Minister highlights Arviat youth and community health research

This summer almost 15 Inuit youth and students in Arviat were able to work on community-based health and research projects. Their work was recently acknowledged in the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut by the Hon. Daniel Shewchuk, Minister Responsible for Arctic College and the Nunavut Research Institute.

Shewchuk acknowledged the many community-based research projects taking place in Arviat this summer.

Announced on July 8, the Atii! Let’s Do It! project is a comprehensive healthy living intervention for children, youth, and families in Inuit communities in Nunavut and is lead by the Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre in Iqaluit.

Shelton Nipisar, Corrina Tugak, Amy Owingayak, Curtis Konek and Patrick Pingushat worked with the Wellness Centre’s Youth Media Team.

“Mr. Speaker, the Atii! project is one of nine projects under the Government of Canada’s innovation strategy, Achieving Healthier Weights in Canada’s Communities,” he said. “This project will provide Inuit children and youth with opportunities to learn about healthy food choices, traditional Inuit harvesting, and the promotion of healthy living in the community while providing opportunities for children and youth to practise good decision-making through an Atii! game show and an interactive Atii!Let’s Do It! app.”

 JAHS Summer Students Ancilla Irkok, Billy Samgushak, Martha Pingushat and Joe Curley learned about Skilled Trades while building their grow boxes.
JAHS Summer Students Ancilla Irkok, Billy Samgushak, Martha Pingushat and Joe Curley learned about Skilled Trades while building their grow boxes.

Arviat students this summer were also engaged with a community greenhouse and composting project funded by Health Canada that will see the community learning to compost and grow their own healthy plants and vegetables.

Using recycled materials, students constructed several portable grow boxes and composting units that will be tested over the next year as part of the community’s efforts to increase opportunities for local food production.

Shelton Nipisar captured this photo of team member Gregoire De Mulyder documenting the group’s work on the land.

The Canadian Institute of Child Health, Coca Cola Canada, and the Arviat Wellness Centre are working in partnership with Inuit families to explore healthy food choices and the importance of regular physical activity through a digital literacy and storybook project.

Translated into English, French, and Inuktitut, the non-branded culturally relevant material will include a storybook and activity suggestions for parents and teachers.

“Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge and thank the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre, Health Canada, Canadian Institute for Child Health, Coca-Cola Canada, and the Hamlet of Arviat’s wellness committee.”