Pinnguaq claims $10-million Smart Cities prize

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A Nunavut project has been awarded the $10-million Smart Cities prize through Infrastructure Canada, it was announced Tuesday.

Brandon Bunnie of Pinnguaq, left, works with a te(a)ch student in Baker Lake in 2017.
photo courtesy Pinnguaq

The Pinnguaq Association, a non-profit organization based in Pangnirtung, will now have funding to create physical locations for play and learning in several more communities in the territory. An Iqaluit “makerspace” was opened last September, giving youth a “central hub for creativity, innovation, and knowledge-sharing in Nunavut,” as Pinnguaq is described by the association. The project is also known as Community, Connectivity, and Digital Access for Suicide Prevention in Nunavut.

The focus is on arts, science, math, engineering and technology. The development of apps that incorporate the Inuit language are among the initiative’s achievements.  

“In the last year, we have piloted this project and know it builds resilience, capacity, and creates community around wellness, and how tech can be used to support that,” a promotional project video states. “We present this project as a way to provide the tools to enable youth to unlock modes of expression, economic opportunities and [an] emotional outlet.”

The Embrace Life Council and the Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre, as well as the Nunavut Association of Municipalities are partners in Pinnguaq.

More information to come.