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Kyle Bayha — more to come

Kyle Bayha has worked at various mines in the NWT.

As a Dene man from Deline, he has always been a minority on a mine site.

That was until he started working at Nechalacho rare earth metals mine.

Now Bayha says around 80 per cent of the 100 or so workers on the project are Indigenous, which helps build a sense of community on site, says Bayha.

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“It feels great to work with my brothers. All of us come here and work as a community and just get it done. I think it’s unreal the teamwork I’ve seen.”

Kyle Bayha, operator at Nechalacho

That’s an historic fact, according to Paul Gruner, Chief Executive Officer of Det’On Cho Corporation, the company contracted to work at the site.

“We’re the first, as we know it, miners on our own traditional lands of any sort of magnitude and I think that’s obviously precedent setting.”

Paul Gruner, CEO of Det’On Cho Corporation

Gruner said he hopes there will be more opportunities for Indigenous companies to do business with mines in the NWT.

He added this should mean more opportunities for Indigenous residents to receive training and job experience.

This is a trend line that we’re going to be seeing actively, I think in Canada, and if we can start setting some of those things in motion here in Northwest Territories with groups like Det’On Cho and Yellowknives Dene First Nations, I think we’re all better off for it.

Paul Gruner, CEO of Det’On Cho Corporation
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