GNWT launching new programs to promote harvesting

Harvesters parked on the Tibbitt to Contwoyto winter road. (Photo retrieved from ENR's Facebook page).

The Government of the Northwest Territories is launching three new programs to encourage harvesting.

A press release says harvesting can decrease reliance on store-bought foods, which can be expensive for residents, particularly those in remote communities.

The GNWT is investing $330,000 “to support harvesters and the traditional economy” in 2020-21.

The funding will go towards assisting struggling families go out on the land, a regional harvesting, training and mentorship funding program, and a pilot program for trapper mentorship.

The regional harvesting, training and mentorship support program is receiving $260,000, which Indigenous governments and organizations can apply for.

Organizations aiming to help families in need offset the costs of land-based activities, will have $50,000 available to them.

And $20,000 is available to mentors who will support 10 beginner trappers with starter kits and support. This is being run by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Applications will start being accepted in mid-October, the release says.

The Genuine Mackenzie Valley Fur Program

The Genuine Mackenzie Valley Fur Program (GMVF) will also be implementing some changes.

The GMVF will be expanding grubstake payments for eligible trappers in light of COVID-19.

Grubstakes are designed to protect NWT trappers and harvesters from market downturns by offsetting some annual start-up costs and encouraging participation in the fur industry.

The changes include the creation of a second eligibility category to make additional funding available to more trappers this year.

Changes to the Trapper’s Grubstake Program are effective Sept. 15.

About the Author

Luke Carroll
Luke Carroll is a journalist originally from Brockville, Ont. He is happy to call the Northwest Territories home and is always listening for stories that matter to the community. He has previously worked as a reporter and editor in Ottawa, Halifax and New Brunswick. If you have a story idea, feel free to send him an email at luke.carroll@cklbradio.com