February 13, 2020 – Arviat, Nunavut – Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
Northern communities are feeling the dramatic impacts of climate change in their everyday lives and Inuit youth are taking a leading role in the future and their environment. In Arviat, Nunavut, with a predominantly Inuit population of just over 2500, of whom more than 35 per cent are under 15 years old, something very innovative is happening.
With support from the Government of Canada, the Aqqiumavvik Society is developing and delivering a program where Inuit youth have the opportunity to monitor the local impacts of climate change, helping Nunavummiut address the impacts they are already experiencing, and build resilience for the future. This community and Inuit-led initiative is being integrated into the Young Hunters Program.
The Young Hunters Program connects youth 8 to 18 with elders to build cultural resilience, community wellness and food security through traditional hunting and survival practices – all while monitoring and addressing climate change impacts.
Supporting Indigenous-led climate change initiatives that engage young people is a priority among organizations and leadership right across Canada. Programs like this help to address community wellness and mental health in a holistic manner, while providing opportunities for youth in their community.
With financial support from Canada’s Climate Change Preparedness in the North Program, Indigenous Community-Based Climate Monitoring Program, and the Climate Change and Health Adaptation Program, the Young Hunters project, in just over a year, is helping to lead the way on community and Inuit led climate change adaptation. It has evolved into a home grown success story.
“The Young Hunters Program began with a local idea of re-introducing more traditional food into family diets while giving the young people hands-on experience, knowledge and understanding about the effects of climate change. It’s an innovative program and I am proud that the Government of Canada is supporting it. I offer my appreciation to the organizers who are helping young people learn new skills, reconnect with their culture and work to identify local solutions to the impacts of climate change.”
The Honourable Daniel Vandal, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Northern Affairs
“I am pleased that the Government of Canada is continuing to support Inuit-led climate change initiatives, helping communities assess and respond to the impacts that climate change is having on food security, health and traditional activities.”
The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services
“Ujjiqsuiniq Young Hunters is more than a program that trains youth to harvest sustainably — it is revitalizing cultural identity and a sense of purpose in our youth. Youth are developing skills as environmental monitors and engaging with community to make meaning of climate change. The Aqqiumavvik Society is enormously pleased to be able to offer this important program in our community.”
Kukik Baker, Executive Director
The Arviat Young Hunters Program Ujjiqsuiniq Project is led by the Aqqiumavvik Society in Arviat. It is jointly supported by the Climate Change Preparedness in the North and Indigenous Community-Based Climate Monitoring Programs (CIRNAC), as well as the Climate Change and Health Adaptation Program (ISC).
$412,062 over three years from 2018-2021 is being provided through CIRNAC’s Climate Change Preparedness in the North Program
$375,000 over three years from 2018-2021 is being provided through CIRNAC’s Indigenous Community-Based Climate Monitoring Program
$439,954.00 over four years from 2018-2022 is being provided through ISC’s Climate Change and Health Adaptation Program