The prizes were awarded during a celebration held in Whitehorse in partnership with the Arctic Indigenous Investment Conference.

"For twelve years now, the Arctic Inspiration Prize has been celebrating excellence of and for the North. Once again this year, I am astounded by the incredible innovation and problem-solving that is happening in the North,” said Wally Schumann, Chair of the Arctic Inspiration Prize Charitable Trust. “The AIP is the largest annual prize in Canada, almost as big as the dreams and resourcefulness of Northerners. These 10 winning projects are poised to transform their communities for the better. We can’t wait to see it.”

The $1 million prize went to the Inotsiavik Centre. Inotsiavik, meaning “a place to live well” in Nunatsiavummiutut, is a project that aims to help revitalize Inuttitut and culture by providing an accessible means to education and programming for Nunatsiavummiut. Its goal is to open a not-for-profit cultural centre in Hopedale that serves as a welcoming, safe space to host a range of vital cultural programming committed to strengthening skills, confidence, and pride in Inuit identity.

"Winning this award is life-changing, not only for us as a team, but for all Nunatsiavummiut. It has been the endless support of our communities that has gotten us here, and we are beyond thrilled that the Arctic Inspiration Prize has recognized this dream and awarded Inotsiavik the $1,000,000 prize. We thank the Arctic Inspiration Prize Team for this tremendous amount of support, and we are honoured to now be able to plan and fund a wide range of language and cultural programming for years to come," said the Inotsiavik team.

In addition to the $1 million prize, five prizes were awarded in the AIP category that awards up to $500,000 to each laureate team, and four prizes were awarded in the Youth category, worth up to $100,000 each.

Thay K’i Anint’i was awarded $499,000 to offer recovery and wellness programming to support individual and community health recovery programs built around Indigenous culture and western practices. This two-eyed recovery and wellbeing centre would expand to bring aftercare models throughout Yukon with the goal of supporting recovery models for all.

Learning, Harvesting, Earning was awarded $425,000. In response to the pressing issue of food insecurity in Nunavut, this project would teach boys and young men traditional skills of fishing for Arctic Char in both winter and summer settings. The goal is to equip the young participants with the expertise needed for sustainable fishing practices – bridging the gap in traditional skills, and also empowering young men with meaningful employment opportunities and the opportunity to contribute to their communities.

Indigenizing Work with Traditional Knowledge and Support Project was awarded $112,000 to address the multifaceted challenges faced by Indigenous employees at Aurora Heat, a sustainable fur business in Fort Smith, NWT. Through ongoing collaboration and a comprehensive understanding of the mental health crisis in the North, this project will address the root causes of employment instability, food insecurity, and lack of cultural connections.

Hebron and Nutak Reunions was awarded $298,000 to provide an opportunity for the remaining able-bodied evictees to return to their homeland together at Hebron and Nutak/Okkak Bay in the summer of 2024. The impacts of this project will be far-reaching and long-lasting. These reunions will provide a healing opportunity for evictees and those participants who may be impacted by the eviction from Hebron and Nutak.

Therapeutic Farm School program was awarded $500,000. The program is designed for K-12 students with disabilities in the Yukon, particularly those with neurodiversities such as Autism, ADHD, and other cognitive delays. The program will encompass learning through experiential means, on the land from a First Nations perspective, with a combination of supports. Students will learn important skills to help them in making more meaningful connections with others, leading to positive mental health outcomes, higher rates of graduation and more successful learning experiences.

In the Youth category, four projects demonstrated their outstanding commitment to making a difference in their communities.

Investing in the Futures of Inuit Women was awarded $98,000. This project will provide employment and skill building opportunities for young Inuit mothers and women. The skills learned will provide tools to increase their earning income potential as well as increase their confidence. The participants will be encouraged to form a collective and explore the opportunity of a social enterprise that could bring innovation at a community level.

The Yukon Young People’s Theatre Festival was awarded $99,000 to hold a 3-day Yukon Youth Theatre Festival at the Yukon Arts Centre in early 2025. The goal of this project is to provide those young people with an opportunity to experience the benefit of the performing arts, and the positive impacts they have on health and well-being.

L.O.V.E. Inuktut was awarded $100,000 to revitalize and safeguard 11 dialects of Inuktut through the creation of beginner-level immersion-style videos. This project will concurrently work on an innovative app that integrates language-learning videos into daily life. Positioned as a complementary addition to existing resources, the app will link to various Inuktut resources, ensuring a comprehensive learning journey and contributing to the sustained growth of Inuktut language and culture for years to come.

Youth Coalition 4 Food Security North was awarded $100,000 to support, engage and connect youth in food initiatives in their regions across northern Canada. The goal is to get youth engaged with local food production and empower them to share knowledge and experiences. The outcome is to create a network of resources by youth, for youth, to support engagement in food dialogues and initiatives in the North.

About the Arctic Inspiration Prize 

As the largest annual prize in Canada, the Arctic Inspiration Prize (AIP) inspires, enables and celebrates the achievements of the people of the North. The AIP recognizes diverse teams and enables their innovative projects in the fields of education; health and wellbeing; culture, arts and language; science and traditional knowledge; climate change; and the economy. Each year, the AIP awards: 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 is a community of Indigenous organizations, governments, industry, philanthropy, and many other partners from the North and South. 

For media inquiries: 

Allison MacLachlan 

Director, External Relations and Public Engagement 

Rideau Hall Foundation