Tuktoyaktuk will receive $5.5 million to combat climate change from the federal department of Crown-Indigenous relations and northern affairs.
Friday’s announcement of the funding follows longstanding concerns about erosion moving the nearby shoreline inland and melting sea ice contributing to rising sea levels.
Erosion has already caused infrastructure issues in Tuktoyaktuk. Land near the shoreline has been deemed unstable to build on.
Of the $5.5 million, approximately $3.6 million will go directly to the efforts of the community and NWT government to tackle coastal erosion, including relocating affected residents.
The money will also help finalize structural designs to protect the shoreline.
Mayor Erwin Elias said in a press release that the community had seen rapid deterioration of its peninsula since the 1970s.
“As a community, we decided to tackle the problem head-on,” Elias said. “Together we implemented a suite of adaptation measures aimed at protecting our community while preserving Inuvialuit culture and traditions essential for a successful and sustainable future.”
The rest of the money will go toward initiatives like using ice monitoring technology to analyze sea-ice thickness and local ice conditions.
A youth documentary on climate change will be produced, while additional solar power facilities will be funded to lessen dependence on fossil fuels.
A locally managed climate monitoring program will be established, the press release stated, as Inuvialuit Elders have expressed their concern that weather is becoming hard to predict due to the rapidly changing climate.
Dan Vandal, the federal Minister of Northern Affairs, said: “Tuktoyaktuk continues to show unity and determination to find solutions. The community is a leader in managing coastal erosion and is a source of knowledge that they can share with other northern communities facing similar climate change challenges.”