The Government of Canada is providing more than $12.5 million in funding for two green infrastructure projects in the Town of Inuvik and the Hamlet of Fort McPherson.

“Cultural and recreational centres are beacons of our northern communities. They enable intergenerational knowledge sharing, providing an important link between elders and youth and ensuring that Northern traditions are passed on from generation to generation. Our government is investing so that these facilities are more accessible and environmentally friendly — meaning more northerners will be able to use them, and local governments will spend less on energy costs,” said Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories.

Funding will go towards retrofits to the Town of Inuvik’s Midnight Sun Complex, the town’s main recreation centre, by installing solar panels and a battery bank to offset high energy costs generated from diesel and liquefied natural gas. These upgrades will help reduce energy use and emissions, improve accessibility, and make the facility more comfortable for users.

“With the completion of this project, it is estimated the Midnight Sun Complex will reduce its carbon footprint by approximately 363.2 t of Co2 and the potential operational cost savings of $13M over the anticipated 25-year life of the project. This would enable the Town to direct funding to other programs and reduce its infrastructure deficit,” said Clarence Wood, Mayor of the Town of Inuvik.

ImageNWT MP Michael McLeod with Inuvik Mayor Clarence Wood and Chief Wanda Pascal of the Teetlit Gwich’in Band Council. Credit: Michael McLeod/Twitter.

“We are thrilled our application for a Cultural Wellness Centre was selected. The investment made from the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings (GICB) program to construct a Net Zero carbon building will provide us with the opportunity to serve our youth, elders, and community members with a wide variety of programming. The Cultural Wellness Centre will be a place to share and pass on knowledge, deliver educational workshops, and be a gathering place to preserve our cultural and traditional history,” said Wanda Pascal, Chief of the Teetl’it Gwich’in Band.

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In addition, funding will support the construction of a cultural wellness centre in Fort McPherson, which will serve as an important gathering area for elders, youth, and all community members. This new facility will provide spaces for residents and visitors to promote land-based knowledge sharing, preserve cultural history, socialize and participate in a variety of programs and activities. The new facility will feature a large architectural Teepee entrance, three large learning rooms that support tutoring, adult education, and skills development, as well as a Community Activity Centre which will allow the community to host cultural events.

The Government of Canada is investing over $12.5 million through the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings (GICB) program. At least 10 per cent of funding is allocated to projects serving First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities, including Indigenous populations in urban centres.

Provincial/territorial governments, municipal or regional governments, public sector bodies, not-for-profit, and Indigenous organizations interested in the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program are invited to apply on the Infrastructure Canada website.

Featured image: A rendering of Fort McPherson’s proposed cultural wellness centre as uploaded to the Teetl’it Gwich’in Band Council’s Facebook page.

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