Minister Vandal announces an investment supporting food security in Wekweètì, NWT
CanNor funding of $600,000 to the Tłı̨chǫ Investment Corporation will help with the construction of Wekweètì’s new grocery store
December 19, 2023 — Yellowknife, Northwest Territories — Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
Food security contributes to people’s physical and mental health and well-being. As many Northerners in remote and Indigenous communities face high rates of food insecurity, the Government of Canada is working with Northern and Indigenous partners to find ways to reduce barriers to food security and improve accessibility and affordability of food in remote communities. There is also a commitment to supporting community-based solutions to food security issues, including addressing infrastructure gaps.
Today, the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, PrairiesCan and CanNor, announced the Government of Canada is investing $600,000 towards a two-year project by the Tłı̨chǫ Investment Corporation. This investment supports the construction of a new grocery store in Wekweètì, a remote community accessible only by air or winter road.
This project further supports the Government of Canada’s commitment to addressing food insecurity in the North and prioritizing economic reconciliation by working directly with the Tłı̨chǫ to help provide essential services to community members in Wekweètì.
“We recognize the barriers that remote northern communities face accessing food, which is why this investment is so important. Investing in the construction of Wekweètì’s new store will help improve food security in the community and provide support to a vital business run by the Tłı̨chǫ Investment Corporation. By strengthening the local economy, improving services and enhancing food supply in this community, we are supporting community well-being and prosperity.”
The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, PrairiesCan and CanNor
“Everyone deserves accessible and affordable food, no matter where they live. That's why our government is making this strategic infrastructure investment in a new grocery store, which will help the community of Wekweètì address some of the challenges community members face buying more affordable food and accessing key services. The new store will also mark a significant improvement in both operating efficiency and its environmental footprint. This project balances economic development, economic reconciliation, food security and supports the community as a whole.”
Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories
“The Tłı̨chǫ Investment Corporation is thrilled about the acquisition of our new grocery store for our retail operations business unit and the community of Wekweètì. It has been a long-awaited and critical enhancement to the infrastructure in the community and is a positive step forward to improving service and product delivery within the community. We are grateful for the support that CanNor has provided the Corporation to bring this initiative to fruition. Masi Cho.”
Betty Anne Nickerson, Vice President of Community Operations & Labour Services, Tłı̨chǫ Investment Corporation
The Tłı̨chǫ Investment Corporation is the economic development arm of the Tłı̨chǫ Government, a self-governing First Nation in the Northwest Territories.
This project by the Tłı̨chǫ Investment Corporation will result in the construction of a new grocery store in Wekweètì that they will operate as a for-profit business in this remote, fly-in community. The store will also provide basic banking and postal services.
The new store construction will also include greater capacity to safely store perishables and a larger inventory of food products, which will allow the community to take advantage of ordering by volume.
CanNor is contributing $600,000 to this project over two years, with the Tłı̨chǫ Investment Corporation adding $608,276. The total project cost is $1,208,276.
CanNor funding will support project activities including contracting for the construction of a modular building that will be transported to Wekweètì via the 2024 winter road, assembly and construction, and installation of all required fixtures. The new store will mark a significant improvement in both operating efficiency and the environmental footprint over the existing general store.
The Inclusive Diversification and Economic Advancement in the North (IDEANorth) program supports community economic growth through investments in small-scale infrastructure to allow communities and businesses to extend services and by supporting the early stages of large-scale infrastructure projects.
Office of the Minister of Northern Affairs, PrairiesCan and CanNor
Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)
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