Three projects in the territory will receive more than $1.3 million in funding through the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor), said NWT MP Michael McLeod in a virtual news conference on Friday.
Makerspace YK will receive $731,727 for a three-year project, with an additional $154,900 provided by the GNWT.
“The funding will assist with a renovation of a commercial space into a collaborative space,” McLeod said. “Makerspace will provide access to industrial equipment and a tool-lending library. This will support skill development, job creation and innovative new businesses in Yellowknife.”
Cat McGurk, president of Makerspace YK said she’s very grateful for the assistance from CanNor.
“I just wanted to really show our appreciation for CanNor and the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) for supporting us,” McGurk said.
“This process has been ongoing for over a year and a half now I think and we’ve worked really hard to build this and CanNor and ITI has really done a lot to help ensure that this moves forward. The community is at the heart of the organization and if it weren’t for all the other people who have supported us along the way we wouldn’t be here.”
Beaver Enterprises, based in Fort Liard will get $175,000, to be used towards the costs of a grader for construction and maintenance projects, helping to create employment and expand economic opportunities and trading for Indigenous peoples in the region, McLeod said.
Boyd Clark, an advisor with the Acho Dene Koe First Nation (ADKFN) in Fort Liard said in the conference that the funding will help the First Nation with economic development in its traditional territory.
“There are a number of economic happenings within our region, in particular the remediation of Highway 7,” he said. “The equipment will allow the ADKFN people to be participants in that project, and future development associated with the Prairie Creek Mine of which ADKFN has a distinct interest in the construction of the all-season road that will eventually be connecting that mine to eventual transportation within British Columbia.”
The third project, a waste management facility in Norman Wells will receive $464,000 for a one-year term.
It will support Indigenous employment and training and once completed the facility will support beneficiaries of the Sahtu Dene and Métis comprehensive land claim agreement.
Details on the facility, such as what type of waste it will manage and how many people it will employ, weren’t immediately available.
A news release issued after the virtual conference stated that the three pots of funding will help small NWT businesses maintain 10 full-time jobs and create “many new jobs.”
“Our government has committed to finding ways to fund and support community-led makerspaces – as a means to prepare residents for current and future job and business development opportunities,” said Caroline Wawzonek, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, in the news release. “These facilities provide the environment for collaboration and shared visioning and lead to new and innovative ideas and products.”