Inuvialuit Regional Corporation congratulates 2021 Arctic Inspiration Prize Laureates, calls for other partners to fund their work

March 5, 2022

Inuvialuit Regional Corporation congratulates the winners of the 2021 Arctic Inspiration Prize and calls on northern partners to help fund the prize-winning project, Hope House.

The largest annual prize in Canada, the Arctic Inspiration Prize last night awarded more than $3-million to eight teams leading projects to improve life in the North. Three of this year’s winning projects are being led within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and received a combined $1,495,000 during the awards ceremony.

“I am proud of the leadership and vision shown by all the Arctic Inspiration Prize laureates,” said Duane Smith, IRC Chair and CEO. “The three winning project’s from the ISR are a tribute to the vision and compassion of Inuvialuit, and will help improve Inuvialuit lives.”

The Arctic Inspiration Prize is awarded by the AIP Charitable Trust, which relies on the support of various Indigenous, government, industry and philanthropic partners.

This year’s laureates within the ISR are:

Supporting Wellbeing 

The importance of land-based programming as a tool for Indigenous cultural resurgence is increasingly recognized in the North. Supporting Wellbeing is a training program for people who deliver land-based programming, with the aim of helping them mitigate and respond to mental health challenges in remote environments. This training would be delivered in the Northwest Territories and introduce participants to topics related to the planning and delivery of trauma-informed on the land programs, including intergenerational trauma, suicide intervention, conflict resolution, and participant aftercare.

The project was awarded $500,000, and IRC’s Health and Wellness team is involved in the project.

 Tuktoyaktuk Community Climate Resiliency Project

This team was awarded $500,000 to help the community measure and monitor the effects of climate change to support their decision making. The work will build capacity and knowledge to stimulate resilience of the people and future generations.  

The project is being led by Kendyce Cockney of the Tuktoyaktuk Community Corporation 

Hope House 

Homelessness is a growing problem in the North, particularly in Inuvik, which has seen a large influx of homeless people from the Western Arctic. Hope House aims to open and operate a new facility and provide clients experiencing homelessness with support including mental health counselling and referrals to rehabilitation, social housing programs, and labour market opportunities. 

IRC staff Peggy Day, Veronica Kasook and Susan Peffer are leading the project in their roles with the Inuvik Homeless Shelter Advisory Board.

The project was awarded $495,000 by AIP. The total cost of the project is estimated at $938,700, and IRC has also committed $22,500 a year for three years as well as $130,000 for in-kind staff salaries.

“The Arctic Inspiration Prize agrees that we can not turn a blind eye to the growing issue of homelessness in the ISR,” said Chair Smith. “I call on the Town of Inuvik, Nihtat Gwich’in Council, and other government partners to join us in contributing to this important project.”

IRC congratulates all this year’s AIP winners and nominees and looks forward to seeing the positive impacts of this important work across the North.

For more information, please contact

About the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation

Established in 1984 to manage the settlement outlined in the Inuvialuit Final Agreement, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation represents the collective interests of Inuvialuit in and beyond the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. The IRC works to continually improve the economic, social and cultural well-being of the Inuvialuit through implementation of the IFA and by all other available means.

News release: Inuvialuit Regional Corporation congratulates 2021 Arctic Inspiration Prize Laureates, calls for other partners to fund their work