Mr. Speaker, it is always my pleasure to promote and congratulate Nunavummiut who demonstrate excellence, innovation, entrepreneurship, and creativity. It is my great honour today, Mr. Speaker, to congratulate Nunavut’s finalists and winners of the prestigious Arctic Inspiration Prize.
Mr. Speaker, the Arctic Inspiration Prize provides much needed attention and funding to projects that help improve our communities and the lives of our people, expand our knowledge, and inspire change in the fields of education, health, culture, environmental stewardship, and the economy.
I attended this year’s award ceremony February 8th at the Northern Lights conference in Ottawa, where three Finalists from Nunavut were eligible for prizes, including the Kitikmeot Heritage Society, Ilitaqsiniq, and the Nunavut Youth Creative Collective.
Mr. Speaker, of these three groups, two received funding.
It was my honour to present a cheque for $100,000 to the Nunavut Youth Creative Collective, which is a social enterprise to increase Inuit representation in advertising, media and other digital forms by hiring creative talent among Nunavut youth.
Later in the evening, the top prize of $1 million was awarded to a Nunavut project, Ilitaqsiniq’s Pilimmaksaijuliriniq Project.
This project is an Inuit-designed and led response to the National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy, the Innusivut Anninaqtuq Nunavut Suicide Prevention Strategy and the Alianait Inuit Mental Wellness Action Plan. The project aims to build mental health competencies, resilience and Inuit wellness traditional teachings into programs across Inuit Nunangat.
Mr. Speaker, the Government of Nunavut is proud to be an ambassador and partner of the Arctic Inspiration Prize, and we are pleased to see Nunavut projects recognized and supported.
Mr. Speaker, we encourage all Nunavummiut hoping to inspire change in their communities to apply for seed-funding from the Arctic Inspiration Prize for their initiatives and projects.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.