Inuvik’s iconic End of the Dempster Highway sign will remain standing after all.
Town council accepted a joint-proposal April 28 from the Gwich’in Tribal Council and Nihtat Gwich’in Council to relocate the sign to the old Mackenzie Valley Construction lot.
Councillors voted 4-0 in favour of the joint proposal, with Couns. Dez Loreen and Kurt Wainman abstaining due to pecuniary interest.
GTC and NGC will assume ownership of the sign and all liabilities in moving the sign. The plan is to take the sign down and engage youth in its restoration before it is erected at the new site at Marine By-pass and Navy road.
A second proposal to move and restore the sign had been put forward by Coun. Wainman. Inuvik Community Garden Society and Harder Enterprises had also put forward a proposal to move the sign, but withdrew it before the meeting.
“I would like to thank Coun. Wainman for putting his proposal forward. I knew his intent was to make sure that piece of history was saved,” said Coun. Alana Mero. “But I think with the Gwich’in connection to the Dempster Highway and their role in actually leading the first surveyors to mark out the highway on their traditional trail, I think it honours it best by having it go to the Gwich’in.”
Inuvik’s replacement Gateway sign is currently under fabrication in Edmonton and is expected to be delivered before spring break-up, according to town senior administrative officer Grant Hood.