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Canada announces funding for projects in nine NWT communities


$3.1 million will be provided to help projects in nine Northwest Territories communities, the federal government said on Monday.

The money, from a federal “community revitalization” fund, will go to projects in Colville Lake, Dettah, Hay River, Inuvik, Łútsël K’é, Nahanni Butte, Norman Wells, Whatì and Yellowknife.

Many of the projects being supported were already under way in some shape or form.

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Here’s a breakdown of what the federal government told residents to expect in each community.

Colville Lake: $98,000 plus $68,000 from the NWT and $18,500 from the Behdzi Ahda First Nation for new and renovated boardwalks, docks, a new “natural green lawn for children,” picnic tables and fire pits. The work is expected to create eight seasonal jobs.

Dettah: $500,000 plus $177,315 from Det’on Cho Management to build a community park. Ryan Peters, the Yellowknives Dene First Nation’s public works director, said Elders had requested easier access to a rock outcrop that “presents a beautiful view over the land and water.” The park will have ramps, a gazebo, picnic tables, green space and a playground. “Ten seasonal jobs are anticipated,” the federal government said.

Hay River: $211,600 plus $52,900 from the Town of Hay River for work on Bob McMeekin Park, the park next to the town’s welcome sign (and, in winter, its igloo). A “monument and a modernized welcome sign” are promised alongside accessibility improvements and landscaping work. The same project received federal cash from a separate fund last year.

South of Inuvik: $63,354 for a new dock that will provide safer, easier access to the Gwich’in Tribal Council’s camp on the Mackenzie River some 16 kilometres south of the town. “The dock will accommodate more boats and facilitate an increase in camp usage,” the federal government said.

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Łútsël K’é: $449,000 plus $500,000 from the Denesoline Corporation to build what the federal government termed a “command centre,” a building that will include hotel rooms, a daycare, rentable office space, a kitchen and dining area, and an arts and crafts centre. At least six jobs will be created, Ottawa said.

Nahanni Butte: $498,975 to build an arbour, improve campsite facilities and do some trail development work. The federal government expects six seasonal jobs to be created. “This arbour will help the community members to attend to their social needs and mental well-being,” said Soham Srimani, the community’s acting band manager.

Norman Wells: $148,000 to help build a skate park.

Whatì: $445,250 plus just under $50,000 from the community government to build two outdoor basketball courts, including scoreboards, and an outdoor recreational space with benches, picnic tables, fire pits, and a small playground. “We’re totally excited for this,” said Whatì senior administrator Lisa Nitsiza. “As our youth are growing older, they’re very much into basketball.” The new all-season highway means Whatì will be able to host tournaments using the new courts, Nitsiza added.

Yellowknife: $686,910 plus $860,738 from the Islamic Society of North America to help construction of the city’s new Islamic cultural centre after the old one was demolished. The money will pay for some work on the exterior like weatherproofing. Speaking on behalf of the Islamic centre, Fouzan Khan said the new building would be a “beacon of Yellowknife’s Muslim community” supporting more than 600 Muslims in the city.

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