A local resilience project in Tuktoyaktuk that has spent the past four years helping to prepare the NWT hamlet to cope with the climate crisis has won $500,000 as a recipient of the Arctic Inspiration Prize.
The Tuktoyaktuk Community Resilience Project “is dedicated to preparing the community to make informed decisions based on climate challenges,” reports CBC News. Its aim is to establish community-based monitoring to empower community members to respond to the climate crisis.
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The project has trained a number of Tuk youth to be climate monitors. Because they are also hunters, project leader Kendyce Cockney told CBC that many of these monitors have seen the challenges occurring on the land, first-hand and up close.
The Tuk project was one of eight organizations across the North to receive the Arctic Inspiration Prize for 2022. The prize is an annual award intended as seed funding for projects that will “help improve the lives of Northerners.” Four other organizations also received a $500,000 award this year.
“No other community is faced with more challenges due to climate change than Tuk,” Cockney told CBC. “The project will ensure the empowerment of locals to build capacity and knowledge of climate-driven changes to stimulate resilience of people in future generations.
Looming large amongst these changes, writes CBC, is the spectre of relocation: “Tuk has been grappling with an eroding shoreline, and recently had to relocate four homes during the pandemic. It’s also dealing with rising sea levels and ground thaw.”
Cockney said the prize will enable the project team to hire more people and expand training programs. The team also hopes to hold a conference in the community to share and discuss climate data.