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An Inuvialuit-owned company is celebrating 20 years of operation in the Beaufort Delta.

Inukshuk Geomatics, which had a hand in the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway (ITH), the Mackenzie Gas Project, reclaiming the Distance Early Warning (aka the DEW) Line site and many other infrastructure projects, celebrated its 20th year on Feb. 17.

“Inuvialuit Development Corporation (IDC) expects Inukshuk Geomatics will only continue to contribute and advance in our partnered work,” said IDC chair Patrick Gruben. “Which is a critical basis of the road upgrading, reclamation and development projects needed to build our communities.”

Inukshuk Geomatics started in 2000 when Challenger Geomatics was contracted by Petro Canada to explore oil and gas opportunities in the Arctic. A Feb. 17 press release states the company wanted to ensure Inuvialuit participation and entered negotiations to establish a partnership with IDC. The IDC now owns 51 per cent of Inukshuk while Challenger controls the remaining 49 per cent.

Inukshuk Geomatics is one of the few Indigenous-owned firms allowed to survey in Canada by the Association of Canada Lands Surveyors.

Over the four years of construction of the ITH, Inukshuk sourced gravel for the road, conducted the legal survey of the road at the design, construction and review of the highway.

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The press release notes Challenger Geomatics has an ongoing policy of ensuring local participation in its survey work and has provided technical training to several local communities.

“I’ve had the good fortune of working with the Inuvialuit in the ISR for the last 15 years,” said Challenger Geomatics CEO Paul Burbidge. “A true highlight was two winters that I spent scouting the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk highway prior to construction.

“My Inuvialuit guides had an intimate knowledge of the landscape that was truly impressive. I’ll always remember the long days on snow machine in beautiful country.”

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Eric Bowling

Covering all things related to the Beaufort Delta, Eric Bowling is your editor for the Inuvik Drum. He came north after cutting his teeth in Alberta. Eric enjoys long walks, loud music and strong coffee.

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