Federal government pledges $5 million to northern Indigenous initiatives

CanNor will be investing nearly $5 million in 11 Indigenous projects across the three territories, a news release announced Sunday – International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

Federal Minister of Economic Development, Mélanie Joly, said the investment will help Indigenous communities “seize opportunities…deliver important local projects…and [support them] on their path to self-sufficiency and prosperity.”

“True reconciliation means supporting Indigenous communities and businesses by providing opportunities for their success,” she said. “I’m excited to see the difference that this investment will make for Indigenous communities across the territories.”

“Indigenous small, and medium-sized businesses exemplify the ingenuity and drive that is at the core of the entrepreneurial spirit in Canada’s territories,” Larry Bagnell, Yukon’s MP, added.

NWT will receive the biggest chunk of funding with nearly $1.9 million. It will be split between six projects across the territory:

  • $908,635 will go to Det’on Cho Management LP, the economic development arm of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation [YKDFN], to launch a rock aggregate production business division to supply local infrastructure needs. This will create the necessary aggregate to reclaim and remediate Giant Mine. The project is expected to create 12 to 14 new positions in Ndilǫ.
  • $320,000 to the YYKDFN to create a tourism, culture, and business incubator. Money will also be spent on constructing a new facility to support the tourism industry, Indigenous start-ups, and employment training opportunities for members of the First Nation.
  • $264,000 to the Denendeh Development Corporation to establish strategic investments and partnerships in the NWT. The corporation will deliver an economic forum and determine a five-year plan.
  • $215,000 to the Sahtu Dene Council to create Sahtu Keepers of the Land, a tourism development initiative. This two-year plan includes developing partnerships between the council and local community organizations to stimulate the tourism sectors in Indigenous Protected Areas in Délı̨nę, Tulita, and Fort Good Hope.
  • $150,000 to the City of Yellowknife and YKDN to develop a shared five-year economic development strategy.
  • •$75,000 to the Acho Dene Koe First Nation, to negotiate an impact benefits agreement with NorZinc Inc. This will help establish community involvement in the proposed Prairie Creek Mine Project and an all-season access road. The project plans to hire 360 people for day-to-day operation of the mine.

Nunavut will get $1.7 million in funding from CanNor, while nearly $1.27 million will go to the Yukon.