N.W.T. organizations, community governments get funding boost for health programming

Alissa Sallans, the manger of the Garden Society of Inuvik, says the funding will her her organization offer more programming (Submitted by Alissa Sallans)

By Mah Noor Mubarik · CBC News

N.W.T. organizations and community governments get a boost of funding for health programming

Many community organizations and local governments in Northwest Territories are getting thousands of dollars for programs which support healthy lifestyles this year.

The Healthy Choices Fund, an initiative from the territory’s Department of Health and Social Services, is meant to increase education and awareness around healthy choices, with awarded projects being able to win anywhere from $10,000 to $75,000 in funding.

this year’s recipients were announced just days ago, on Oct. 12. Over $960,000 of territorial and federal funding is being given out, and twenty one recipients were awarded for the 2023-2024 year.

One recipient of the funding this year is the Community Garden Society of Inuvik, a non-profit organization that runs a greenhouse in the town.

The funding will be used to build an established kitchen space within the greenhouse, which will allow the society to offer more services.

“We’ll be able to run skill building workshops and training and presentations on a wide range of topics from healthy food cooking, and eating to canning and food waste reduction,” said Alissa Sallans, the manager of the non-profit.

People who come to the greenhouse will  be able to learn how to prep and cook from the food grown in it.

A picture of the greenhouse in Inuvik (submitted by Alissa Sallans)

The YWCA NWT also recieved funding this year, for their Northern Youth Leadership Program.

The program involves improving youth’s self esteem and raising awareness of healthy relationship and build social skills through a variety of different activities. Youth have the opportunity to openly discuss their feelings, have group discussions, volunteer and hear from a variety of different guest speakers on things like mental health.

Money from the funding will go toward purchasing supplies for arts and crafts, meals for the youth and entry fees for youth to go to different spaces.

Underneath the Northern Youth Leadership Program are three programs. GirlSpace, Dudes Club, and Project Child Recovery which is more geared toward children who have experienced family violence and gives them a safe space to talk about their feelings.

The YWCA offers programming offered to youth. (Submitted by Alayna Ward)

Alayna Ward, the director of community relations for YWCA NWT, said getting the funding in incredible because GirlSpace doesn’t receive consistent funding.

“So this just it gives us some stability and it it helps us plan a little bit better long term,” she said.

Alana Kronstal, the manger of health promotion for the department of health and social services, said the funding is important because a lot of people who have innovative ideas about promoting health comes from people working on the ground in the communities themselves.

“They have the best sense of what their needs are,” she said.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Pangnirtung, Nunavut will soon have a new wellness centre, CBC News

Finland : Finland’s elder care needs funding boost to meet Nordic standards: researcher, Yle News

Sweden: Giving birth in a car: a real rural problem in Sweden, Radio Sweden

United States: Alarming number of patients at Alaskan psychiatric emergency room, Alaska Public Media

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