In 2023 and 2024 members of the @1860 Winnipeg Arts collective are working with Niriqatiginnga and the Kivalliq Chamber of Commerce to develop an Online Marketplace for food and cultural sector entrepreneurship.

Niriqatiginnga: Our First Year in Review

As we bid farewell to a challenging 2023, it is with great pleasure that we are able to reflect upon the milestones and achievements of Niriqatiginnga's first year.

As we bid farewell to a challenging 2023, it is with great pleasure that we are able to reflect upon the milestones and achievements of Niriqatiginnga’s first year. The journey our project and its supporters have undertaken together has been filled with challenges, growth, and inspiring accomplishments.

We’ve spent much of this whole year consulting, engaging and preparing to launch Niriqatiginnga as a community-driven, food sector entrepreneurship program.

Since we ramped up our consultations this spring, we’ve established relationships between sector participants, industry organizations, food producers and other Manitoba businesses, Indigenous community members and governments.

These conversations continue to grow, encompassing local, regional, national and even international collaboration. The team is looking forward to presenting during Northern Perspectives 2024 (Winnipeg) this February and Arctic Congress 2024 (Bodø) in June.

Community engagement and outreach initiatives have successfully connected our teams with individuals and organizations passionate about our project’s mission. These vibrant discussions, shared insights, and collaborative efforts have truly enriched the sense of community that lies at the heart of Niriqatiginnga.

Impacts and Outcomes

As well, 2023 saw a number of accomplishments we can all be proud of:

  • Establishing our platform: This summer we started working on getting our web site up and running. It continues to grow and take shape more each day. Our hopes are that it will continue to grow into a vibrant platform for sharing information, and we hope to see increasingly more content and contributions moving forward.
  • Youth are stepping up: Tony Eetak, a member of the @1860 Winnipeg Arts collective and a founding member of Niriqatiginnga presented music and video for Global Dignity Day 2023 and was recognized as a national role model by the non-profit organization Global Dignity Canada.
  • Increasing international collaboration: Biosystems students from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design spent six weeks this fall working with Niriqatiginnga to design a toolkit and facilitator’s guide to help shape structured activities for the year ahead. We also had a great round of community conversations with the Decision Making in Supply Chain Operations students from the Labovitz School of Business and Economics at the University of Minnesota Duluth.
  • Supporting community-led research: Niriqatiginnga was accepted to convene a session for the Arctic Congress 2024 in Bodø, Norway this June. The program is also preparing to host sessions and a special announcement during Northern Perspectives 2024 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

And, in the spirit of reflecting upon this remarkable year, we are thrilled to share some exciting news with our Niriqatiginnga community. We are delighted to announce that our project, titled “Niriqatiginnga: Towards a Framework for Northern Food Systems Innovation” has been approved for funding through the new Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership Indigenous Agriculture and Food Systems program. This successful application is a testament to our collective dedication to advancing agriculture and the agri-food industry within Manitoba. Congratulations to everyone who worked so incredibly hard over many weeks and months to make it all happen.

We’ll have more news on these exciting developments early in January, so stay tuned. We’re literally just getting started.

Looking ahead

As we step into a new year, and Niriqatiginnga prepares for even more exciting activities, we are confident this coming year will bring about transformative changes and lasting positive impacts. There are a number of people to thank for their incredible support over the last few months as we worked to conceptualize the many components that will form Niriqatiginnga as a food sector entrepreneurship program and participatory food security research project. 

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to each member of our growing Niriqatiginnga community, including: Tony Eetak, Lucy Eetak, Dorothy Tootoo, O.Nu and Nellie Kusugak, O.Nu; the Hon. Dan Vandal, Hon. Senator Dennis Patterson, Ethan Caners, Jamie Bell, Dr. Olaf Kuhlke, Dr. Wenqing Zhang, Kami Norland, Tara Tootoo Fotheringham, Mike Barrett, Emmanuella Lambropoulos, Cliff Caners, Maeva Gauthier, Katrin Schmid, Constance Menzies, Wendy Carnegie, Mervin Traverse, Robin Young, Bryan Fotheringham, Ashe Underwood, Anastasia Broman, Ellis Anderson, Hachelle Carson, Connor Johnson, Lesley McGater and Alvaro Serrano. We also remember those we have lost this year, the late Wendy Brabant and the late John Muryunik Alikut for their contributions to supporting and contributing to our project.

We also thank Global Dignity Canada, the Labovitz School of Business and Economics, University of Minnesota Duluth and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, the @1860 Winnipeg Arts collective, Chocolatier Constance Popp, the Manitoba Agriculture Food Development Centre, University of Victoria Community Based Research Lab, the University of the Arctic, Kivalliq Chamber of Commerce and the Manitoba Agriculture Sustainable Canadian Agriculture Partnership.

Their passion, commitment, and enthusiasm are the driving forces behind our success. In the year ahead, let’s continue to work together, inspire change, and make a difference through our efforts. Thank you for being an integral part of our journey, and here’s to a year filled with growth, collaboration, and impactful achievements.

Wishing you all a joyful holiday season and a prosperous New Year!

Get Involved!

Our project teams will reassemble in early January after a well-earned break. For more information on Niriqatiginnga, and how you can get involved in supporting our program, contact us at



The Niriqatiginnga Pilot Project serves as a prototype social program, arts entrepreneurship and online marketplace incubating data- driven research and innovation, capacity building and collaborative partnerships to address food insecurity in northern communities. The program uses a fusion of creative arts and data-driven approaches to cultural entrepreneurship, through partnerships with northern Indigenous Elders and youth, local Winnipeg businesses, Manitoba farmers, food producers, artists and researchers.

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About Niriqatiginnga

As a community program, nurturing the skills, knowledge, and networks of our future leaders, this unique, pilot program contributes beyond the success of its participants. Niriqatiginnga also lays foundations for sustainable and impactful business and entrepreneurship programming across the Kivalliq Region and Northern Manitoba.

We’re proud to be members and volunteers with the Kivalliq Chamber of Commerce.

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