K’atlodeeche First Nation (KFN) on the Hay River Reserve has received federal government funding to help host part of the Arctic Winter Games.
On March 16, the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) announced funding of $177,206 and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) provided $44,301 to help the First Nation provide a professional hosting venue for the Dene Games competition.
The funding was announced in the lead-up to the opening of the Arctic Winter Games – held from March 18 to March 24 in the South Slave – by Northwest Territories MP Michael McLeod on behalf of Navdeep Bains, the minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and the minister responsible for CanNor.
“We are very proud of this investment,” stated McLeod in a news release. “It comes at a critical time with the return of the Arctic Winter Games in the South Slave region. This project offers the opportunity to showcase the Northwest Territories not only as a tourist destination but also as an international host venue.”
The funding provided support for venue preparation (including signage), event planning and hosting skills development, as well as logistics support for participants and volunteers.
KFN itself contributed $20,000 for the project.
“The K’atlodeeche First Nation is very excited and honoured to be hosting the Dene Games for the 2018 Arctic Winter Games on the Hay River Dene Reserve,” said Chief Roy Fabian. “The support of CanNor and INAC has given us the opportunity to showcase the community and our Dene Culture.”
The funding also supported the creation of a cultural marketplace designed to promote and profile local arts and crafts to visitors.
The Dene Games competition portion of the 25th Arctic Winter Games included finger pull, snow snake, stick pull, hand games and pole push and an all-round event consisting of the scores for the three individual events.