Indigenous populations, compared to their non-Indigenous peers, are at higher risk for suicide, substance abuse, incarceration, and homelessness – with over 90% of the homeless population in the Northwest Territories being Indigenous. The Arctic Indigenous Wellness Project is an urban land-based healing program targeting Indigenous men and women at risk of suicide and/or incarceration on the streets. They received the $1 million prize for their plan to combine Indigenous cultural education with traditional therapeutic interventions in a wilderness urban setting, with the goal of improving the mental health of at-risk Inuit, First Nation and Métis peoples through collaborative, culture-specific, community supported programs.
Nominator: The Honourable Glen Abernethy, Minister of Health and Social Services, Government of the Northwest Territories
Team Members: Be’sha Blondin, Jean Cardinal, Edna Elias, William Greenland, Rassi Nashalik, Donald Prince, Dr. Nicole Redvers (Team Leader), Magnolia A. R. Unka-Wool