Canadian Northern Economic Development (CanNor) will invest nearly $5 million to help support Indigenous jobs and opportunities in the three territories, it was announced Sunday.
In the Yukon, the Selkirk Development Corp. is receiving $1,222,480 for its Minto Resort revitalization project.
The two-year project involves a further $622,020 from the First Nation and the development corporation. The total cost of the project is $1,844,500.
The funding supports improvements and additions to the Minto Resort facilities.
“This project will provide long-term financial benefits to Selkirk Development Corporation and Selkirk First Nation through an increase in overnight RV and tenting visitors, picnic users, as well as group tours and corporate retreat rentals,” the federal government said in a statement.
The Yukon First Nation Chamber of Commerce receives $43,899 for research into Yukon First Nations businesses.
There is a further $12,500 investment from the chamber. The total cost of the project is $56,399.
The chamber is leading the project to conduct research and gather baseline data on the Indigenous businesses’ economic contributions to Yukon’s economy.
This research will help to identify barriers and preconditions to business growth for Indigenous government, development corporations and Indigenous entrepreneurs, the government said.
Sunday was the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, “a time to recognize the contributions of those who’ve called this land home since time immemorial,” the federal government said in a statement.
“No relationship is more important to the Government of Canada than that with Indigenous peoples, a Nation-to-Nation partnership.
“This commitment includes major investments in housing, education and health care, implementing co-developed legislation on Indigenous languages and child and family services, and introducing federal legislation on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”
Indigenous businesses and communities play a vital role in the northern economy across all three territories, the government added.
Yukon MP Larry Bagnell, the parliamentary secretary to Mélanie Joly, the minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and the minister responsible for CanNor, made Sunday’s announcement.
The CanNor funding supports 11 initiatives led by Indigenous communities, businesses and organizations in Nunavut, Northwest Territories and the Yukon.
“It will create good, local jobs in Indigenous communities, most notably by helping to study the socio-economic impacts of the Nunavut commercial fishing industry, by promoting Indigenous business growth and expansion, by investing in capacity building and key economic infrastructure, and by supporting the reclamation and remediation of Giant Mine,” the government said.
“True reconciliation means supporting Indigenous communities and businesses by providing opportunities for their success,” Joly said.
“This investment from CanNor will do just that – helping Indigenous businesspeople to seize opportunities, helping Indigenous organizations deliver important local projects and supporting Indigenous communities on their path to self-sufficiency and prosperity.
“I’m excited to see the difference that this investment will make for Indigenous communities across the territories,” Joly added.
“To help kick-start the northern economy, our government is making strategic investments to help communities and businesses capitalize on economic development and growth opportunities,” Bagnell added.
“Indigenous small- and medium-sized businesses exemplify the ingenuity and drive that is at the core of the entrepreneurial spirit in Canada’s territories.”