YELLOWKNIFE, NT – The 44th Annual Yellowknife Geoscience Forum provided a fitting venue for Stanley Anablak, President of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association (“KIA”), to officially launch in a broad public forum KIA’s role as joint proponent and developer of the Grays Bay Road and Port Project. In a presentation delivered on the morning of Wednesday, November 16th, President Anablak introduced the project to conference attendees, particularly focusing on the socio-economic benefits that could be realized by northern communities and businesses. He also explained KIA’s motivation behind its becoming a project co-proponent, a ground-breaking role for an indigenous group in Canada. Given the Geoscience Forum’s emphasis on resource-development, President Anablak took the opportunity to convey to his audience the potential of the Grays Bay Road and Port Project to significantly enable mineral development in the highly-prospective northern section of the Slave Geological Province – an area that currently suffers from a lack of substantial investment in infrastructure.
At a time when many northern resource projects struggle and mineral exploration spending continues on a downward trajectory in all three territories, President Anablak’s presentation provided a dose of much-needed optimism that was appreciated by many in the audience and it generated a substantial level of interest around KIA’s role as an equal partner with the Government of Nunavut in this process.
Geoscience Week also provided an opportunity for President Anablak and his team to meet with the Tlicho Chiefs in Yellowknife to present information on the Grays Bay Road and Port Project. This was the first meeting held between the KIA and the Tlicho Government on the project, but it will not be the last. Fostering respectful relationships with the Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Territories is very important to KIA, and will be especially so as it moves the Grays Bay Road and Port Project forward. This was an important first step in a much broader approach that will encompass all the communities in the Kitikmeot and affected groups in the NWT.