Canada and Délı̨nę Got’ı̨nę Government sign historic Governance Agreement in support of the Great Bear Lake Remediation Project

News release

February 24, 2021—Yellowknife, NT—Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

The Government of Canada is renewing the relationship between the Crown and Indigenous people in Canada based on the affirmation of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.

Today, the Minister of Northern Affairs, the Honourable Daniel Vandal,  and Ɂek'wahtı̨dǝ́ Leeroy Andre, of the Délı̨nę Got’ı̨nę Government, are pleased to announce the signing of a Governance Agreement that will allow our two governments to work in partnership to oversee all aspects of the Great Bear Lake Remediation Project in the Northwest Territories.

The agreement, which establishes a Délı̨nę-Canada Remediation Management Committee and Operations Committee, is the first step towards ensuring Délı̨nę community members have a say in decisions about the clean-up of abandoned mine sites near their homes on Great Bear Lake. The committees will also provide a forum for communication and engagement with Délı̨nę community members as the governments work together to advance the project.

Working together, the Government of Canada and the Délı̨nę Got’ı̨nę Government will continue to develop an approach to the Great Bear Lake Remediation Project that maximizes the economic benefits for the community, addresses and respects the Délı̨nę community’s concerns, and ensures that all major decisions regarding the remediation of the sites are made by consensus of the two governments.


“The Government of Canada remains committed to the full and meaningful participation of the Délı̨nę community in the governance of the Great Bear Lake Remediation Project. This agreement allows us to move forward together, as partners, on this important project to restore the land while protecting and maintaining the ecological integrity of Great Bear Lake and its watershed, which is part of the Tsá Tué Biosphere Reserve and of the utmost importance to the people of Délı̨nę.”

The Honourable Daniel Vandal, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Northern Affairs 

“The community of Délı̨nę welcomes the signing of the Great Bear Lake Remediation Project Governance Agreement. The Agreement recognizes a government-to-government relationship between Délı̨nę Got’ı̨nę Government and Canada and commits us to working together to restore the long-damaged area to a state acceptable to Délı̨nę while ensuring that the project will leave significant social, economic and cultural benefits to our community. The remediation project will be good for our community, for our people and, indeed, for all the people of Canada as we restore this magnificent site to preserve the integrity of the biosphere.”

Ɂek'wahtı̨dǝ́ Leeroy Andre
Délı̨nę Got’ı̨nę Government

"Through this new agreement, the Governments of Canada and Délı̨nę Got’ı̨nę are demonstrating a shared commitment to ensuring local decision making drives the economic and environmental future of the North."

Michael McLeod, M.P.
Northwest Territories

Quick facts

  • The Great Bear Lake Remediation Project is funded through the Northern Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program announced under Budget 2019. The program was created to exclusively address the largest and highest-risk abandoned mines in the Northwest Territories and the Yukon.

  • Under the new governance agreement:

    • The Remediation Management Committee will provide broad strategic direction for the remediation project and all major decisions regarding the remediation will be made by consensus of the two governments.
    • The Operations Committee will manage remediation implementation details as the project progresses through the planning and various design stages into full remediation and post-remediation.
    • Canada and Délı̨nę will discuss a number of ways to ensure Délı̨nę benefits from the project, including incorporating Indigenous Opportunities Considerations into bid packages, using the Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Businesses, and making sure the Project’s tendered work packages are in sizes that allow for local participation in the competitive process.
    • Canada will work with Délı̨nę to identify training needs within the community that are consistent with project requirements and the broader program mandate.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Antoine Tremblay
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Daniel Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs

Ɂek'wahtı̨dǝ́ Leeroy Andre
Délı̨nę Got’ı̨nę Government

Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

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