The NWT will see almost $2 million in funding for Indigenous projects according to a federal funding announcement made Sunday.
The Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor), announced an investment of nearly $5 million for the three territories to support projects that promote sustainable community economic development and facilitate growth, according to a news release.
The funding supports 11 Indigenous community led organizations, six of which are in the NWT.
Almost half of the money, $908,635, is going into a Giant Mine reclamation and remediation project being carried out by Yellowknife Dene owned Det’on Cho Management LP (DCM).
By the end of the two year project, the goal is for DCM to establish a rock aggregate production division and to develop the controversial Vee Lake Quarry in order to provide the necessary materials for remediating the mine. The project is expected to create 12 to 14 new full-time positions in N’dilo.
Also supported by the funding, are projects focused in economic development, including a shared strategy between the city of Yellowknife and the YKDFN and an investment vehicle with the Denendeh Development Corp. Tourism plans through the Sahtu Dene Council and Yellowknife Dene First Nations are also being supported to establish sustainable cultural tourism economies.
All projects have supplementary funding streams in addition to the CanNor investment dollars.
The aim of the funding is to create economic opportunities for Indigenous businesses and communities, and to build capacity to ensure the communities themselves lead the way.
The announcement was made on Aug. 9, International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, to demonstrate, as stated in the news release, the government’s commitment “to creating economic opportunities for Indigenous businesses and communities.”
“It will create good local jobs in Indigenous communities.”
Larry Bagnell, the minister responsible for CanNor, said “Indigenous small- and medium-sized businesses exemplify the ingenuity and drive that is at the core of the entrepreneurial spirit in Canada’s territories.” He said the investment will “help communities and businesses capitalize on economic development and growth opportunities.”