Gwich’in Tribal Council Responds to Inuvik Wind Project Dispute

(Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada – December 7, 2020)

Last week, the Nihtat Gwich’in Council (NGC) filed a judicial review in the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories of the decision made by the Gwich’in Land and Water Board (GLWB) to issue the licenses and permits required for the Inuvik Wind Project as proposed by the Northwest Territories Energy Corporation (NTEC). This decision was not supported by the Gwich’in Tribal Council (GTC) nor has the NGC been delegated the authority to speak on behalf of the Gwich’in of the Northwest Territories on this project.

The Inuvik Wind Project is an estimated $40 million project which will eliminate the need for approximately 3 million litres of diesel required for powering homes and businesses each year in the Town of Inuvik. Over 20 years, this an estimated savings of 60 million litres of diesel that is not transported and burned in the Mackenzie Delta that will reduce the associated emissions into our atmosphere and assist in the fight against global climate change.

Grand Chief Ken Smith states “by filing a judicial review of the GLWB decision, the NGC is jeopardizing a major renewable energy project for the residents of the Mackenzie Delta.” He adds that “the actions of the NGC also calls into question the very authority of the Gwich’in Land and Water Board to review projects such as the Inuvik Wind Project.”

The GTC believes that any projects conducted in our area must be sustainable and be of benefit to us as Gwich’in and other residents of the Mackenzie Delta region. Most importantly, we must be engaged and involved in the planning, design, assessment, construction, operation and if required closure and remediation of any project in the Gwich’in Settlement Region. To this end, the GTC recognizes the authority of the GLWB and supports their decision regarding the Inuvik Wind Project in late October.

Grand Chief Ken Smith further adds that “in the opinion of the GTC, NTEC has conducted an adequate level of engagement thus far with the Gwich’in on the Inuvik Wind Project and we look forward to participating actively in the future execution of this ground-breaking project.”

For media inquiries please contact:

Amber Keegan

Policy, Negotiations, & Communications Specialist

Gwich’in Tribal Council

867-777-7923

amber.keegan@gwichintribal.ca

 

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