Yellowknives Dene First Nation and City of Yellowknife

Yellowknifes Dene

Yellowknives Dene First Nation and City of Yellowknife working group.

Unique Features of this Partnership

Yellowknives Dene First Nation and City of Yellowknife were selected in April 2019 to participate in a 2-year accelerated model of the CEDI program. This high-capacity partnership is working on a joint economic development strategy to identify mutually prosperous joint community economic development initiatives.

The governance structure of Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN) is representative of their two sister communities, Ndilo and Dettah, with a Chief and council members elected from each community forming the leadership of the nation. The two YKDFN Chiefs and City of Yellowknife Mayor, elected leadership, and staff look forward to the continued building of a resilient, sustainable partnership while developing their joint economic development strategy. These partners will participate in CEDI between 2019 – 2021.

Areas of Collaboration – Joint CED Themes

• Joint Economic Development Strategy


• First to participate in a 2-year accelerated model of the program

• Updated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between their two communities

• First partnership to jointly develop press release announcing their partnership and community economic development initiative, prior to Workshop #1

• Successful applicants to CanNor for funding to complete a Joint Economic Development Strategy

• Attended Cando National Conference in Gatineau, October 2019, and spoke about the building of their relationship and intentions of developing a joint economic development strategy

In the Media:

• City of Yellowknife News, June, 7, 2019: YKDFN and City Work on Joint Economic Development Strategy

• CKLB Radio, June 7, 2019: YKDFN teams with City Of Yellowknife to enhance economic development in Yellowknife, Ndilo and Dettah

Why Work Together?

“Working together with the City of Yellowknife on this joint economic strategy will bring economic prosperity for all our peoples and the region. We thank Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (Cando) and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) for having chosen our communities for this important initiative.”

– Edward Sangris, Chief of Dettah.

“This initiative between the City of Yellowknife and our First Nation is a true example of economic reconciliation in action, as we seek to develop and implement a joint community economic development strategy for today and that future. We look forward to continuing our efforts building a strong relationship and partnership with the City of Yellowknife through this CEDI initiative.”

Ernest Betsina, Chief of Ndilo, Yellowknives Dene First Nation

“We are fortunate to work, live and play in Chief Drygeese Territory, and working with the YKDFN on this strategy will continue to strengthen the relationship between both our communities and advance the economic development of our entire region. We are grateful to have been chosen for this opportunity and are excited to get to work.”

– Rebecca Alty, Mayor of Yellowknife.



Next Steps

This partnership accelerated through the first 3 stages of the Stronger Together Approach: Stage A: Connect, Stage B: Vision, and Stage C: Decide by identifying and prioritizing the joint economic development strategy as their joint community economic development initiative.

As the partnership moves from Stage C: Decide to Stage D: Act, the CEDI working group has identified the following priorities:

• Continue to work with the hired consultants to design and develop a draft joint economic development strategy

• Utilize CEDI Joint Workshop #3 (set to take place in August 2020) to review the draft joint economic development strategy and to identify short term community economic development initiatives they can plan for and implement during their final months participating in the CEDI program.

• Continue to formalize joint planning processes and build capacity to continue collaboration post-CEDI participation 


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For More

Marissa Lawrence
Senior Program Officer, Cando
T: (778) 628 2180

Helen Patterson
CEDI Program Manager
Federation of Canadian Municipalities
T. 613-907-6320