Inuit Wellness Summits hosted across Inuit Nunangat

We are happy to announce that our Inuit Wellness Summits—the first stage of our AIP million dollar prize Pilimmaksaijuliriniq Project — have successfully concluded.

Over the past fiscal year, we hosted six of our Inuit Wellness Summits, designed to gather frontline community workers with Elders to learn new information and share what wellness is and what it means from an Inuit perspective. We are incredibly grateful to all our participants!

From October 2023 until March 2024, we ran and attended three-day Inuit Wellness Summits across the four regions of Inuit Nunangat. These took place in the communities of:

  • Inuvik in the Inuvialuit region
  • Cambridge Bay in the Kitikmeot region
  • Rankin Inlet in the Kivalliq region
  • Iqaluit in the Qikiqtaaluk region
  • Kuujjuaq in Nunavik
  • Nain in Nunatsiavut

At every Summit, Ilitaqsiniq facilitators were welcomed by engaging and receptive frontline community workers and experienced Elders. We were humbled by participants who were all so open to receiving and sharing their experiences and stories. Between 20 and 25 participants attended each Summit, including several Elders who led the discussions on what Inuit Wellness once was, currently is and could be.

We are very thankful to all the participants and Elders who took the time to share their wisdom and knowledge. We feel privileged that you trusted us with your personal stories. We will treat them with respect and dignity, as they help us to move forward.

Over the coming months, Ilitaqsiniq staff will begin to analyze all data collected during the six gatherings to continue the Pilimmaksaijuliriniq Project. Stay tuned for more information on what we learned from our Inuit Wellness Summits!

Background on the Pilimmaksaijuliriniq Project

In 2022, Ilitaqsiniq piloted a “train the trainer” workshop called “Developing Community Leaders in Non-Formal Programming.” Based on a holistic, integrated approach founded on Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, this workshop provided frontline community workers with the support they need to engage in:

  • Program development from a trauma-informed perspective
  • Embedding the literacy and language skills central to Ilitaqsiniq’s non-formal cultural programming
  • A deeper understanding of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit in our modern-day context
  • Ilitaqsiniq’s style of project management skills

The Inuit Wellness Summits supported the development of an expansion to the pilot program based on what we learned about Inuit wellness teachings and additional front-line resiliency. This work is made possible thanks to our funders the Arctic Inspiration Prize, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., Department of Health – Inuusivut, Agnico Eagle and MakeWay. Thank you!