An immense territory of majestic beauty, the Canadian Arctic is home to a growing population of over 100,000 northern Canadians, with a majority of indigenous peoples with a millennial history and rich culture. Once considered as the last frontier, change and modernization are rapidly making the Arctic more accessible and the subject of increasing public, scientific, industrial and political interest.
Addressing the challenges and seizing the opportunities of accelerating changes in the Arctic environment, culture, technology and economy require innovative approaches, mobilizing the best knowledge from various sources into concrete solutions.
The Arctic Inspiration Prize recognizes and promotes the extraordinary contribution made by teams in the gathering of Arctic knowledge and their plans to implement this knowledge to real world applications for the benefit of the Canadian Arctic, Arctic Peoples and therefore Canada as a whole.
The $1 million CAD Arctic Inspiration Prize is awarded annually and is made possible through the generous endowment of the S. and A. Inspiration Foundation, the commitment of ArcticNet to voluntarily manage the Prize, as well as the contribution of numerous volunteers and partners.
24 April, 2012 Eye on the Arctic – Organizers of the International Polar Year 2012 Conference in Montreal announced the launch of a new $1 million Arctic Inspiration Prize Monday.
The S. and A. Inspiration Foundation was founded by Ms. Sima Sharifi and Mr. Arnold Witzig in 2008 as a not-for-profit corporation, located in Vancouver, B.C.
Sima Sharifi was born in Iran. As a student, she joined the country's movement for democracy.
She eventually arrived in Canada in 1986 where she found her new home. Her first years in Canada were difficult. While volunteering for a number of NGOs she studied French and English and pursued hereducation. She completed her bachelor's and master's degrees in linguistics in Vancouver and is currently completing her PhD at the University of Ottawa, thereby achieving her childhood educational dream.
Throughout all her years in Canada, she has not forgotten her other goals: to achieve gender equality in her environment and to overcome racism and religious indoctrination.
She believes that Canada is the best country on Earth to live in.