After five months of submissions, countless hours of work by the evaluation panel and two weeks of public voting, the MNP Operation Blue Sky Challenge—an Aboriginal health initiative and competition to inspire problem-solvers from around the world to generate cost-effective ideas to combat First Nation health care challenges—today announced its prize winners!   

MNP funded three prizes based on the most innovative, creative ideas and implementable plans. The winners of the first prize of $25,000 and second prize of $5,000 were determined by an evaluation panel while the public voted for the winner of the People’s Choice prize of $5,000. There were 65 submissions in total.


First Place

Walk With Me Suicide Bereavement Workshop by the Centre for Suicide Prevention

A workshop that integrates a facilitated process to help communities understand their grief responses, gain strength to move forward and effectively integrate protective and preventative factors into their communities.


Second Place

Teepee Teaching Prenatal Program by Jennifer Leason

This project idea incorporates Indigenous Traditional Knowledge Systems (TKS) with contemporary prenatal health programming.

People's Choice Award

Drawing Wisdom from the Well by Jada-Gabrielle Pape and Hello Cool World

This project idea promotes a culturally relevant approach to connecting communities across the country with a focus on wellness.


“We were inspired by the response from innovators around the world, and would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who entered the challenge. While only three are receiving prizes, there were so many other insightful potential solutions received that we are confident that many of the innovators in this challenge will do great things in the future for the Aboriginal community in Canada,” says Laurel Wood, Executive Vice President, Clients and Services at MNP.    

“We would also like to thank all our supporters, partners, commenters and anyone else who in any way contributed to our challenge community. Without you, we would not have had the successful challenge that we did,” adds Wood.


“Operation Blue Sky was an ‘Ideation Challenge’ and the goal was to not only create ideas but to attract field experts from the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. We wanted to start a dialogue, generate interest and implement change,” adds Clayton Norris, Vice President, Aboriginal Services at MNP.

In the face of significant and varied challenges, numerous Aboriginal-led health and wellness improvement initiatives have achieved successful outcomes.

“Whether it’s establishing creative partnerships, leveraging technology and implementing e-health solutions or implementing new approaches to health care delivery and being granted full control over health budget spending, creativity and determination has led to improvement in the health of Aboriginal people and communities,” says Norris. “Although Aboriginal health has improved in recent years, First Nations, Inuit and Métis people continue to experience considerably lower health outcomes than other Canadians. We’re hoping that challenges like Operation Blue Sky will continue to promote ideas and dialogue.”

About MNP MNP is one of the largest accounting and business consulting firms in Canada, providing client-focused accounting, taxation and consulting advice. National in scope and local in focus, MNP has proudly served individuals and public and private companies for more than 55 years. Through the development of strong relationships, MNP provides organizations with personalized strategies and a local perspective to help them succeed. For more information, visit


Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to everyone who participated in this important initiative!