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YKDFN and feds meet for second time on Giant Mine

The Yellowknives Dene First Nation have met with representatives from the federal government for the second time in a month about the Giant Mine remediation.

Yellowknives Dene First Nation Chiefs Edward Sangris and Ernest Betsina met with Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett, Northern Affairs Minister Daniel Vandal, and Northwest Territories MP Michael McLeod met on February 26.

At the meeting, both sides confirmed their commitment to the YKDFN’s three priorities.

Those include opening a special negotiating table for an apology and compensation; ensuring economic benefits and set-aside agreements for Giant Mine remediation projects.

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At the meeting the federal government was also presented with a petition that had over 30,000 signatures.

It is currently the biggest open petition to the Government of Canada and has been gaining attention on Tik Tok via a video posted by Yellowknives Dene member Morgan Tsetta.

YKDFN member Morgan Tsetta drew attention to a Government of Canada petition via TikTok. (Screenshot from TikTok.)

“We are making progress together with the Government of Canada, and at the meeting we underscored the urgency of the situation on the Giant Mine remediation contracts,” Chief Ernest Betsina, Ndilo Chief of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation. “We are optimistic right now on the progress that is being made, but there is still much work to do.” 

Betsina said he hopes to have agreements for set-asides and a Memorandum of Collaboration to work towards economic benefits for YKDFN members by the end of March.

MP for the Northwest Territories Michael McLeod says the progress was good to see and he agreed to sponsor the petition and to table it in Parliament once signatures have closed.

The petition is available at this link

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