Archived - Success Story: Preparing Inuvialuit Businesses and Communities for Economic Diversification Opportunities

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Project Location: Inuvik, Northwest Territories
Program: Northern Aboriginal Economic Opportunities Program
Sectors: Oil and Gas; Tourism; Agriculture; Small Business; Traditional Economy

In 2014-15, the Inuvialuit Community Economic Development Organization (ICEDO) launched a series of Regional Opportunity Readiness Initiatives over five years to increase economic opportunities for Inuvialuit businesses and communities across multiple sectors.  This series of initiatives will help position business and communities in the region to benefit from the industrial and economic diversification opportunities expected to arise through and beyond the construction of the highway between Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk, NWT.

One of these initiatives was a pilot program to focus on value-added country food processing methods in response to the growing demand for nutritious and affordable country foods in Inuvialuit communities. ICEDO, in partnership, with Aurora College, developed and executed a ten-day training course, titled Country Food Processing Methods, from February 22 to March 4, 2016 in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. The course taught participants the knowledge and skills required to process traditional foods, including char, muskox, muktuk, and reindeer. Business and community members from Tuktoyaktuk, Aklavik, and Inuvik received in-class and hands-on instruction that covered the essentials of primary value-added processing techniques, regulatory requirements, and production.

To date, CanNor has invested $865,000 in ICEDO's Regional Opportunity Readiness Initiatives, which included funding for the Country Food Processing Methods course and the processing equipment used during the course. It is expected that this innovative and unique training in country food processing will foster the growth of this commercial business in nearby communities.

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