Adriana Kusugak is the executive director of litaqsiniq, the Literacy Council of Nunavut, Canada. She is beyond excited that her organization’s Pilimmaksaijuliriniq Project has won a grant worth $1 million from the Arctic Inspiration Prize. “[It’s] a little shocking, but at the same time, very exciting and humbling. We’re so, so honored to receive this award. It means a lot to us,” she said. The project in question is Inuit-designed and Inuit-led and was developed in response to the National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy. It aims to bring together traditional Inuit wellness teaching and community-based programming. Kusugak said the prize money will help the council bring together elders and therapists so the project can include traditional wellness practices along with modern mental health and wellness practices. They’ll then be able to deliver a workshop -- Pilimmaksaijuliriniq -- to community-based and frontline service providers. “We found an approach and a method that really meets people’s needs, is a heart-centered approach and is holistic in nature. It gives people a purpose, a place to go [for] new learning opportunities, confidence building -- all of which contribute to suicide prevention,” Kusugak said.

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