GNWT and Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated sign Memorandum of Understanding for Advancement of the Mackenzie Valley Highway


Norman Wells — April 11, 2019

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed today by the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) and Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated (SSI) for the advancement of the Mackenzie Valley Highway (MVH) project.


Wally Schumann, Minister of Infrastructure and Charles McNeely, SSI Chair signed the MOU during the GNWT-SSI bilateral meeting today in Norman Wells.


The MOU outlines how the GNWT and SSI will cooperate on the advancement of the MVH project through the environmental review and regulatory processes.


The next phase of the MVH will replace the current winter road from Wrigley to Norman Wells with an all-weather road. In total, 321 kilometres of new all-weather highway is planned.


Signing this MOU is an important step in advancing the MVH project consistent with relevant regulatory processes and requirements. The GNWT will continue to work closely with all project stakeholders through the various phases of this transformative project.




“The GNWT is pleased to formalize a long-standing working relationship with SSI for the Mackenzie Valley Highway project. Undertaking a major infrastructure project like this would not be possible without the support and collaboration of Indigenous governments and organizations. The GNWT and SSI will work together to leverage our collective strengths and interests to support this strategic project for the benefit of NWT residents and communities.”
- Wally Schumann, Minister of Infrastructure

“SSI has long been a strong advocate for the completion of the Mackenzie Valley Highway. The construction of the highway from Wrigley to Norman Wells will provide a much-needed boost to the Sahtu Region's economy and its operation in the years to come will provide economic benefits to the NWT as a whole. We look forward to working with the GNWT to advance the regulatory processes required for this project.”
- Charles McNeely, Chair of the Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated


Quick Facts:


  • The MVH project is identified in the GNWT’s mandate under commitment 1.1.1:
    • “We will work to secure funding to advance planning and construction of transportation projects, including three priority corridors: the Mackenzie Valley Highway, Tłı̨chǫ All-season Road, and Slave Geological Province Access Corridor.”
  • In 2018, INF secured $140 million in funding ($102.5 million from Canada, $37.5 million from the GNWT) to advance the MVH project.
  • The MVH will support:
    • Improved intercommunity mobility.
    • Enhanced social opportunities.
    • A lower cost of living in the region.
    • A more resilient transportation system in the face of climate change.
    • New economic opportunities, such as increased tourism and access for mineral and petroleum resources exploration and development.

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Media Contacts:

Department of Infrastructure
Communications and Public Affairs
Government of the Northwest Territories
Phone: (867) 767-9082 (extension 32025)



Twitter: @GNWT_INF