GNWT to exempt additional income received from Indigenous Governments for Income Assistance

News Releases

Yellowknife — March 2, 2023

As of April 1, 2023, the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) will be exempting additional income received from Indigenous Governments from the calculation of Income Assistance benefits in a further step towards advancing reconciliation.

As noted in the What We Heard Report on the Income Assistance Program Review, Northerners expressed that income received from Indigenous Governments should not be included in the calculation of benefits. As a result, the GNWT is adapting the program to reflect the needs of residents.

This includes exempting all income received from treaty payments, per capita distributions, impact benefit agreements and agricultural benefits. Income for pain and suffering including Sixties Scoop, Indian Day School and Residential School payments will continue to be exempt.

Clients must continue to report all income, including exempted income on their monthly applications. If clients are uncertain about how these changes may impact their Income Assistance benefits, they are encouraged to speak to a Client Services Officer at their local or regional ECE Service Centre.


“The GNWT recognizes the significant role Indigenous Governments play in assisting residents.  As a further step towards reconciliation, the GNWT will be exempting additional income received from Indigenous Governments in the calculation of clients’ benefits. The GNWT is committed to ensuring that our programs and services are effectively supporting residents and that we are listening and responding to their needs.”

-R.J. Simpson, Minister Education, Culture and Employment

Quick facts

  • Additional income that will be excluded in the calculation of benefits include:
    • Monies received from Self-Government Agreements, Treaty Agreements, Land Claim Agreements, and Impact Benefit Agreements;
    • Monies received as compensation from a Residential School Settlement, an Indian Day School Settlement, or a Sixties Scoop Settlement;
    • Monies received on behalf of an applicant’s dependants through Jordan’s Principle and the Inuit Child First Initiative
    • Monies received through Agricultural Benefits for Indigenous Governments; and
    • Other monies received from Indigenous Governments, as determined by the Director of Income Security Programs.

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For media requests, please contact:

Briony Grabke

Manager, Public Affairs and Communications

Department of Education, Culture and Employment

Government of the Northwest Territories

867-767-9352 Ext. 71073