Municipal and Community Affairs Minister Shane Thompson issued the following statement today:
“The City of Yellowknife and the Yellowknives Dene First Nation have announced a tentative date and time of 12:00 PM Wednesday, September 6, 2023 for residents to begin returning to Dettah, N’Dilo and Yellowknife. The GNWT is looking forward to welcoming residents home and is working to ensure that a basic level of service and support is available for residents when they arrive.
“We ask residents to stay where they are until the evacuation order is lifted on Wednesday. This will help make re-entry safer and more organized. Please do not travel back toward the NWT-Alberta border until Wednesday, September 6. No supports are available in Northern Alberta for residents considering moving North to wait for the order to be lifted.
”We recognize and thank the Government of Alberta, hosting communities and the people of Alberta for their incredible support during this evacuation. We acknowledge that today's announcement and this timing might strain their resources, especially as Yellowknifers and residents of Dettah and N’Dilo drive through Northern Alberta.
“The GNWT will be holding a Press Conference tomorrow, Saturday, September 2, 2023 at 4:00 PM to provide residents with information about:
• how to plan to travel home safely after the evacuation order has been lifted;
• the level of GNWT services, including health services, that will be available as of the re-entry date;
• risks and other considerations that residents will want to evaluate when deciding when to return home;
• the process to register for flights home for those that require them; and
• the supports that will remain available in Alberta to NWT residents who can’t return home yet because of health concerns; and
• the limited services available in Yellowknife.”
“While this is good news for Yellowknifers and residents of Dettah and Ndilo, we want to recognize that residents of the communities of Hay River, Fort Smith, Kakisa, K’atlodeeche First Nation and Enterprise remain displaced. We continue actively fighting the fires outside of your communities to get you home as soon as it is safe. Evacuees from these South Slave communities are asked to remain where they are rather than travel to Yellowknife. Given the limited services that will be available in the City as residents return, no supports will be available in the form of evacuation centres or accommodations for evacuees from other communities in Yellowknife.”
Media Requests, please contact:
Government of the Northwest Territories