Kitikmeot Heritage Society and Canada partner to launch Nunamiutuqaq

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Cambridge Bay, Nunavut – Crown−Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC)

Today, the Pitquhirnikkut Ilihautiniq / Kitikmeot Heritage Society, the Government of Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities announced the launch of the Nunamiutuqaq – Building from the Land project which will build capacity, awareness, and ownership of clean energy in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, and explore the challenges of developing and supporting long-term, sustainable infrastructure across the Canadian Arctic.

The main focus on Nunamiutuqaq is the construction of a 1,300 square-foot building that will bridge traditional Inuit knowledge and architecture with experimental technologies to create spaces that are culturally informed, scalable, and incorporate the newest advances in renewable energy and sustainable design.

Conceived as a self-contained cultural workspace, the building will facilitate traditional activities, such as meat and hide preparation, tool making, and sewing informed by the experiences and needs of community members and Elders. Nunamiutuqaq will be a welcoming place of belonging where all community members-especially women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people-can gather to explore and learn about their history, traditions, and culture.

This work is the first step towards the Kitikmeot Heritage Society’s goal to build Kuugalak, a net-zero targeted cultural campus in Cambridge Bay, that would function as a hub for documenting and mobilizing culture and language research across Nunavut.

Between 2022 and 2024, the Government of Canada will provide $2,088,019 towards this project from Crown−Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada’s (CIRNAC) Cultural Spaces in Indigenous Communities Program, the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and CIRNAC’s Climate Change Preparedness in the North Program to enable ongoing geotechnical work for this cultural site. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has also contributed $500,000 to the project through the Green Municipal Fund.

This transformative program will also support Indigenous Peoples in reclaiming their identity as part of their journey towards self-determination, which is a crucial step in advancing reconciliation and building relationships between Indigenous Peoples, governments, and all Canadians.

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