Indigenous Leadership Initiative hope national pilot project is in 2017 Federal Budget

Ni Hat'Ni Dene Rangers. Photo submitted by Steven Nitah

A non-profit group hopes this week’s federal budget could create a network of Indigenous guardians across Canada.

Steven Nitah says the 500 million dollar pilot project was pitched to Ottawa last fall.

“The Indigenous Leadership Initiative has (made a request to the) federal government to create a national pilot project of Indigenous Guardians, based on the Indigenous Rangers program that has been very successful in Australia,” said Nitah.

Nitah is one of the NWT advisors to the Indigenous Leadership Initiative. He has helped negotiate and set up the Ni Hat’Ni Dene Ranger program in Lutsel K’e.

Nitah says he’s crossing his fingers the request will be granted by Finance Minister Bill Morneau on Wednesday.

“If successful it will have a profound impact on Canada Indigenous government relations, and better environment where dialogue can lead to better relationships,” added Nitah.

So far the Mining Association of Canada and Boreal Leadership Council have committed to supporting the project.

About the Author

Josh Campbell
Josh Campbell has returned to the CKLB News Team. He worked as a sports writer in New Brunswick, prior to graduating from Loyalist College in Mohawk Territory near Belleville, Ontario. Between journalistic duties in the NWT and Yukon, Campbell was a speechwriter for former NWT MP Dennis Bevington, and Sahtu MLA Norman Yakeleya.

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