2013 Laureates

The second annual Arctic Inspiration Prize ceremony was held in Halifax, NS on 11 December 2013. The $1 million award was shared amongst three Canadian teams whose projects address pressing issues facing Canada’s Arctic and its Peoples: Ikaarvik: From Barriers to Bridges, The National Strategy on Inuit Education – National Parent Mobilization Initiative, and SakKijânginnatuk Nunalik: Healthy homes in thriving Nunatsiavut communities.

Ikaarvik: From Barriers to Bridges

From Barriers to Bridges received $325,000 for their plan to establish lasting relationships between the five Northern communities of Cambridge Bay, Pond Inlet, Kugluktuk, Pangnirtung and Gjoa Haven, and five of the largest zoos and aquariums in Southern Canada (Assiniboine Park Zoo, Aquarium du Québec, Ecomuseum Zoo, Vancouver Aquarium, Toronto Zoo). With a potential to reach over 11 million Canadian and international visitors annually, the project will help provide the public with a more accurate understanding of the Canadian Arctic and its peoples. Via ARCTIConnection at Université du Québec à Rimouski, the five Northern communities will also be linked with southern scientists in different fields of research relevant to their needs. Dialogues on Northern issues between communities and government agencies will also be established in order to increase mutual understanding. The existing Canadian Rangers Ocean Watch (CROW) project, a science program led by the Institute of Ocean Sciences with the Canadian Rangers, will be expanded to all five Northern communities. These Ikaarvik initiatives will also help Arctic scientists conduct more locally relevant science and will facilitate the linking of Inuit knowledge with Western science.

Team members: Shelly Elverum, Vincent L’Hérault, Eric Solomon (Team Leader), Bill Williams, Hamlet of Gjoa Haven, Hamlet of Kugluktuk, Hamlet of Pangnirtung, Hamlet of Pond Inlet, Municipality of Cambridge Bay, Assiniboine Park Zoo, Aquarium du Québec, Ecomuseum Zoo, Vancouver Aquarium, Toronto Zoo.

The National Strategy on Inuit Education – National Parent Mobilization Initiative

Low school attendance is a serious problem in Inuit communities across Canada. While parents and caregivers acknowledge the importance of a good education, involving them in their children’s education and confidently engaging them in the school system is critical to improving education outcomes in the North. The National Committee on Inuit Education and the Amaujaq National Centre for Inuit Education received $325,000 for their knowledge to action plan to mobilize parents, with the key message: “Getting children to school every day, all day, well rested and ready to learn”. Through media support, regional roundtables and conferences, community-targeted initiatives, profiling of success stories, and the creation of parent toolkits with tips on how parents can support their children’s education, the National Parent Mobilization Initiative is focused on encouraging northern students to attend school regularly and succeed.

Team members: Peter Geikie, Kevin Kablutsiak, Heather Ochalski, Mary Simon (Team Leader).

SakKijânginnatuk Nunalik: Healthy homes in thriving Nunatsiavut communities

Access to culturally suitable and environmentally adapted housing is one of the most important issues facing Northerners across Canada and the northern Labrador Inuit region of Nunatsiavut is currently facing a major housing crisis. Drawing on local Inuit knowledge, professional assessments and literature reviews, team members from the Nunatsiavut Government, the Nunatsiavut Joint Management Committee, the Nain Research Centre and Memorial University, have established a plan to move beyond efforts to understand the housing situation and work together to develop a new way forward. SakKijânginnatuk Nunalik: Healthy homes in thriving Nunatsiavut communities received $350,000 for their plan to use this knowledge to build and monitor Nunatsiavut’s first sustainable, multi-unit residential dwelling and establish a prototype for Northern housing development that addresses the changing northern climate, infrastructure requirements and Inuit housing needs and preferences.

Team members: Tony Andersen, Dorothy Angnatok, Trevor Bell, Christina Goldhar, Isabella Pain (Team Leader), Carla Pamak, Dan Pottle, Tom Sheldon, Darryl Shiwak, Katie Winters.