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Thaidene Nene Initiative Winner of Arctic Inspiration Prize



Last night, I attended the inaugural awarding of the Arctic Inspiration Prize at a ceremony in Vancouver. I was thrilled to be representing CPAWS as part of the Thaidene Nene Initiative Team that traveled from across the country to attend this exciting event recognizing excellence in Canada’s North. The Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation and their partners have been awarded a portion of this new prize for their inspirational and innovative work to protect their 35,000 square kilometre traditional homeland and age-old traditions that are deeply connected to it. (Check out my last blog about Thaidene Nene for more information on this amazing place!)

Gloria Enzoe, Lutsel K’e’s Thaidene Nene Program Manager, and Stephanie Poole, Band Councillor, accepted the award on behalf of the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation and the Thaidene Nene Team. Both spoke eloquently about what protecting Thaidene Nene means to the generations of Lutsel K’e Dene, and the welcome attention that the Arctic Inspiration Prize will draw to the work to protect Thaidene Nene, while providing tourism-based economic benefits for the community of Lutsel K’e.

The Thaidene Nene Initiative Team was presented with $100,000 and a gorgeous Inuit sculpture of a beluga, and was the only team from the NWT or Yukon to be awarded a Prize; the others teams all hailed from the eastern Arctic. And while they are all doing very valuable, interesting, and in fact inspiring work, the Thaidene Nene Initiative stood out both geographically and in its broad scope.

CPAWS is very proud to be part of the team working to permanently protect Thaidene Nene. The Arctic Inspiration Prize gives our extensive team valuable recognition of the effective collaboration that is advancing Thaidene Nene to foster ecological integrity, cultural continuity, and economic sustainability in the core of the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation’s homeland.

Learn more about Thaidene Nene at www.landoftheancestors.ca, and sign up for updates here.


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Photos

Top: Members of the Thaidene Nene Initiative Team accept the 2012 Arctic Inspiration Prize in Vancouver, December 13 2012. L to R: Stephen Ellis LKDFN, Steven Nitah, LKDFN, Mike Palmer TNC, Gloria Enzoe LKDFN, Erica Janes CPAWS, Stephanie Poole LKDFN

Middle: Gloria Enzoe makes acceptance speech for AIP

Bottom: Stephanie Poole and Stephen Ellis with the AIP 'cheque' at the awards banquet