The federal government on Wednesday said it will invest $1.8 million toward projects across the Beaufort Delta.
The cash, provided through economic development agency CanNor, is split between five initiatives in Inuvik, Fort McPherson, and the Inuvialuit and Gwich’in settlement regions.
Michael McLeod, the NWT’s Liberal MP, said 25 new full-time and part-time jobs are anticipated as a result of the funding.
The recipients are the Inuvialuit Community Economic Development Organization (ICEDO), Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC), Tetl’it Zheh Development Corporation, Teetl’it Gwich’in Band, and the Community Garden Society of Inuvik. Each project involves economic development or food security.
The ICEDO is receiving $550,000 and itself providing $223,328 to develop a four-year economic recovery plan for the region. CanNor said the project is expected to create 15 new jobs, expand two, and maintain five existing positions.
$550,000 is going to the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation for gas exploration and field studies related to its potential gas site. The work is estimated to cost a little more than $1 million in total, with 10 jobs set to be created.
The Tetl’it Zheh Development Corporation, in Fort McPherson, is getting $277,363 to install a security fence, renovate a garage, and build a lumber storage area at its facility among other improvements.
Trina Nerysoo, the corporation’s acting manager, said the corporation was “excited about our future plans” and the development of “a prosperous and thriving First Nations business.”
Food security in the Beaufort Delta
The Teetl’it Gwich’in Band Council has received $100,000 from the federal government to expand its three-year community freezer program. The funds will pay for a nw freezer to store country food and training workshops for community members to learn about harvesting food from the land.
“The program will allow us to teach traditional methods of handling, preparing, butchering and safely storing food,” said Teetl’it Gwich’in Chief Wanda Pascal, “so that they can be used for household consumption and shared at community events including feasts.”
The Community Garden Society of Inuvik, which operates the town’s community greenhouse, received funding for food security projects amounting to $400,500.
The money will be put toward the organization’s new commercial hydroponic greenhouse, which will grow leafy greens year-round.
According to executive director Ray Solotki, an Inuvik resident has been hired to run the greenhouse. The facility is expected to be up and running in the coming weeks, with the first harvest in a couple of months’ time.