The Dene Nation is organizing to help victims of flooding across the NWT.

Its leadership announced Wednesday the Nation is setting up a flood relief command centre providing a central contact point to share information and coordinate responsive action with local governments, contractors, mutual aid and volunteer organizations.

“To be quite frank, we have not seen a situation this dangerous in many, many years,” Dene Nation national chief Norman Yakeleya said.

“People are struggling, both those who have been evacuated and those who haven’t been able to cross the waters safely. In light of these changing circumstances, we are coordinating daily meetings where we are working to establish and execute a series of clearly defined long-term and short-term objectives.

“Ultimately, our first priority is the safety and security of the victims. Our second is to keep track of all of our activities and processes to draft an emergency response manual, so we can apply our lessons learned to other incidents, to ensure our people are not disproportionately affected by changing weather patterns across the territory into the future.”

Yakeleya said that the command centre will be “agile, flexible and responsive” for individuals impacted by the flooding.


The intent of the command centre is to allow decision makers to manage response, gather critical information, coordinate response when it is needed and manage emergency personnel.

The Dene Nation says it is following COVID-19 public health protocols as needed.

Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. A through and through "County boy" from Prince Edward County, Ont., Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin...

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