Supporting Local Indigenous Tourism in the Northwest Territories

Jean Marie River Development Corporation renovates historic log school to promote tourism in the community

JEAN MARIE RIVER, NT, June 8, 2016 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Minister Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for CanNor announced a three year investment of $441,078 to the business development corporation of Jean Marie River First Nation to renovate the community's historic log school and improve tourism plans to attract more visitors to the area.  

The renovated facility will house a hunter and trapper's museum, a café, and a local artisan store, which will sell indigenous arts and crafts. The project will help to diversify the local economy by attracting tourists to the Dehcho region of the Northwest Territories, create jobs for Indigenous people and support the unique indigenous culture and traditional craftsmanship of the Jean Marie River First Nation.

Quick Facts

  • CanNor will fund this project through the Northern Aboriginal Economic Opportunities Program. In addition the Government of the Northwest Territories is investing $150,000 to this project.
  • In the early 1950s, Jean Marie River was the first indigenous communities in the Northwest Territories to successfully petition to have a school built in their community. The school was hand-built by community members and operated until the 1990s.


"The Louie Norwegian Territorial log school is an important symbol of entrepreneurship and resilience to the Jean Marie River First Nation community. By investing in this renovation, the Government of Canada is supporting the growth of local tourism, helping create new jobs, and upholding indigenous heritage."

The Honourable Navdeep Bains
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

"The renovated log school is an excellent example of federal, territorial and municipal counterparts working together to restore and showcase the unique indigenous culture and artistry in the Dehcho region and contribute to the growing tourism industry in the Northwest Territories."

Michael McLeod
Member of Parliament, Northwest Territories

"The Government of the Northwest Territories is pleased to partner in this funding initiative that will establish a foundation for economic growth and diversification in Jean Marie River.  Our government is committed to establishing and expanding self-sufficient business ventures – as a means to investing in renewable resources, tourism and the traditional economy."

Minister McLeod
Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment

"For our community, renovating the former log school is foremost in honoring the legacy and memory of our fathers who have proven self-reliance by constructing the school so that children did not have to leave home at a young age for residential schools. Renovating the log school as part of Jean Marie River First Nation's economic revitalization plan and incorporating our traditional Dene culture and lifestyle into the plan, will continue the legacy left by our forefathers."

Chief Glady Norwegian
Jean Marie River First Nation 

Associated Links  

Funding to support marketing, skills training, and research for tourism industry 
Supporting Tourism Development in Arctic Bay


For more information about CanNor, visit


SOURCE Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)

For further information: Office of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, 343-291-2500; Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, Rebecca McDonald, Communications Advisor, NT Region, 867-669-2592; Government of Northwest Territories, Drew Williams, Manager Public Affairs and Communications, 867-767-9202 ext. 63037; Jean Marie River First Nation, Marilyn Hardisty, Program Coordinator, 867-809-2000


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