(For Immediate Release)
NWT – February 25, 2018
For the second year in a row, the NWT On The Land Collaborative will distribute 1 million dollars in grants to 48 projects across the territory that connect NWT residents with land, culture, and community.
“The continued success of the Collaborative is a testament to the Partners’ willingness and commitment to working together, and the dedication of communities and organizations to delivering programs that renew and strengthen relations to the land,” says Tides Canada representative Steve Ellis, who is also one of the founding members of the Collaborative.
The outcomes of on the land programming are as numerous as they are varied, but one thing is certain: they support the health and wellbeing of communities, families, and individuals, and are vital to healthy ecosystems and economies in the North. Since it was founded in 2015, the Collaborative has distributed more than 3 million dollars to 166 projects in every region of the NWT.
“Grants from the On The Land Collaborative have allowed the school to develop what has become an annual canoe trip on Tsııgèhnjık. This trip has reconnected the school and community with this historical waterway. While the grants provided the seed money, the school and community came together to ensure the youth understood the importance of their role as stewards of the river. As a school we are forever indebted to the Collaborative, without their funding this trip would have remained a wistful dream. It took the initial grant in 2016 to start the conversation,” says Sonia Gregory, principal of Chief Paul Niditchie School in Tsııgehtchıc.
2019 grants range between $2,500 and $60,000. The recipients are primarily Indigenous governments, schools, and non-governmental organizations. Small grant recipients include an ice fishing program hosted by the Tuktoyaktuk Elders Society and a winter camp for students at Jean Wetrade School in Gametì. Medium-sized grants will allow the Children First Society in Inuvik to continue to expand its First Steps on the Land Program and make it possible for the Ka’a’gee Tu First Nation to organize a canoe trip for youth and Elders. Large grants have been awarded to the Délı̨nę Got’ı̨nę Government to support the Tsá Tué Water Guardians Program and to Pehdzeh Kı First Nation for an immersive language camp at Fish Lake. In addition to financial support, funded projects may also receive equipment, training, and program support.
This past fall, the Collaborative was celebrated with a Premier’s Award for Collaboration for “effectively generating new ideas with practical applications” and “collaboration between the GNWT, NGOs, and Indigenous governments” that “recognizes, celebrates, and transmits traditional knowledge.”
Program Lead, Northern Canada
Director, On the Land Programs
NWT Recreation and Parks Association
The NWT On The Land Collaborative was honoured to have been named as a recipient of a 2018 Premier's Award for Collaboration. Since its inception in 2015, the Collaborative has distributed over 2 million dollars in grants to 118 on the land projects across the NWT.
The citation read, "This team has effectively generated new ideas with practical applications through the OTL program, which recognizes, celebrates, and transmits traditional knowledge supported through collaboration between the GNWT, NGOS, and Indigenous governments."
On hand to receive the award from Premier Bob McLeod at the ceremony on November 29, 2018, were (left to right): Winter Bailey (Rio Tinto Diavik Diamond Mine), Susan Ross (Gwıch’ın Tribal Council), Kyla Kakfwi Scott (GNWT, Health and Social Services), Misty Ireland (Dehcho First Nations), Rebecca Plotner (Dominion Diamond Mines), and Sarah Dennis (GNWT, Environment and Natural Resources). The others partners named in the citation were Stephen Ellis (Tides Canada), Jess Dunkin (NWT Recreation and Parks Association), John B. Zoe (Tłı̨chǫ Government), and Meghan Etter (Inuvilauit Regional Corporation).
Máhsı to Angela Gzowski for the lovely photos from the event and congratulations to the other recipients!