Minister Vandal announces over $1.2 million in investments toward Indigenous tourism projects in the Northwest Territories

News release

CanNor’s investment supports three Indigenous tourism projects

May 24, 2023 – Yellowknife, NT – Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)

The Northwest Territories is a tourist destination with much to offer, including distinctive Indigenous cultures, unique communities, vast landscapes, great fishing and hunting, and stunning auroras. Indigenous tourism operators and organizations across the territory continue to work hard to find ways to meet visitor demand, including in more remote areas. Tourism services are being upgraded to help accommodate tourists from all over Canada and the world and to enhance visitor experiences.

Today, the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs and Minister responsible for PrairiesCan and CanNor, announced that the Government of Canada is investing over $1.2 million towards three Indigenous tourism projects to support upgrades and improvements to lodges in small communities and more remote regions of the NWT.

This investment by the Government of Canada will support the NWT’s Indigenous tourism businesses, organizations and communities so they are well positioned for sustainable growth and success moving forward, as a strong tourism industry is a key component of NWT’s economy.


“Canadians and visitors from around the world want to experience all the NWT has to offer, supporting local shops, artists, hotels, restaurants, tourism operators and more. We are making key investments in Indigenous entrepreneurs and businesses as they make improvements, offer enhanced services and market unique visitor experiences to attract visitors to the territory. Our government will continue to be a partner with Indigenous entrepreneurs and local tourism operators as we help expand tourism opportunities and bring renewed economic growth across the NWT.”
- The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs and Minister responsible for PrairiesCan and CanNor

“The Northwest Territories has an abundance of natural beauty, unique Indigenous experiences, and outdoor adventures that attract visitors from across Canada and around the world. By investing in their tourism offerings, we are strengthening the local economy and creating good jobs in urban, rural and Indigenous communities. Our government will be there to support the growth of Canada’s tourism industry, not just in a year from now, but for decades to come.”
- The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism, Associate Minister of Finance

“The NWT is a vacation destination like no other, offering unique adventures and travel experiences that draw tourists from near and far. We are continuing our support for Indigenous tourism operators and helping improve tourism infrastructure in the communities to help our tourism sector grow. With these investments from CanNor, we are promoting tourism across the Northwest Territories and supporting community vitality and economic prosperity.”
- Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories

“Thanks to our vast expanse, wide horizons, and rich natural beauty, tourism is a cornerstone for regional economic growth and diversification in the Northwest Territories’ economy. However, the Government of the Northwest Territories also recognizes that investments in the tourism industry play an important role in showcasing, celebrating, and – most importantly - preserving the Indigenous cultures and traditions that are so much a part of our collective identity as Northerners.”
- Hon. Caroline Wawzonek, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, Government of the Northwest Territories

“Nestled along the shores of the Mackenzie River at the heart of our community, the Telemia Lodge offers an unparalleled experience where guests can revel in the serenity of our natural landscapes and indulge in the warmth of our hospitality. By collaborating with local organizations and CanNor, we are dedicated to empowering the community through job training and employment opportunities, contributing to the region’s economic growth. We take immense pride in showcasing our Indigenous traditional cultural heritage, allowing visitors to engage with local artisans, harvesters and our knowledge keepers, and immerse themselves in our vibrant customs.”
- Michael Vandell, Chief, Deh Gáh Got'îê First Nation

Quick facts

  • CanNor’s funding of over $1.2 million announced today is provided through the Jobs and Growth Fund, the Tourism Relief Fund and Inclusive Diversification and Economic Advancement in the North (IDEANorth).

  • CanNor’s programs support projects that promote sustainable community economic development, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation.

  • This announcement is part of Economic Development Week.

  • The investments announced by the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) in projects that contribute to community vitality demonstrate the importance of economic development right across the country.

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Kyle Allen
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Northern Affairs, PrairiesCan and CanNor

Barbara Abramchuk
Communications Advisor,
Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)

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