YKDFN releases letter on COVID 19 and diamond mines’ response to it

Dettah Council Chambers. (YKDFN 2017 Photo)
The Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN) has released a letter to its members over COVID-19 and the response from the territory’s diamond mines.
It reads…
We are in unprecedented times.
What has transpired over the past several days with the onset of the COVID-19 virus is something that could not have been imagined, let alone predicted.

On March 19, 2020, Dominion Diamond Mines announced that it would put Ekati Diamond Mine into temporary care and maintenance, we respect their decision.

DeBeers and Diavik have both chosen to make modifications to their respective sites and remain in operation.

Each has put procedures and protocols in place directly related to COVID-19 to ensure the safety of their workers and communities of the NWT.

We have consulted extensively with both DeBeers and Diavik and understand that they are actively monitoring this rapidly changing situation and understand the effect on their respective operations.

We are confident that they are making decisions that will keep their employees and our communities safe in this time of crisis.

The diamond industry in the NWT has had an extensive safety record that is second to none.

These mines have kept their employees, many of which are our people, incredibly safe for many years.

We have faith that the diamond industry will continue to do what is in the best interests of safety, employees, and communities.

We will continue to have constructive dialogue with each mine as it relates to COVID-19 and work with them to overcome these challenging times.

About the Author

John McFadden
John has been in the broadcast journalism industry since the 1980s. He has been a reporter in Yellowknife since 2012 and joined CKLB in January of 2018. John covers the crime and court beat as well as reporting on other areas including politics, business, entertainment and sports. He won seven national community newspaper awards while he was a journalist with Northern News Services Limited (NNSL). John worked in Ontario before coming North including stints as a TV sportscaster in Peterborough and senior news writer for CBC and CTV in downtown Toronto.