Three Teams Awarded $1 Million Arctic Inspiration Prize

HALIFAX, Dec. 11, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The 2nd Annual Arctic Inspiration Prize has been awarded to three Canadian teams whose projects will translate knowledge to action to benefit the Canadian Arctic and its Peoples. The projects selected to share the $1 million award include: Ikaarvik: From Barriers to Bridges, the National Strategy on Inuit Education - National Parent Mobilization Initiative, and SakKijânginnatuk Nunalik: Healthy homes in thriving Nunatsiavut communities. The winners were announced at a ceremony coinciding with ArcticNet's 9th Annual Scientific Meeting in Halifax tonight.

"We've been delighted to see how the prize is encouraging diverse teams from the North and South to address, with comprehensive efforts, the unique challenges and opportunities facing Canada's North," said Arnold Witzig, co-founder with his partner Sima Sharifi, of the Arctic Inspiration Prize. "We look forward to celebrating the positive and long lasting impact of this year's laureates as their plans translate to action."

"ArcticNet is proud to manage the Arctic Inspiration Prize. The Prize is clearly aligned with our Network's vision of a future where research, knowledge exchange and capacity building will have enabled scientists, Northerners and decision makers to jointly attenuate the negative impacts and maximize the positive outcomes of the transformation of the Canadian Arctic" said Dr. Martin Fortier, Executive Director of ArcticNet and the Arctic Inspiration Prize.

"We are honoured and very excited to receive this generous prize," said Eric Solomon, Ikaarvik team leader and director of Arctic programs at the Vancouver Aquarium. "With it, Ikaarvik will build stronger, more effective collaboration among our partner Inuit communities and scientific researchers, improve public discourse about the Arctic, and grow leadership capacity among young emerging Inuit Leaders." The Ikaarvik: From Barriers to Bridges project was awarded $325,000.

The National Strategy on Inuit Education - National Parent Mobilization Initiative was awarded $325,000. Mary Simon, Chairperson of the National Committee on Inuit Education said, "The Arctic Inspiration Prize arrives at a time when we are seeing growing concerns about school attendance rates in Arctic communities. After meeting with education leaders throughout Canada's Arctic this past year I am convinced more than ever about the importance of implementing a national campaign aimed at improving attendance, and creating parent-friendly school environments. The generous support of the Arctic Inspiration Prize will make this a reality."

Isabella Pain, Deputy Minister of the Nunatsiavut Government accepted the award on behalf of the SakKijânginnatuk Nunalik: Healthy homes in thriving Nunatsiavut communities team, which received $350,000 and said, "With the generous support offered through the Arctic Inspiration Prize, our team will be developing sustainable housing solutions for Nunatsiavummiut, and addressing an urgent need for culturally-relevant, energy efficient, climate adapted, affordable housing. This Prize will allow the Sustainable Communities Initiative to develop housing that is designed and built by Inuit for Inuit, creating a foundation for thriving Arctic communities."

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About the Arctic Inspiration Prize
The Arctic Inspiration Prize recognizes and promotes the extraordinary contribution made by multidisciplinary teams in the gathering of Arctic knowledge and their concrete plans to implement this knowledge into real world applications for the benefit of the Canadian Arctic, its Peoples and therefore Canada as a whole.

The Arctic Inspiration Prize is made possible through the generous endowment of the S. and A. Inspiration Foundation, the commitment of the ArcticNet Network of Centres of Excellence to voluntarily manage the Prize, as well as the contribution of numerous volunteers and partners. For more information:

About ArcticNet
ArcticNet is a Network of Centres of Excellence of Canada that brings together scientists and managers in the natural, human health and social sciences with their partners from Inuit organizations, northern communities, federal and provincial agencies and the private sector to study the impacts of climate change and modernization in the Canadian Arctic. Over 140 ArcticNet researchers and 1000 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research associates, technicians and other specialists from 30 Canadian universities and several federal and provincial departments and agencies collaborate on 38 research projects with more than 150 partner organizations from 14 countries. For more information:

SOURCE: ArcticNet

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