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MP McLeod announces $15 million to Indigenous governments and organizations affected by 2023 wildfires

Press Release

From: Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

March 26, 2024 — Yellowknife, Traditional territory of the Akaitcho, Yellowknives Dene First Nation, and Métis, part of the Mǫwhì Gogha Dè Nı̨ı̨tłèè traditional area of the Tłı̨chǫ, Northwest Territories — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Canada’s 2023 wildfire season was the most destructive ever recorded. It resulted in widespread evacuations, loss of personal property and businesses, and damage to critical infrastructure. During the 2023 wildfire season, Indigenous governments and organizations stepped up to support communities their communities during evacuations in the Northwest Territories, which forced 70% of the population from their homes. The Government of Canada is working closely with Indigenous partners in the NWT to ensure resources are in place to manage future emergencies.

That is why today, Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories, on behalf of the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, announced $15 million to support Indigenous governments and organizations in the Territory impacted by the 2023 wildfire season, to reimburse them for expenses incurred supporting their members. In providing this funding, the Government of Canada recognizes that Indigenous governments and organizations know best how to serve their communities.

Canada is working with Indigenous organizations in the North to support emergency responses and preparedness and together toward a healthy and resilient Northern environment.


“Northern communities are bearing an incredible burden of the impacts of climate change. The 2023 wildfires that the Northwest Territories experienced were a stark reminder of these destructive impacts of climate change for Northerners. This funding reflects Canada’s commitment to helping Northwest Territories communities recover from their worst-ever wildfire season. The funding will support Indigenous governments and organizations who stepped up to provide aide and shelter to their evacuated neighbours to ensure they can continue to be there for future emergencies.”

The Honourable Dan Vandal, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Northern Affairs

“When our communities were evacuated this summer, we really saw everyone banding together to help get people out safely. Now we want to make sure that Indigenous partners aren’t negatively impacted as a result of providing culturally-appropriate supports during those challenging times. This funding will help ensure they can continue to operate and provide for their communities and membership as they build back better.”

Michael McLeod
Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories

“Tłı̨chǫ people and lands were severely impacted by the 2023 wildfire season. As a self-government, we have a responsibility to take care of our people and we mobilized an emergency response to ensure our people were cared for. We are pleased that Canada has recognized and is supporting the important role of Indigenous governments in emergency management with this funding. We have a lot of work to do together to ensure stronger collaboration on emergency management moving forward, and Tłı̨chǫ Government is keen to work with all levels of government to support this critical work.”

Chief Jackson Lafferty
Tłı̨chǫ Grand Chief

Quick facts

  • Between May 4 and October 15, 2023, 304 wildfires burned over 4.1 million hectares across the Northwest Territories. Many of these wildfires threatened NWT communities and resulted in many community evacuations, displacing nearly 70% of NWT residents from their homes.
  • Many Indigenous governments and organizations used their own funds to help out their community members, through chartering flights, paying for accommodations, and providing cultural supports to those who were evacuated.
  • Through the funding announced today, 11 Indigenous governments and organizations are receiving  up to $100,000 including:
    • Inuvialuit Regional Corporation – $36,647.00
    • The Tłegǫ́hłı̨ Got’įnę Government – $90,000.00
    • Fort Norman Métis – $50,660.00
    • Pedzeh Ki First Nation – $99,920.00
    • Nahanni Butte First Nation – $100,000.00
    • Deh Gah Gotie Dene Council – $100,000.00
    • Sambaa K’e First Nation – $100,000.00
    • Deninu Kue First Nation – $99,068.00
    • Acho Dene Koe First Nation – $100,000.00
    • Hay River and Area Métis Local 51 – $100,000.00
    • Hay River Métis Council – $98,137.00
  • For some communities, additional funding is being provided based on needs identified by the organizations:
    • Fort Good Hope First Nation – $1,527,062.00
    • Délı̨nę Got’ı̨nę Government – $1,229,518.00
    • Tłı̨chǫ Government – $5,317,330.00
    • Dehcho First Nations – $181,400.00
    • Jean Marie River First Nation – $233,433.00
    • West Point First Nation – $285,220.00
    • Yellowknives Dene First Nation – $1,046,552.00
    • Łutselk’e Dene First Nation – $548,380.00
    • Salt River First Nation – $1,364,483.00
    • Northwest Territory Métis Nation – $384,691.00
    • Fort Smith Métis Local – $274,890.00
    • North Slave Métis Alliance – $259,127.00
    • Yamoga Land Corporation – $160,945.00
    • Dene Nation – $101,950.00
    • Gwich’in Tribal Council – $283,000.00
    • Tulita Dene Band – $827,587.00
  • This investment augments the funding provided by other federal departments in response to the 2023 wildfire season, including by Public Safety and Indigenous Services Canada.
  • Increasing whole-of-society emergency management capabilities in Arctic and northern communities is one of the objectives of the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Carson Debert
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Dan Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs

Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada



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