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Good afternoon everyone.
I’m excited to be here today for this event and in Vancouver for Roundup, with our partners like Cheetah Resources and Nahanni Det’on Cho.
As many of you now, the NWT was built on mining.
But mining is not just our history. It’s our future and today, we celebrate an exciting new chapter.
The signing of this agreement today is a demonstration that NWT resources, outside of our diamonds, are getting international attention — an indicator that we’re rounding the corner and on the road to progress in our mining industry once again.
This story is about jobs and business opportunities. It’s about the diversification of our mineral development sector, and indigenous partnership in our mining sector.
It’s also a story about our country’s reliable access to these vital resources as our economy reaches a crossroad.
With the move towards lower-carbon, tech-intensive economies, Canada – thanks to the Northwest Territories and the partners here today - is in a position to build the domestic supply-chain which has– to date - eluded our country and our allies.
Today’s announcement is notable for another reason. This contract marks a step forward in our territory’s push for Indigenous resource leadership. I want to congratulate the Yellowknives’ Det’on Cho Corporation for characteristically taking the lead on a big idea. And I would like to commend Cheetah Resources for their commitment to placing Indigenous peoples at this project’s core.
It is a tangible example of the sustainable development and social responsibility that we talk about so often in the Northwest Territories in-line with our territory’s priorities and values.
I don’t want to take up much more time as today is about our partners, but I did want to share a thought.
It has always struck me that the Northwest Territories is a land of many “firsts” and “onlys.”
We’re home to the first Canadian diamonds; the only gender-balanced Assembly ever elected and currently the only female Premier.
So it is fitting that this chapter in our mining future begins with this story of firsts: Canada’s first rare earths mine and the first Indigenous government poised to lead a mine site in our country.
Our government looks forward to seeing this partnership unfold and the benefits that will follow.
Congratulations for this milestone and thank you to everyone for being here.