Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today, I would like to highlight and celebrate the recipients of the 8th Annual Arctic Inspiration Prize, Northern Compass and The Dehcho: River Journeys. The 8th Annual Arctic Inspiration Prize Awards Ceremony was held in Ottawa, Ontario, on February 5th. At the ceremony, Northern Compass received the grand prize of $1 million, and The Dehcho: River Journeys project received $370,000.
The Arctic Inspiration Prize recognizes and promotes the extraordinary contribution made in the gathering of Arctic knowledge in the design to celebrate and bring further awareness to organizations and their plans to implement this knowledge to real-world applications, for the benefit of the Canadian Arctic and the Arctic peoples. I had the honour of presenting to Northern Compass with their $1-million prize in Ottawa last week, and would like to share with you an overview of their award winning program:
- Northern Compass is a skilled team of educators, students, and community members from across the North.
- The team includes representation from a program that has been supported by the GNWT over the years, the Northern Youth Abroad program.
- Northern Compass provides northern youth with tailored support and tools that will allow them to overcome the barriers that they may face when transitioning from high school to post-secondary education. They aim to:
- "Dramatically increase achievement amongst Northerners pursuing their education and career goals after high school, enabling them to become full participants in their communities and beyond."
- The project motivates youth to graduation from high school and for them to make informed decisions about their future. It also provides support and increased access to training and programs that allow northern youth to pursue and achieve their goals.
Thank you to their nominator, the honourable David Joanasie, Minister of Education, Minister of Culture and Heritage, Minister of Languages, Legislative Assembly of Nunavut.
I would like to congratulate the team leaders, Jim Snider, Karen Aglukark, Lois Philipp, Rebecca Bisson, who have put in so much time providing accessibility and the relevant resources with information on funding, housing, budgets, and other areas related to the northern students' success.
The Dehcho: River Journeys project was also a recipient of an Arctic Inspiration Award. This project did:
- Travel on the Mackenzie River, from the Deh Cho to the Delta, and bridged the past and the present, offering a multi-media experience that explores how the past 100 years have been transformed on that river.
- Students have collaborated on two short films, one based on materials and the other based on modern-day journeys on the river with the present-day elders. The elders will describe and explain the changes that they have seen during this lifetime.
- Throughout the project, the development of the interactive and educational online experience will allow students to view the films and then use their new-found knowledge to resolve real-life environmental issues of the Mackenzie River and the watershed today.
Thank you to their nominator, Dr. Frank Tester, professor at University of British Columbia School of Social Work. Team Members include Dr. Gordon Christie, Alison de Pelham, Brian Jaffray, Terry Jaffray, Martina Norwegian, Brenda Parlee, Daniel Seguin, and Sharon Snowshoe. Thank you for your work on this project, and congratulations on your achievement. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.