Wally Schumann: Importance of Partnerships

March 1, 2016
Ministers' Statements and Speeches

Mr. Speaker, collaboration is one of the Priorities of the Assembly and is an important part of how the Government of the Northwest Territories does business. That includes developing and fostering effective partnerships in supporting a comprehensive and collaborative approach to managing and conserving our environment and our wildlife, forests and water resources.

Engaging with a wide range of partners including Aboriginal governments and communities, regulatory and co-management boards, non-governmental organizations, funding agencies and academic institutions can ensure we are using the best available scientific, traditional and local knowledge in decision-making processes.

Partnerships offer the opportunity to access additional scientific expertise, build community capacity and leverage additional funding to better inform our Government of potential impacts on the environment from climate change and development. This increased knowledge will not only help us adapt to a changing climate, it will also better position us as a responsible manager of our land and water.

Mr. Speaker, current examples of successful partnerships include the Mackenzie Datastream, a new community-based water data website funded by The Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation in close collaboration with our Government.

We have also partnered on a new climate change prediction tool developed with the University of Alaska, Fairbanks for our communities.

Another partnership led by the University of Alberta, our Government and the Mackenzie River Basin Board recently received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for a six-year traditional and local knowledge research project.

The main goal of the project is to determine and demonstrate the importance of local and traditional knowledge to our understanding of social and ecological change in the Mackenzie River Basin and incorporation within regional, territorial, provincial and federal decisions.

Mr. Speaker, these projects highlight the role effective and diverse partnerships can play in meeting our research needs and the expectations of residents for wise and effective decision-making.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources will continue to develop, foster and promote effective partnerships, which meet its mandate and offer opportunities for Aboriginal and community capacity building. 

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.