GNWT and YKDFN reset relationship on the Slave Geological Province Corridor Project
Yellowknife –The Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN) and the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) met on September 25, 2020 in an effort to strengthen their relationship and set the stage for improved cooperation on the advancement of the Slave Geological Province Corridor (SGPC) project.
In attendance at the meeting were YKDFN Chief Edward Sangris and Chief Ernest Betsina, Premier Caroline Cochrane, Minister of Infrastructure Diane Archie, and Minister of Finance Caroline Wawzonek. In the meeting, both parties agreed that strong relationships between the GNWT and Indigenous governments and organizations are imperative to advancing the development of major NWT infrastructure projects. The resulting economic opportunities from these projects will be critical for increasing community capacity while supporting the territory’s COVID-19 recovery.
The completion of the SGPC will support NWT’s future economy by enabling mineral exploration and development in a region with significant resource potential, while also assisting with reclamation of mines in the region upon closure. At the meeting, the GNWT and YKDFN committed to working in partnership with other Indigenous governments and organizations to advance this important project.
YKDFN Chief Sangris and Chief Betsina believe this meeting marked an important resetting of the GNWT’s relationship with the YKDFN on this project.
Chief Edward Sangris believes that: “Economically, the Northwest Territories is at a critical juncture. Indigenous, Territorial, Federal and Municipal governments must work together to move projects forward that will stimulate the economy, create employment, attract investment and ensure a bright future for all Northerners while respecting Indigenous Traditions, Culture, Treaty Rights and Title.”
Chief Ernest Betsina said: “The Yellowknives Dene First Nation look forward to working with the Government of the Northwest Territories on projects that benefit the Territory, in particular, working with the Premier, Minister Archie and Minister Wawzonek to move the Slave Geological Providence Corridor and other major infrastructure projects forward.”
The GNWT is pleased to reaffirm their commitment to working collaboratively with the YKDFN and other Indigenous Governments and organizations on this important initiative. On behalf of the GNWT, Premier Caroline Cochrane shared that: “Partnerships with Indigenous governments and organizations are imperative to the success of projects like the Slave Geological Province Corridor, which will help us to expand and diversify our economy, together. I am pleased to report the success of this meeting and look forward to many more in the future”
A corridor through the Slave Geological Province connecting Nunavut to Canada by road for the first time is a nation-building project that will strengthen the Canadian North and create significant economic benefits for NWT residents, Nunavummiut, and all Canadians.
Road access would help green the mining industry by enhancing the feasibility of expanding the Taltson Hydro System and maintaining a transmission line into the mineral-rich Slave Geological Province, which would lower industrial emissions and support the Northwest Territories to meet its commitments under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.
Next steps include discussions to better formalize relationships between the GNWT and Indigenous governments and organizations on the project, continued engagement with Indigenous governments and organizations and stakeholders, environmental activities supporting the protection of wildlife, such as caribou, and additional planning and engineering work. In addition, the GNWT is committed to working with Indigenous Governments and Northern Businesses to revise the current GNWT procurement policies to increase NWT Indigenous and Northern business where possible, in order to grow NWT capacity, create NWT employment opportunities and prevent economic leakage.
- The Slave Geological Province Corridor is one of three planned projects that will provide the foundational infrastructure to support an improved quality of life and
- lower cost of living for NWT residents, as well as support the expansion and diversification of the economy.
- The Slave Geological Province Corridor is a planned new, 413-kilometre infrastructure corridor into Slave Geological Province, north from Yellowknife. It is part of a long-term vision to connect Canada’s highway system to a deep-water port on the Arctic Ocean in Nunavut.
- The first phase of the project focuses on the Lockhart All-Season Road. This portion of the overall corridor will provide all-season access to Lockhart Lake in the Slave Geological Province and extend the winter road season beyond the terminus of Highway 4 at Tibbitt Lake.
- Slave Geological Province Corridor Project
- Taltson Hydroelectricity Expansion Project
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