YK and YKDFN joint economic strategy going to vote

City of Yellowknife staff called the strategy, developed with YKDFN groundbreaking. Shot of Dettah. (Photo by Bailey Moreton/MyTrueNorthNow.com.)
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Businesses called for more housing and a better skilled workforce to help boost Yellowknife’s economy. 

That consultation was done as part of the development of a joint economic strategy between the City of Yellowknife and the Yellowknives Dene First Nation.

The strategy came after consultation with over 100 businesses, with residents also being surveyed.

City administrator Sheila Bassi-Kellett touted the strategy as groundbreaking, saying it will provide greater opportunities for collaboration and would help both the city and YKDFN lobby industry. 

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Yellowknife Mayor Rebecca Alty says if the vote on the item is passed, she will be thrilled to see the implementation of the plan from the ground floor. 

Yellowknife Mayor Rebecca Alty says if the vote on the item is passed, she will be thrilled to see the implementation of the plan from the ground floor. 

“I think that the implementation plan is what I’m really looking forward to seeing,” said Yellowknife Mayor Rebecca Alty said Monday. 

“They’ll be able to do a bit more of that analysis of what the recommendations are, what’s currently happening on the land and recognizing how fast things can change.”

Despite the optimism, the report forecasted an economic decline into the future and a decline in the territory’s population.

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“When a realistic [consideration of] scenarios 5, 10 and 15 years into the future [is conducted], even the best case represents an economic decline from where the territory is today,” the report read.

Adapting to COVID-19, and addressing the NWT’s dependence on government spending for its economy were outlined as key areas to prevent the economy from declining, during consultation with businesses.

As well as adapting to COVID-19, the strategy identifies the importance of expanding opportunities for online and offline learning to increase the number of educated residents, as well as expanding Yellowknife’s fishery, including potentially establishing a processing plant.

The strategy also says the completion of the land claim agreement, which will incorporate Ndilo into YKDFN territory and is currently being reviewed by the GNWT, will also expand opportunities for trapping and fur traders in YKDFN territory.


Among other areas, the strategy touts the potential for land development once the land claim agreement is completed, as well as renovating the Yellowknife airport and attracting more investment in the fledgling film industry in NWT will help boost the territory’s economy.

The strategy will be presented for a vote before city council on March 22.

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