Yellowknife jail inmates to be offered trapper training

A pilot project in which trappers teach skills to inmates at Yellowknife’s North Slave Correctional Complex is set to begin early next year.  

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice, Ngan Trinh, said the program “will combine practical skills training and in-class learning” through a partnership with the territory’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

“In-class activities will consist of knowledge in enforcement and regulations, the Genuine Mackenzie Valley Fur program and economics of fur, and trip planning and survival skills,” Trinh said by email.


“The practical skill training will encompass trap setting, pelt preparation, and outdoor skills.”

Erin Kelly, the deputy minister of environment and natural resources, last week told the legislature training “will be done within the facility but there’ll be a tent erected on the property to make it feel more relevant.”

Trinh said the territorial government “is exploring options for supporting participants to overcome barriers to going out on the land” once the program ends.

During the same briefing in the legislature, ENR’s assistant deputy minister of operations, Brett Elkin, said the program would provide inmates with “opportunities for income upon release.”

The program “is still in the preparation stages,” according to Trinh, and is expected to launch in January 2022.