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Five Beaufort Delta projects are getting a cash injection from Ottawa through Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor.)

NWT MP Michael McLeod announced April 14 on behalf of Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Mélanie Joly that Ottawa was investing $1.8 million in projects throughout the Beaufort Delta.

Getting $550,000, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation can continue its work towards resurrecting the Tuk-18 natural gas well. A feasibility study for the project is also in the works to determine the best locations for sites and the access road.

“The energy security provided by this project, Field Studies – Gas Development in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, significantly advances the goals set out under the Inuvialuit Final Agreement,” said IRC chair Duane Ningaqsiq Smith. “It represents an Inuvialuit-led solution that takes into account the preservation of our values, advances participation in the northern and national economy, all while reducing emissions and helping preserve our local environment.

“IRC is appreciative of the support provided, as it has helped enable the development of a strategic plan directed on developing capacity, business potential and food security in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region.”

Another Inuvialuit project getting a $550,000 boost is the Inuvialuit Community Economic Development Organization. The money is earmarked for establishing a 2021-2025 Strategic Plan which includes a cruise ship strategy, a reindeer herd strategy and processing country foods.

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Tetl’it Zheh Development Corporation is getting $277,363 to put towards its three-year plan to expand its capacity and upgrade its facilities. These include a new lumber yard, security fence and an upgraded garage in Fort McPherson.

Another group in Fort McPherson is getting $100,000 to establish a community freezer program. Teetl’ Gwich’in Band Council is hoping to establish training programs to help residents hunt and store food. The intention is to help improve food security in the region.

Training workshops will teach new butchering techniques, fishing and uses for non-editable animal parts. On top of that, residents will be able to learn how to harvest and preserve wild fruits. There will also be cooking and packaging lessons.

Finally, the Community Garden Society of Inuvik is getting $405,000 from CanNor — with the University of Saskatchewan throwing in another $85,000. The money will go to support the new hydroponics unit established to grow leafy greens all year. Society chair Ray Solotki thanked the government for the support.

“We hope that our project, the Inuvik Year-Round Farming Project, will become the jumping off point for more food security and food sovereignty projects in the Beaufort Delta, and encourage people in the north to look at our own supply chains, economic development and agriculture in an innovative way!”

Eric Bowling

Your source for all things happening in the Beaufort Delta. Eric jumped at the chance to write for the Inuvik Drum after cutting his teeth in Alberta. He enjoys long walks, loud music and strong coffee....

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