Nunavik’s Atanniuvik wins $500,000 Arctic Inspiration Prize to support Inuit self-determination in research


February 13, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario

Atanniuvik, Nunavik’s new research governance organization, was awarded a $500,000 Arctic Inspiration Prize (AIP). It was announced at the 11th Annual AIP Awards Ceremony in Ottawa, which took place as part of the Northern Lights Conference.

The Arctic Inspiration Prize is the largest annual prize in Canada. It inspires, enables and celebrates the achievements of the people of the North, recognizing diverse teams with innovative projects.

“Atanniuvik” means ‘a place to seek permission’ in Inuktitut. Atanniuvik is a new, made-in Nunavik research governance body in the process of being established by Nunavik organizations. It will ensure Nunavik leadership and authority over research in our homeland and enhance benefits from research for Nunavimmiut.

This initiative responds to a critical need in Nunavik, which is currently the only region in Inuit Nunangat without a centralized research approval process in place. Lack of coordination and oversight over an exponentially growing volume of research activity has been overwhelming communities and organizations. Atanniuvik will ensure that Nunavik Inuit are in the drivers’ seat of research about our people, lands and waters, so that this knowledge can be mobilized to benefit Nunavik society.

Atanniuvik’s AIP project, Building Nunavik’s Capacity for Self-Determination in Research, focuses on building the human capacity at the heart of Atanniuvik’s operations. To ensure that Atanniuvik is run by and for Inuit, this project will focus on: hiring, training and mobilizing staff; establishing and training community and regional multi-organizational committees for research review and oversight; engaging Nunavik communities and organizations in identifying research priorities and needs; and communicating about Atanniuvik within Nunavik and beyond. While this AIP project is critical for the success of Atanniuvik, investment in Nunavik capacity for managing research will have significant long-term benefits for Nunavik society as a whole.

Atanniuvik was nominated for the Arctic Inspiration Prize by Lisa Koperqualuk, the President of Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada.

Seven regional Nunavik partner organizations are providing financial or in-kind support that will add to the $500,000 amount from the AIP, namely Avataq Cultural Institute, Kativik Ilisarniliriniq, Kativik Municipal Housing Bureau, Kativik Regional Government, Makivvik, the Nunavik Marine Region Wildlife Board, and the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services. Further, the Echo Foundation, the Gordon Foundation and the Fonds de recherche du Québec have also pledged financial support for the Atanniuvik AIP project.


“We believe that this innovative project is not only relevant, but also necessary, for Nunavik and it will have a profound and tangible impact in the target communities as well as on the wider Arctic research community.” Lisa Koperqualuk, President, Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada, Atanniuvik nominator for the AIP

Building Nunavik’s Capacity for Self-Determination in Research is key to enabling a profound change in how research is managed in Nunavik so that it can truly serve Nunavimmiut wellbeing. It is strongly needed and supported by a regional consensus which is just as strong.” Adamie Delisle-Alaku, Makivvik Executive Vice President, Environment, Wildlife & Research

“The Kativik Regional Government strongly believes that Atanniuvik will allow Nunavik to better develop, share and manage northern research in a way that respects the values and priorities of the people, the communities and the regional organizations’ mandates. We believe that this inspiring project is strongly needed in Nunavik.” Hilda Snowball, Chairperson, Kativik Regional Government

“Winning the AIP is a milestone for Atanniuvik. We are extremely excited because the AIP will allow us to start building Atanniuvik’s human capacity. We are proud and thankful that our project is believed in and supported by so many.” – Aleashia Echalook, Start-up Director, Atanniuvik



Camille Fréchette
Atanniuvik Steering Committee Secretary