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Donations pour in for NWT communities ravaged by wildfires

United Way releases financial add for NWT communities affected by wildfires.

United Way NWT has raised $580,000 since May, 85 per cent of which has been committed to assisting non-profits, charities and First Nations governments to respond to needs of Northerners affected by wildfires.

Most grants were approved within 24 hours, the organization announced Wednesday.

The Union of Northern Workers and the Public Service Alliance of Canada are contributing an additional $150,000 to the United Way NWT Emergency Response Fund to help NWT evacuees.

“The UNW has always taken an active role in caring for our communities,” said UNW president Gayla Thunstrom on Monday. “The residents of the affected areas are top of mind right now as we work with PSAC and the United Way NWT to provide financial aid to the organizations on the ground who can best assist those in need.”

Josee-Anne Spirito, the regional executive vice-president for the PSAC North Region, added, “What is happening in the NWT right now is devastating. Our hearts go out to the evacuees, and we encourage anyone who needs help to reach out to the supports available, follow official orders, and keep yourself safe. Our first responders are doing an amazing job under extremely difficult conditions, and I know that Northerners will once again pull together to continue to support those in need.”

De Beers Group, owners of the Gahcho Kue diamond mine, announced a $50,000 contribution to the United Way NWT Emergency Response Fund on Wednesday afternoon. That’s in addition to $20,000 committed earlier this year. About 30 per cent of the company’s Gahcho Kue workforce lives in Yellowknife and more than 40 mine employees have had to flee from wildfires affecting Fort Smith, Hay River, Enterprise and Jean Marie River.

United Way NWT asks territorial organizations to contact them with funding requests to help support evacuees.

In a separate announcement, the Yellowknife Community Foundation has devoted the Resilient Communities Fund to help impacted communities with recovery and rebuilding amidst a record-breaking wildfire season.

“Our hearts go out to everyone being affected by the wildfires that are currently threatening communities throughout the Northwest Territories,” says Laurie Gault, chair of the Yellowknife Community Foundation. “Where we can, YKCF wants to provide a pathway towards recovery and rebuilding efforts.”

Donations can be made online at All funds received to the Resilient Communities Fund will support communities across the NWT with their recovery, rebuilding and resiliency efforts.

NWT wildfires