The Government of the Northwest Territories Congratulates Arctic Inspiration Winner

News Releases

Yellowknife — February 11, 2020

It was another proud moment for Northerners last week in Ottawa, as Minister Chinna presented the Arctic Inspiration Prize to Northern Compass.

The Arctic Inspiration Prize recognizes and promotes the contribution made by teams who have dedicated their time to projects that serve the Canadian Arctic, the people and Canada as a whole. 

Northern Compass, who has received a $1 million dollar prize, is made of a skilled team comprised of educators, students and community members from across North, including the Executive Director of Northern Youth Abroad – a program that has been jointly supported by the Departments of Education, Culture and Employment and Department of Municipal and Community Affairs over the years.

Northern Compass aims to enable Northern youth to successfully transition from high school to post-secondary education and on to fulfilling careers through pathways relevant to their cultural context. The program model will motivate and encourage youth to graduate high school, make informed decisions about their future, and then provide the support and access necessary to pursue and achieve their goals. The project proposes to serve youth between the ages of 15 and 25, living in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.

This is the 2nd nomination for Northern Compass. 



“I was happy to be able to present this award to Northern Compass last week in Ottawa. The project was started through Northern Youth Abroad’s network of passionate alumni and staff, with a mission that aligns well the goals of the GNWT. The Department of Municipal and Community Affairs has been a long-time supporter of the Northern Youth Abroad Program and as an extension, a supporter of the Northern Compass program, and I look forward to continuing to see the relationship continue over the years.”

-Paulie Chinna, Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs


“One of our challenges in the NWT involves finding ways to support our students, particularly in our smaller communities, as they transition from high school to post-secondary. I am encouraged by the program model put forward by Northern Compass and am confident that they will support our goal of increasing student success across our territory.”

-R.J Simpson, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment


“Programs like Northern Compass are essential for the health of Northern youth. As a Northern Youth Abroad facilitator for the past 13 years, I have seen what can happen when our children are given opportunities to participate and learn. They emerge with a sense of pride in their culture and community, develop leadership skills, and are encouraged by the promotion of success in education.  I’d like to congratulate Northern Compass on this achievement and look forward to watching the program prosper.”

-Shane Thompson, Minister Responsible for Youth 


Quick Facts:

  • The Arctic Inspiration Prize may be distributed through as many as 10 prizes with a total value of $3 million dollars
  • The Government of the Northwest Territories is a proud contributing partner to the Arctic Inspiration Prize.
  • The Arctic Inspiration Prize is focused on multidisciplinary teams who propose ways to address root causes of issues that are of importance to the Arctic and its peoples.

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Media requests

Trista Haugland

Media and Communications Coordinator

Government of the Northwest Territories

Phone: 867-767-9140 Ext. 11092