GNWT Congratulates FOXY on winning Arctic Inspiration Prize

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YELLOWKNIFE (December 12, 2014) – The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is congratulating FOXY (Fostering Open eXpression among Youth), recipients of the third annual Arctic Inspiration Prize announced Wednesday night in Ottawa.Premier McLeod spoke today about the importance of empowering young women in the NWT and the key role they play as our future leaders.

“Congratulations to FOXY and all the young women who have contributed to its success while participating in their programs,” said Premier Bob McLeod, Minister Responsible for Women. “FOXY’s unique approach to participatory action research brings young women together as peers to talk about their experiences and the challenges they face growing up in small Northern communities and turns that real-life knowledge into practical solutions that are in touch with Northern realities. I am pleased to see the value of this approach and the knowledge it can contribute to the understanding of life in the North recognized on a national level.”

Health and Social Services Minister Glen Abernethy attended the award presentation ceremony. “Supporting people to help identify their own priorities and solutions for addressing some of the pervasive health and social challenges Northerners face is a central principle of our government’s approach to promoting personal and community wellness,” said Minister Abernethy. “FOXY uses the arts to facilitate discussion and learning about sensitive topics and complements the GNWT’s own community-based youth programming. I am a big supporter of FOXY and congratulate them on being the first winners of the whole $1 million Arctic Inspiration Prize.”

FOXY is a northern-based, youth-led sexual health education program that has been operating in the Northwest Territories for three years. It focuses on the complex determinants of sexual health in the Canadian North, not just visible indicators of sexual health problems and provides honest, realistic and comprehensive education that empowers youth to make their own informed decisions. It recognizes and addresses the link between sexual health and mental health and supports youth to pursue healthy relationships based on equality, respect and consent. By encouraging youth to connect with their cultures and helping foster the growth of young leaders and strong social support networks, FOXY also contributes to community wellness.

GNWT support for FOXY has included financial contributions totaling $115,000 for leadership retreats and school workshops from the Departments of Municipal and Community Affairs and Health and Social Services during the past two years, as well as in-kind services of a mental health worker for the 2013 Peer Leadership Retreat. The Department of Education, Culture and Employment has also accredited FOXY programming for delivery in NWT high schools.

Premier McLeod nominated FOXY for the Arctic Inspiration Prize in September of 2014; the nomination was supported with letters from Minister Abernethy, Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs Robert C. McLeod and Minister of Education, Culture and Employment, Jackson Lafferty.

Media inquiries:

Brenda Norris
Media Liaison
Government of the Northwest Territories
Tel: 867-669-2302