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Mont Tremblant

Land-based learning camp

Canadian Mountain Network (CMN) Co-Research Director, Norma Kassi, has been awarded the prestigious 2020 Arctic Inspiration Prize (AIP) for her project in Northern Canada, which will train Indigenous youth in Indigenous-led conservation and stewardship. The AIP is the largest annual prize in Canada and provides seed-funding to initiatives by Northerners for Northerners. The prize recognizes Northern innovation and excellence and encourages teamwork for the betterment of life in Canada’s North.

Funding from AIP, together with support from CMN, will bring the total project budget to 1 million dollars, which will allow for up to 30 youth from the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Labrador to attend 10-day training camps in 2022 and 2023. During these training camps, youth will work together, live together, learn traditional knowledge from Indigenous Elders and scientific expertise from researchers directly on the land. Not only will this build resiliency for Indigenous youth but will develop community capacities to understand and respond to environmental change, while contributing to diversifying economies in the North and supporting adaptation and sustainability.

Norma Kassi’s project, Youth Training in Ethical Knowledge Sharing and Co-production to Advance Northern, Indigenous-led Conservation and Stewardship will train a generation of Indigenous youth to design and deliver relevant research projects using Indigenous and community-based research methods, as well as ethical approaches to knowledge sharing between Indigenous and Western ways of knowing. Youth will be trained both as guardians and researchers to develop the skills to understand, work and care for the lands and waters within their traditional territories.

This project is made possible with the contributions and partnerships from the Canadian Mountain Network, Yukon Region Assembly of First Nations, Council of Yukon First Nations, Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning, Gwich’in Tribal Council, Labrador Institute of Memorial University and Sahtú Renewable Resources Board.

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