Tłı̨chǫ and GNWT reach an agreement on infrastructure

YELLOWKNIFE and Behchokǫ̀ (August 7, 2020) – Tłı̨chǫ Government and the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) have reached an agreement to improve cooperation on procurement related to infrastructure needs in the region.

 

In this agreement, the GNWT has committed to directly negotiating contracts with Tłı̨chǫ Businesses for infrastructure located on Tłı̨chǫ lands and in Tłı̨chǫ communities. Where direct negotiations are not possible, the GNWT has committed to including minimum Tłı̨chǫ labour and contracting requirements in its competitive tenders for infrastructure located on Tłı̨chǫ lands and in Tłı̨chǫ communities.

 

The Agreement also acknowledges that Tłı̨chǫ Investment Corporation and RTL Construction Ltd, the successful bidder for the Rae Access Road Reconstruction Project, have entered into an agreement to ensure that 25% of the total labour of the project will be fulfilled by Tłı̨chǫ Investment Corporation. In turn, Tłı̨chǫ Investment Corporation will ensure that these labour requirements are met by Tłı̨chǫ citizens. Both governments appreciate the commitment from RTL Construction Ltd. to see employment opportunities provided to Tłı̨chǫ citizens.

 

Completing the Rae Access Road Reconstruction Project this year will ensure the safety and wellbeing of Tłı̨chǫ Citizens traveling into and out of the Tłı̨chǫ Community of Behchokǫ̀. Both governments acknowledge the importance of this road to Tłı̨chǫ people, and the need to have this work completed in a timely manner.

 

Tłı̨chǫ Government Grand Chief George Mackenzie believes that this could mark a turning point in the Treaty relationship between Tłı̨chǫ Government and the GNWT:

The GNWT signed a treaty with the Tłı̨chǫ and Canada that promised to help Tłı̨chǫ become self-sufficient. We took up the fight over this project because it is essential for our people to share in the wealth and economy of the NWT. I am pleased that we have found a way to achieve that and move forward in our Treaty relationship.”

 

The Chiefs Executive Council of the Tłı̨chǫ Government will continue to fight to protect the Treaty rights of Tłı̨chǫ Citizens, and to ensure that public government lives up to its Treaty commitments.

 

The GNWT takes seriously its role as a Treaty partner and has worked with the Tłı̨chǫ Government to find a resolution to the concerns raised in respect of the Rae Access Road Reconstruction Project. The GNWT believes this Infrastructure Cooperation Agreement will assist in meeting the economic development objectives set out in the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement.  

 

Caroline Cochrane, Premier of the Northwest Territories is pleased that the two governments were able to come to this agreement:

“The Government of the Northwest Territories is committed to building a strong relationship with the Tłı̨chǫ Government and continuing to find ways to work better together. This agreement will ensure that there is a clear understanding of the GNWT’s approach to procurement in the region. It also ensures capacity building and active participation for Tłı̨chǫ citizens and government in these projects, which is consistent with Cabinet’s Guiding Principles. I am glad to see this agreement come together and look forward to continuing to build the relationship with the Tłı̨chǫ government and people.”

 

Media Contacts:

Tłı̨chǫ Government - Email: media@tlicho.ca 

Government of the Northwest Territories - Email: PressSecretary@gov.nt.ca

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