Geographical Scope: Yukon
RTHP aims to employ a holistic approach to wellness that can be tailored to each participant, and proposes to address trauma through traditional practices, land-based healing, and mentorship, based on a foundation of traditional knowledge.


Baffin Youth Outdoor Education Project

Team Leader: Brittany Masson, BYOE Ambassador
Geographical Scope: Nunavut
The Baffin Youth Outdoor Education (BYOE) project aims to foster personal growth, skills development and social and cultural awareness by teaching youth traditional activities and adventures on the land. The initial phase will focus on dog sledding.

Micro-Plastics and Caribou Tracker

Team Leader: Isha Jha, Student, École St. Patrick High School
Geographical Scope: Yellowknife, Sachs Harbour, and Rae-Edzo, NT, and Bathurst Inlet, Nunavut
The Micro-Plastics and Caribou Tracker project intends to reduce the amount of micro-plastics in the Arctic Ocean, and to invent a better way to track disappearing caribou herds through a scientific and learning-based project using design thinking.

Trades of Tradition / Inuit Piqqusingni / Dene K’éé Eghalaets’endedá

Team Leaders: Nathan Maniapik, Panniqtuuq Hunting Program Coordinator; Sally Paungrat, Qamani’tuaq Hunting Program Coordinator
Geographic Scope: Nunavut and the Northwest Territories
By providing community members with the opportunity to develop the traditional skills of hunting, sewing, drum-making and drumming, Trades of Tradition intends to preserve traditional knowledge, build connections between youth and elders, strengthen the cultural identities of participants, and address the root causes of prevalent social issues in their communities, including substance abuse and suicide.

Yukon Youth Healthcare Summit

Team Leader: Geri-Lee Buyck, Mayo, YT
Geographical Scope: Yukon
The Yukon Youth Healthcare Summit aims to address the need to increase the representation of Indigenous Yukoners in post-secondary education – particularly in the field of health care – by exposing them to a variety of health care professions through a series of multi-day summits in partnership with the Whitehorse General Hospital.

About the Arctic Inspiration Prize

As the largest annual prize in Canada with a focus on the Arctic, the Arctic Inspiration Prize (AIP) encourages, enables and celebrates the inspiring achievements of the people of the North. The AIP recognizes diverse teams and enables their innovative projects in the fields of education, sustainable housing, health, performing arts, traditional knowledge, language, and science. Each year, the AIP awards up to $3 million: one $1 million prize, up to four prizes of up to $500,000 each, and up to seven youth prizes of up to $100,000 each.

The AIP is owned and governed by the northern-led AIP Charitable Trust and supported by Indigenous organizations, governments, industry, philanthropy, and many other partners from the North and South, with management support provided by the Rideau Hall Foundation.

For media inquiries:
Allison MacLachlan
Director, External Relations and Public Engagement
Rideau Hall Foundation
[email protected]