Clean energy innovation and economic development in Inuvik

News release

Micro-manufacturing facility and new solar energy bring new opportunities to community

January 18, 2019 – Inuvik, NT – Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)

The opening of the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway in 2017 has led to new economic opportunities in the Beaufort Delta region. More visitors have led to increased economic and job opportunities for residents in the arts, accommodations, and other sectors.

The Government of Canada recognizes the important role these sectors play in growing the economy of the region. That’s why it’s investing over $734,000 in two projects within the region; one that supports the local arts industry, and another that will provide clean energy and savings for local businesses.

The funding was announced today by Michael McLeod, the Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and the Minister responsible for CanNor.

Part of the investment will go to the Nihat Corporation, which will purchase and install two photo-voltaic arrays at a hotel and supermarket in Inuvik. The corporation entered into long-term leasing contracts with both businesses and will train Nihtat Gwich’in members on how to operate and maintain the installation. The project will create two part-time jobs, provide new economic opportunities and clean energy for the community.

Recognizing a strong demand for locally-produced arts, crafts and tourism products as a result of the ongoing growth in tourism in the region, CanNor is also investing in Aurora College for the creation of an Arts, Crafts and Technology Micro-manufacturing Centre. This centre is designed as an arts and crafts-focused Micro-manufacturing facility and provides access to services such as laser engraving, silk screening, and 3D printing equipment. This space will employ two part-time technical advisors and will give local artists space to develop their products.


“The Government of Canada is proud to support new and innovative projects in the North. By working with local organizations we are able to take advantage of new tourism opportunities in the Beaufort Delta region and provide the investment needed to develop new clean energy projects.”

-    Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and the Minister responsible for CanNor.

“The Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway is bringing new economic opportunities to those communities. Through the technologies and services offered at the Centre, artists will have the opportunity to create innovative crafts to market to tourists. Implementing clean energy projects not only helps the environment, but also supports economic development for organizations and businesses in Inuvik.”

-    Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament, Northwest Territories

“The Nihtat Gwich'in are excited by the opportunity to partner with the Government of Canada on this cutting-edge opportunity to contribute to the energy needs of the Inuvik economy, while at the same time reducing the impact of greenhouse gas emissions from our community. We see this as a strong example of how Indigenous peoples and the Government of Canada can work together in the interest of sustainable development in the North.”

-    Jozef Carnogursky, President, Nihtat Gwich’in Council

“This Arts, Crafts, and Technology Micro-manufacturing Centre would not be possible without the vision, support, and hard work of all partners, including the Gwich’in Tribal Council, Inuvialiut Regional Corporation, and the NWT Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment. Going forward, the Centre will help build a strong arts and crafts manufacturing sector and further diversify the Beaufort Delta economy.”

-    Jeff O’Keefe, Interim President, Aurora College

“The GNWT values and supports a strong and thriving arts industry that encourages artistic and creative expression as a means to individual and community well-being, and which also provides economic opportunities and diversification in our communities and regions. It is through partnerships with the Federal Government, Indigenous Governments and Aurora College that we are able to strengthen our campuses and provide Northerners with opportunities for hands-on skills development.”
-    Minister Caroline Cochrane, Department of Education, Culture and Employment

Quick facts

  • CanNor is investing $538,000 into the installation of photo-voltaic arrays in Inuvik with Nihtat Corporation adding another $807,000 for a total of $1,345,000.

  • CanNor is investing $196,500 over two years for the development of a Micro-manufacturing Centre in Inuvik, with Aurora College contributing $60,000 and the Government of the Northwest Territories adding an additional $57,500 for a total of $314,000.

Associated links


Follow Minister Bains on Twitter: @ISED_CA

Dani Keenan
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and
Economic Development Canada

Craig Welsh
Communications Advisor

For more information about CanNor, visit

Jozef Carnogursky
Nihtat Gwich’in Council

Tanya Henderson
Aurora College

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