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Canada : Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories is a territory of Canada. With a population of 41,462 in 2011 and an estimated population of 43,537 in 2013, the Northwest Territories is the most populous territory in Northern Canada.

Region Added: Tue, 31 Mar 2015
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Northwest Territories Latest News
COLUMN: Smart government infrastructure investments?

by Gary Vivian, president, NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines I read with interest the recent News/North editorial, “Highway to ruin” to describe the recent government announcements to invest $140 million to advance the Mackenzie Valley Highway. Investing in infrastructure is a good idea to grow any economy. And it’s a particularly good idea in... The post COLUMN: Smart government infrastructure investments? appeared first on...

by Gary Vivian, president, NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines

I read with interest the recent News/North editorial, “Highway to ruin” to describe the recent government announcements to invest $140 million to advance the Mackenzie Valley Highway.

Investing in infrastructure is a good idea to grow any economy. And it’s a particularly good idea in the North, which has the largest infrastructure deficit in the country. Lack of infrastructure is holding back our economic development.

Historically, the Federal government made good decisions to invest in infrastructure for mining development. Mining then helped pay off the infrastructure, which also became a public good after mining was done.

Examples include Canada’s investment in Snare hydropower for Yellowknife and its mines; in Taltson hydropower and the Great Slave Lake railway for the Pine Point mine; in roads to resources to mining towns of Yellowknife and Pine Point; and in investment in the world’s first ice-breaking cargo ship, the MV Arctic for the Polaris and Nanisivik mines in Nunavut. By supporting and enabling mines and their economic contributions, government recouped their infrastructure investment.

As a bonus, that legacy infrastructure is still serving the North and Canada today. They were good investments by Canada.

Which brings us to the Mackenzie Valley Highway.

Based on a dying oil and gas industry, it predicts a poor return on investment. While communities could benefit, their small size also means a low return on investment. Mining might help, but it’s a long way off given there has been insufficient attention paid to attracting mineral investment to the Mackenzie Valley. Despite having some good mineral potential, investors know little about the region.

And lest one thinks the $140 million will pay for the highway, there’s a long way to go. A 2011 study estimated costs of the highway from Tulita to Inuvik at a whopping $1,670 million.

The strongest candidate for infrastructure investment that brings a significant return on investment is the Slave Geological Province, one of the richest mining regions in Northern Canada. Investment in a nation-building highway that would join Nunavut to southern Canada by road through the Slave Province would help sustain our current diamond mines, and would reduce exploration and development costs to make new mines possible in both territories. Government would continue receiving good returns to pay off their investment, and the mines would provide significant benefits to all Northern residents.

That is why we continue to urge governments to invest in the Slave Province road and Gray’s Bay road and port.

However, there remains one other good infrastructure opportunity governments could pursue – cheaper hydropower.

Power is a significant cost to both remote communities and mines, and substitution of fossil fuels is not always feasible. The NWT 2030 Energy Strategy includes a vision to expand the Taltson hydropower system to connect the North and South Slave electricity systems, link them to southern Canada and supply communities and mines with cheaper, renewable and green power. Not only would this reduce green-house gas emissions, but cheaper grid power north and south of Great Slave Lake would reduce community cost of living, could help push the new Pine Point mine into re-opening, and would sustain and grow mining in the mineral rich Slave Geological Province.

Cheaper hydropower would generate quick and healthy returns on government investment.

Can we afford to do both?

The post COLUMN: Smart government infrastructure investments? appeared first on NNSL.COM.



LETTER: Time to build a highway through the heart of Denendeh

Norman Yakeleya, Tulita/Yellowknife, NT Dear editor, The editorial in News/North on July 9th opened with a quote from me back in 2014. Back then I was of the opinion that to get things right, to do the right job in building a Mackenzie Valley Highway from Wrigley to Inuvik everything might take a few more... The post LETTER: Time to build a highway through the heart of Denendeh appeared first on...

Norman Yakeleya,

Tulita/Yellowknife, NT

Dear editor,

The editorial in News/North on July 9th opened with a quote from me back in 2014.

Back then I was of the opinion that to get things right, to do the right job in building a Mackenzie Valley Highway from Wrigley to Inuvik everything might take a few more years. I was told at the time that the feds wanted to fund the highway to Tuk first, to extend the Dempster Highway, then they’d fund the Mackenzie Valley Highway completion.

Years have gone by. The Dempster is now completed. I have spoken with many, many people throughout the Valley in the last few years and I’m convinced that now is indeed the right time to complete the Mackenzie Valley Highway.

The cost of living in fly-in, or winter road access/fly-in, communities continues to rise. Many elders have a hard time making ends meet.

In this country there is a general idea that all people ought to have about the same level of access to basic services. A highway connection is, in this day and age, a basic service. Affordable groceries are a basic service.

I would have told the editor all of this if they contacted me to ask me to comment on my old position. I didn’t get that call. So thank you for giving me this opportunity to set things straight.

Mahsi Cho

The post LETTER: Time to build a highway through the heart of Denendeh appeared first on NNSL.COM.



Truck crashes into Sushi Cafe

A white pick-up truck crashed into Sushi Cafe on Franklin Ave. early Sunday morning. The incident happened Sunday morning before 5 a.m. Staff at the restaurant said that when they arrived on the scene the truck was there but the driver had left. Reports state that no one was injured in the accident. Owners of the... The post Truck crashes into Sushi Cafe appeared first on...

A white pick-up truck crashed into Sushi Cafe on Franklin Ave. early Sunday morning.

A white pick-up truck crashed into the front of Sushi Cafe early Sunday morning. Photo courtesy of Anita Wai

The incident happened Sunday morning before 5 a.m. Staff at the restaurant said that when they arrived on the scene the truck was there but the driver had left. Reports state that no one was injured in the accident.

Owners of the restaurant said that they will now be temporarily closed, but that they hope to re-open later this week with a smaller dining room and to have take-out available as soon as they can.  it is unclear how much the damages will cost.

Full story to follow.

The post Truck crashes into Sushi Cafe appeared first on NNSL.COM.



A MOUNTAIN VIEW: Of Highways and Self-Government

Friends, one constant in the North are the meetings and workshops always in progress. Here in Radilih Koe, Fort Good Hope, it is no different. This time the talk is about self-government. One major concern has to do with housing and especially how government tends to raise prices on home-owners. A good part of the... The post A MOUNTAIN VIEW: Of Highways and Self-Government appeared first on...

Friends, one constant in the North are the meetings and workshops always in progress.

Here in Radilih Koe, Fort Good Hope, it is no different.

This time the talk is about self-government.

One major concern has to do with housing and especially how government tends to raise prices on home-owners.

A good part of the presentation made by lawyer/negotiator Daniel T’seleie for our side of it has to do with all of the GNWT regulations already seemingly in place, even before the People have had their say.

Hearing it all on the radio I simply had to drop what I was doing to go and attend the K’ahsho Got’ine main table session itself.

All of these kinds of talk appear well and good on paper, but what we think of as something new, self-government especially, is actually the very tail end of a long and ongoing process.

After an elder spoke up about how none of the young people could respond to him in Dene, long-time leader Frank T’seleie put in the way he understood it.

The loss of our Indigenous languages is not happening by accident, he said, nor simply as a result of modern life.

The process, like many others, was a part of a parliamentary order, set for forth way back about 1867, to begin the residential schools.

The end of native languages was very much an intentional component, so we children would lose both language and culture.

In the late ’60s, our treaty rights to health and education were also taken away – or at least seriously eroded in the devolution – from the federal government to the newly-formed GNWT. These were two of the main issues our chiefs signed onto Treaties 8 and 11 to guarantee.

As for the Mackenzie Highway idea, there is now $140 million to be spent on it and slated to begin in 2021.

Both of these, self-government and the highway to link the rest of Canada to the Beaufort Sea, are in a very real way all about access, yes, but even more about money.

Curiously the GNWT wants it both ways, for big oil and to find ways to deal with climate change.

One thing a long-time leader pointed out to me is that when we go back to just after the Berger Inquiry, in the late ’70s, no one was interested in self-government until big money was mentioned. Then all kinds of leaders jumped on board.

Either way, these are in part just the way history happens.

One good thing coming out of these talks, though, is that our present younger leaders are taking up where our chiefs of the past left off, with the fate of future generations in their hands.

But, we must also be aware that both issues – highways and self-government – are basically another step in the colonizing process, turning our people into just other Canadians, who have to pay up and without treaty rights.

Mahsi, thank you very much.

The post A MOUNTAIN VIEW: Of Highways and Self-Government appeared first on NNSL.COM.



AROUND THE NORTH: Summer strength in Behchoko

Behchoko/Rae The annual sports festival that sees Northwest Territories youth testing their strength and skills in a handful of sports will take place in Behchoko this summer. Mackenzie Youth Summer Games will take place Aug. 20 to 24. Youth ages six to 18 will compete in a number of activities, which in the past has... The post AROUND THE NORTH: Summer strength in Behchoko appeared first on...

Behchoko/Rae

The annual sports festival that sees Northwest Territories youth testing their strength and skills in a handful of sports will take place in Behchoko this summer.

Mackenzie Youth Summer Games will take place Aug. 20 to 24.

Youth ages six to 18 will compete in a number of activities, which in the past has included canoeing, soccer, swimming, golf, Frisbee gold, mini-Olympics, bubble soccer, field games, basketball, traditional games, and dance.

Last year’s Mackenzie Youth Summer Games were held in Gameti.

The games is a signature event of the Mackenzie Recreation Association, which collaborates with communities, groups and individuals to support recreation, volunteer and leadership opportunities.

– Erin Steele

 

Dreams of flying?

Deh Cho

Students with their eyes to the sky have an opportunity to apply for a number of available aviation-related scholarships.

The scholarships, from Dehcho Regional Helicopters and Deh Cho Airways, are available to any First Nation and Metis student in the Nahendeh Region.

The Fixed-Wing or Helicopter Pilot Scholarship offers $30,000 for a student enrolled in an accredited program of that sort.

The Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Scholarship offers seven $3,000 scholarships.

The Aviation Support Services Scholarship offers two $1,500 scholarships meant to promote the non-operational side of the industry.

Eligible roles for that scholarship includes accounting, logistics, human resources, business management, sales and marketing and in-flight paramedics.

Those eligible have until Aug. 31 to apply.

– Erin Steele

 

Simpson to Wrigley or bust

Liidlii Kue/Fort Simpson

A group of young adults have a unique opportunity to travel to the Dehcho Assembly in Wrigley later this month.

On July 18, a group will leave Fort Simpson by canoe and paddle to Wrigley for the Dehcho Assembly which takes place from July 24 to 27.

Young adults ages 18 to 30 were encouraged to apply.

“The aim is to have one participant per Dehcho community/organization,” states a bulletin advertising the excursion, called 2018 Yundah Gogha – For the Future.

The trip, co-ordinated by Dehcho First Nations, is focused on cultural immersion, education on the Dehcho Process, health and wellness and physical activity.

“Participants will gain a deeper understanding of Dene values, law and understanding through trip content,” states the bulletin.

– Erin Steele

 

Sahtu youth to hike Canol Trail

Sahtu

A group of Sahtu youth are expected to hike the Canol Trail from July 16 to 21.

Youth ages 13 to 21 were encouraged to apply for the 2018 Canol Youth Leadership Hike.

“Are you interested in challenging yourself, improving your leadership skills, and connecting with Mother Nature?” stated a bulletin advertising the hike.

The annual hike, organized by the Sahtu Renewable Resources Council, guides participants on a section of trail, dubbed “Canada’s Toughest Trail,” according to the bulletin.

The Canol Heritage Trail is a 355-kilometre trail that runs from Norman Wells to the Yukon Border.

– Erin Steele

 

Election prep in Norman Wells

Lli Goline/Norman Wells

The first of two information sessions about a fall municipal election in Norman Wells is set for July 19 at the town office.

Those interested in running for mayor or councillors are invited to attend that session, or the one following it on Aug. 21 at 7 p.m.

The election will take place on Oct. 15, with the nomination period opening on Sept. 4.

The community will elect a mayor and six councillors.

In October 2017, the territorial government dissolved Norman Wells’ municipal government, stating the town was having “operational difficulties.”

Since then, the town has been administered by the territorial Department of Municipal and Community Affairs, which stated at the time it will work with the newly elected council come October.

– Erin Steele

 

Territorial park gets lively

Lli Goline/Norman Wells

MacKinnon Territorial Park in Norman Wells was set to be abuzz with activity July 14 for Parks Day between noon and 4 p.m.

Organized by the GNWT, the afternoon was expected to include live music from Yellowknife-based Rebels Without Applause, fresh trout from Great Bear Lake, and a bouncy castle.

Also expected was a taste test of salsa and pie filling made from locally-grown agriculture.

An arts and craft sale with wares from local artists was also planned.

The park, on the banks of the Mackenzie River, includes an event stage, gazebo, playground and tipis.

– Erin Steele

The post AROUND THE NORTH: Summer strength in Behchoko appeared first on NNSL.COM.



One month on the Nahanni

“It’s really just extraordinary,” said Rochelle Yendo in Fort Simpson on Thursday. “I can’t explain the feeling I have right now.” Yendo, a 19-year-old woman from Wrigley, had just stepped out of a 40-foot moosehide boat that she and a team of others had taken 400 km from Virginia Falls, past sacred sites and hunting... The post One month on the Nahanni appeared first on...

“It’s really just extraordinary,” said Rochelle Yendo in Fort Simpson on Thursday. “I can’t explain the feeling I have right now.”

Yendo, a 19-year-old woman from Wrigley, had just stepped out of a 40-foot moosehide boat that she and a team of others had taken 400 km from Virginia Falls, past sacred sites and hunting grounds, to Nahanni Butte and Fort Simpson.

Rickey Andrew works on an oar lock for the moosehide boat that 16 men and women from first nations in the Deh Cho, as well as the Shotagotine First Nation, travelled in and with for a month this summer on the Nahanni River of Forgiveness Trip. John Bingham/90th Parallel Productions photo

The Nahanni River of Forgiveness Trip took its 16 participants, men and women from first nations in the Deh Cho as well as the Shotagotine First Nation, close to a month to complete. Yendo says she’d drop everything and do it again in a heartbeat.

The paddlers were greeted in Fort Simpson by a huge, welcoming crowd, and by drum dancers, and with a gunshot salute.

“The drums have our heart beating and there’s people all around,” said Yendo, her voice slightly trembling – she felt elated and said her compatriots did as well.

“I’ve learned so many things about moosehide, sewing the moosehide, about the different groups coming together to complete this and here we are in Fort Simpson.”

The Nahanni River of Forgiveness Trip marks the first time in 100 years that a moosehide boat has been paddled down the Nahanni River, according to the trip organizers, citing Dehcho elders. The trip was filmed by 90th Parallel Productions, and the documentary will eventually air on CBC Docs.

She said the trip was not easy, but the group’s positivity was behind its perseverance.

Robert Horessai, left, Leon Andrew and Rickey Andrew inspect the work being done on the moosehide boat that 16 men and women from first nations in the Deh Cho, as well as the Shotagotine First Nation, travelled in and with for a month this summer on the Nahanni River of Forgiveness Trip.

“Whenever one of us would feel down, we would go to one another and cheer them up and put some positivity into the day to keep on going.”

Lory-Ann Bertrand, from Nahanni Butte, says the moosehide boat didn’t have drag like you’d find with modern fibreglass canoes.

“Once the boat hit the river, it would take off like really fast – when it takes off, it really takes off,” said Bertrand.

She says it was hard to get used to having a camera crew around at the beginning, and being on camera, but she got used to it by the end.

Both Bertrand and Yendo said they made friendships with their companions that will last forever.

“There are some things out there that happen for certain people – something in the sky, something in the weather – that people would take as a little sign of why we were here.”

Bertrand, who also says she’d love to have the opportunity to do a trip like this again, said a lot of people she talked with before going couldn’t imagine doing such a thing – but for her, it was going back to her roots.

“I just think of it as how our people lived for so many years before colonization. We used to live and breathe out there. So, it’s not really anything different.”

The post One month on the Nahanni appeared first on NNSL.COM.