Fonds 357 - Northwest Territories. Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development fonds

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Northwest Territories. Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development fonds

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  • Textual record

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on creator of fonds.

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  • 1921-2009 (Creation)
    Northwest Territories. Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development (1996-2005)

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Physical description

ca. 57.48 m of textual records and other material

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Administrative history

The Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development was created in 1996 from the amalgamation of three separate departments: Renewable Resources, Economic Development and Tourism, and Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.

The Department of Renewable Resources' responsibilities included wildlife, fisheries, water, forestry, land management and environmental protection. It managed wildlife and forest resources and ensured that the option of resource harvesting was maintained as a lifestyle and economic option for future generations in the Northwest Territories. The department was responsible for the support of the renewable resource economy and acted as the management and regulatory authority for wildlife and environmental protection. Furthermore, it had key responsibilities in planning for use of land and inland water resources. It participated in a wide range of Federal/Territorial committees and boards that coordinated and advised on land, inland water and offshore regulation and management programs. The department also advised and provided a territorial perspective on other areas of renewable resource management where the primary authority remained with the Federal Government.

The Department of Economic Development and Tourism was responsible for the promotion and development of businesses within the Northwest Territories in order to create jobs and incomes for northerners. This was facilitated through the provision of financial assistance such as grants and loans, technical support and employment training programs. The department targeted development of employment opportunities within the arts and crafts, small business, gas and mineral, renewable resources and tourism sectors. The Department of Economic Development and Tourism was also responsible for the promotion and development of the Northwest Territories as a tourism destination, through marketing, development of tourist facilities and the territorial parks system.

The Department of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources was responsible for the management of the development and use of non-renewable and energy resources for the maximum social and economic benefit of the NWT. This was done primarily by securing a positive and stable investment climate for non-renewable resource development. Through competent and effective organization, the Department managed the development of NWT mineral, oil and gas and other energy resources, taking a lead role in the negotiations for the transfer of oil and gas management responsibilities from the federal government. Policies and programs were put in place to ensure the efficient generation and use of energy resources. Although the Department influenced how energy was used in the NWT, it could not determine such use. A substantial portion of the Department's budget was devoted to the Mineral Initiatives Program, which was funded under the Economic Development Agreement (EDA) in place with the Federal Government. The Department managed in-house GNWT energy management training programs, the energy management communications plan, and, at the time of amalgamation, was in the process of implementing various energy efficiency and alternative energy initiatives.

MLA Stephen Kakfwi was responsible for the amalgamation of Renewable Resources, Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, and Economic Development and Tourism to create the new Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development (RWED) in 1996. RWED carries forward many of the responsibilities held individually by the three former departments. Priorities include promoting economic self-sufficiency and growth through the sustainable development of natural resources and enhancing the creation of new, sustainable opportunities in the traditional and wage economies. The Department manages and protects the condition, quality, diversity and abundance of natural resources and the environment. Their aim is to improve economic conditions by enhancing the creation of new, sustainable jobs in the NWT and maximize the number of residents that fill both new and existing jobs. The Department helps to create a positive business environment that will attract investment capital and stimulate investment, trade and manufacturing in the NWT. Collaborations with aboriginal organizations and the federal government create the potential for the establishment of arrangements for industry access to lands and resources.

For the 1997-1998 fiscal year, the Department was subdivided into four areas: Resource Management and Economic Development, Corporate Management, Forest Management, and Environmental Protection Services.

The Resource Management and Economic Development area consisted of the Trade and Investment, Wildlife and Fisheries, Minerals, Oil and Gas, and Parks and Tourism divisions, the Business Credit Corporation (BCC) and the NWT Development Corporation. Trade and Investment provided advice and support to business, arts and crafts, manufacturing, trade and investment and marketing sectors of the economy. They also provided support to the Business Credit Corporation and the NWT Development Corporation. Wildlife and Fisheries was responsible for maintaining populations of wildlife, encouraging sustainable development practices, providing assistance programs to promote a hunting and trapping economy, and supporting resource user organizations to enable them to become more involved in wildlife management. Wildlife and Fisheries was also responsible for developing plans and programs for the sustainable development of the fisheries resource, including the administration of the sport fishery. The Minerals, Oil and Gas Division worked to coordinate the transfer of provincial-type responsibilities from the federal government to the GNWT with respect to mineral, oil and gas resources. It also developed strategies for increased economic benefit from mineral, oil and gas development and worked with communities to realize opportunities from resource extraction activities. Parks and Tourism provided for the development, operation and maintenance of public tourism facilities such as parks, visitor centres, interpretive displays, and promotional signs. It also promoted strategic tourism development by providing guidance to NWT Arctic Tourism.

The Business Credit Corporation (BCC) was a territorial crown corporation, with a board of directors of up to 12 persons, accountable to the Minister of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development, who had the power to decide on loans and guarantees. The objective of the BCC was to stimulate economic development and employment in the Northwest Territories by making loans to business enterprises, guaranteeing loans made by financial institutions to businesses and by providing bonds to resident business enterprises. The BCC was established as an independent lending corporation, taking over for the Business Loan Fund. It is responsible for making business loans to northern businesses where conventional lending institutions are not prepared to participate. Its role, therefore, was as a blend of being a last resort lender and a developmental agency to provide financial support for higher risk entrepreneurial ventures.

The NWT Development Corporation was established by legislation in 1990 to promote the economic objectives of the GNWT by creating employment and income for Northerners, stimulating growth of businesses in the North, and promoting economic diversification and stability. The Corporation is able to meet these objectives by providing direct investment and operating subsidies to companies through one of three types of economic involvement: subsidiary companies, venture investments, and project and business development. The Corporation may also provide small contributions for businesses to develop products, markets or business plans. These contributions are often provided on a cost-sharing basis.

In 1999-2000, two additional divisions were added to the scope of the Resource Management and Economic Development area: Community Economic Development Services, and Diamond Projects. Community Economic Development Services coordinated the Department's Community Economic Development Strategy, which was aimed at stimulating increased private sector and community-based job creation activity. It provided services to the Business Development Centres as well as strategic planning, research, program management, and training support to regions and communities. The Diamond Projects Division was responsible for addressing the need for diamond value-added industries in the North, including sorting, cutting, polishing, grading and marketing initiatives. The Division worked to develop programs to address developing a skilled work force, taxation issues, financing, industry regulations, distribution systems, marketing, and security. In 2001-2002, the Investment and Economic Analysis Division was created from the responsibilities left by the Trade and Investment and Community Economic Development Divisions. The Division was responsible for providing advice, coordination and support to the business, arts and crafts, trade and investment, manufacturing and marketing sectors of society as well as a being a link to international businesses and organizations. Investment and Economic Analysis also provided support to the BCC and the NWT Development Corporation, making recommendations concerning their planning and operations.

In 1997-1998, the Corporate Management area consisted of the Directorate, Policy and Legislation, Strategic Planning, Finance and Administration, Human Resource Management and Information Systems divisions. The Directorate, responsible for the overall direction of departmental programs, consisted of the Deputy Minister, Assistant Deputy Ministers and the Executive Director of Resource Management and Economic Development. The Policy and Legislation Division provided policy, legislative, planning and communications support to enable the Department to respond to issues of concern to the NWT pertinent to the Department's mandate. Strategic Planning researched, developed and maintained an overall economic framework for the NWT as a basis for assessment of departmental programs and services. The Finance and Administration Division provided financial management and administrative services to the Department, including budget development and control services, financial transaction authorization, and financial reporting. The Human Resource Management Division provided staffing services to the Department, administering affirmative action and in-service training programs. This function provided senior management with personnel information, recommendations on human resource issues and the development of monitoring systems and procedures. The Information Systems Division provided access to remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS), coordinating and compiling databases for the public and private sectors. It also provided computer services to the Department, including training and support for hardware and software use.

In 1998-1999, the responsibilities of the Finance and Administration, Information Systems, and Human Resource Management divisions of the Corporate Management Section were replaced by the Corporate Services Division. The new Community Economic Development Services Division assumed the role of economic and strategic planning for regional and community development. It also provided community economic development assistance to the regions. In 1999-2000, the Corporate Management Section was comprised of the Directorate, the Corporate Services Division, the Information Services, and the Policy, Legislation & Communication Division. Policy, Legislation and Communication effectively assumed the responsibilities of the Strategic Planning and Policy and Legislation divisions, while Information Services took over the remote sensing and GIS functions of the Corporate Services Division.

In 1997-1998, the Forest Management area consisted of the Forest Development and Forest Fire Management divisions. The Forest Development Division administered the development of the forest resources of the NWT. Timber permits issued helped to control harvest operations. Forest inventories were prepared to identify the location and size of forest resources. Silviculture programs, insect and disease monitoring in trees, and tree growth research were ways in which forest resources were assessed. The Forest Fire Management Division was responsible for the provision of forest fire management services on forested areas, including the protection of people, property and forest areas from wildfire and the use of prescribed burning to meet forest management and land use objectives. In 1998-1999, the Forest Fire Management Division became known as the Fire Suppression Division. In 2001-2002, the Presuppression and Program Management Division was added to the Forest Management area. Presuppression and Program Management was responsible for supporting forest management initiatives at the Regional and Territorial levels. This included forest fire presuppression, telecommunications and systems services, forest science research and planning, training and standards and the provision of supply and services in support of the programs.

The Environmental Protection Services area consisted of the Environmental Protection and Energy Management divisions. The Environmental Protection Division was responsible for programs in the areas of air quality, hazardous substances, waste management and impact analysis including monitoring and regulating activities that may impact the environment, as well as education and research. Energy Management was responsible for the development of economic energy projects with a community focus. Program areas include energy conservation, energy efficient technologies, alternative local energy source development and community energy planning. In 2001-2002, the Program Management Division was added. It was responsible for the planning, coordination, administration and management of divisional resources and programs.

On April 1, 2005, the Department was split in half; two new departments, Industry, Trade and Investment (ITI), and Environment and Natural Resources (ENR), were created.

Custodial history

Scope and content

This fonds consists of records from the Directorate, Policy, Legislation and Communication division, Wildlife and Fisheries division, Parks and Tourism division, Investment and Economic Analysis division, Industrial Initiatives division, Environmental Protection division, Minerals, Oil and Gas division, Fort Smith region, the Energy, Mines and Resources Secretariat and the Energy Secretariat of the Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development dating from 1926-2007.

The records from the Policy, Legislation and Communication division primarily consist of project report files related to a variety of departmental programs and initiatives including resource management, the Protected Areas Strategy, hunter and harvester assistance programs, Land Use Planning committees; legislative initiatives; strategic planning, oil and resource development strategies; parks and tourism; departmental operational review and organizational reviews; policy and legislation development committees, senior management committees and working groups. There are also records relating to the development of Forest Fire Management and Species at Risk legislation, amendments to the Wildlife Act, regulatory changes to the Forest Management Act and Territorial Parks Act, and protocols and regulations in regards to land claims agreements with Indigenous groups as well as feedback from the public, as well as records related to the development of the Business Development and Investment Corporation Act. Also included in the records are four signed agreements, the environmental agreement with BHP, the Environmental Agreement with DeBeers Canada regarding the Snap Lake Diamond Project, the Socio-Economic Agreement with DeBeers Canada regarding support of the secondary diamond industry in the NWT, as well as a Cooperation Agreement with the federal Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development respecting the Giant Mine Remediation Project. The records also document RWED's participation in the Sahtu Renewable Resources Board and preliminary screening of water and land use applications. The records also include a draft internal Use of Internet Policy, copy of the Thelon Game Sanctuary Management Plan, forest management policy development, a review of historical records relating to reindeer, and material relating to Metis harvesting rights. The records also document the Department's involvement in the processes of devolution of natural resources from the federal government and division between the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Records from the Forest Management division include meeting and workshop records, regional year-end reports, records relating to the negotiation of forest management agreements, fire effects camps messaging and reports, public education program planning, excerpts from the operations manual, and informational guides and pamphlets.

Records relating to Wildlife Management include those on the subjects of disease, endangered species, land use, predator control, trapping, hunting, fur production and harvesting data, fur marketing, support for harvesters, hunting and trapping associations, outfitting, environmental protection and conservation, environmental assessment and monitoring, land claims, trapper taxation, trapping standards, animal sightings, game management reports, registered trapping areas, pipelines, sport fishing and lake stocking, fisheries management, conservation education, business opportunities, national parks, territorial parks, preserves, sanctuaries and refuges. Records also include federal committees and studies, manuals, permits, licenses, newsletters, annual reports, strategic plans, and administrative records (ie. Staffing - GNWT policies), mandate documents, and staff chronos relating to the operation of the Division. The wildlife management records include studies or records relating to falcons, gyrfalcons, geese, duck, swans, bears, bison, beaver, sheep, caribou, fox, reindeer, wolf, muskoxen, muskrat, marten, mink, lynx, wolverine, moose, hare, waterfowl and arachnids (spiders). Policies and programs covered by these records include the Guiding and Outfitting Policy, Fire Management Policy, Firearm Safety Instructor Course Program, Bathurst Management Planning Committee, Trapper Treeline Program, Trapper Training, Harvesters Assistance, Trapper Compensation, Community Freezer Program, Fur Program, trap exchange, fur marketing, Biodiversity Working Group, interaction with COSEWIC, and the Fish and Wildlife Service Policy. Each region of the Northwest Territories is represented. The records also include Wildlife Act revisions, consultation records (audio cassettes) for the new Wildlife and Species at Risk Acts, Senior Management committee material and briefing notes for 1999-2004.

The textual records and slides relating to the Parks and Tourism division date 1979-2006 and include Economic Development Agreement (EDA) files (contribution files), interpretive centre and display project files, signage and design files, map planning and development, campground reports and statistics, public image documents, records relating to the development of the Explorers' Guide, tourism promotion planning, and tourism studies. They also include capital project records relating to historic sites and properties, territorial parks operations and development, events such as Expo '86, and structural objectives of the Division. There are also minutes and planning documents from internal Tourism meetings, Tourism Marketing Advisory Committee, the Protected Areas Strategy, NWT Arctic Tourism and a file related to the NWT Tourism Industry Association Review that was prepared by a consultant for the department. There are also ministerial, deputy minister and assistant deputy minister chronos.

The files from the Investment and Economic Analysis division date from 1990-2006 and include records on the marketing and promotion of northern arts in crafts in North America, Japan and Europe, egg marketing, the role of the department in the development of the Master of the Arctic exhibit, establishment of the Business Development and Investment Corporation, arts and culture strategy, Northern innovation, the diamond industry, and manufacturing strategy. The majority of the files consist of strategic planning materials concerning public relations for the department, business planning files related to arts and crafts development in the communities, briefing notes, agreements, reports, Decision papers, meeting material, and reference material. There is also Deputy Minister correspondence concerning the relationship between Economic Development and Tourism, Business Credit Corporation and NWT Development Corporation, as well as briefing notes, files from senior management meetings and Premier Panel Meeting, files regarding the Arts and Crafts Committee and internal newsletters. There are also files generated by intergovernmental committees and commissions, including the Business Incentive Policy review and the Banker's Commission.

The records from the Directorate primarily consist of Ministerial and Deputy Minister chronos and briefing books. There are also departmental planning files including records from a Departmental Review Committee related to consolidation of the following departments: Economic Development and Tourism, Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources and Renewable Resources, as well as minutes and materials from departmental Senior Management meetings and workshops. There is also a file for 2004 meetings of the Legislation Committee to review alterations to legislation and regulation for the Department. In addition, there are files related a variety of issues from several divisions within the department, including records related to wildlife management, forest and fire management, including annual forest fire operations reports, the development and privatization of NWT parks, marketing strategy for tourism in the NWT, the operation of the NWT Business Credit Corporation and NWT Development Corporation, records regarding the Economic Development Agreement (EDA), records from the Deputy Minister's Committee on the Devolution of Lands and Resources, as well as records relating to RWED's co-lead role in the development of a National Diamond Strategy. Records also include deputy minister's files on the Arctic Energy Alliance, from when the deputy minister sat on the Board of Directors.

The records from the Minerals, Oil and Gas division relate to the "Increasing the Number of Northern Workers in the NWT Mineral Industry - Impacts and Strategies" study, the “NWT Mining Statistics Survey Financial & Statistical Results Details by Individual Mines 1990-1992” survey, mineral royalty and mining taxation options, a draft Mining Income Tax Act, website development for the Coronation Gulf Mineral Development Area and the Mackenzie Valley Mineral Development Area, and mineral exploration projects and also include records from the predecessor department of Energy, Mines and Natural Resources.

This fonds also consists textual material comprised of publications from the Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development. The reports date from 1997-2006 and relate to animals and flora, specifically caribou, wood bison, muskox, dolphins and black spruce trees. Topics cover wildlife management, migration, calving grounds, population distribution, wildfires and seasonal movements and migration.

This fonds also consists of files related to the Trade and Investment Division and Economic Planning Division. This material consists of three files relating to mining industry winter road access, one file with varied material regarding NWT investment and trading strategies, including a brochure and report. There is one file on the Aurora Fund, a venture capital fund related to the federal Immigration Investor Program. Finally, there is one file containing a consultant's report on household expenditure cost differentials between the NWT and southern communities.

The fonds also includes files from the Industrial Initiatives division. This material relates primarily to diamond mining and gas pipeline projects and includes committee material, briefing notes, speaking notes, reports, and grants and contributions policies and procedures.

The fonds also includes records from the Fort Smith Region, including job descriptions, organizational charts, meeting materials, correspondence, site assessment forms, and records of the 1997 Fort Providence Prescribed Burn project.

The fonds also include records from the Inuvik Region relating to community economic development.

This fonds also consists of files related to the Energy, Mines and Resources Secretariat. This material includes correspondence regarding energy alternatives as well as natural gas power feasibility for Inuvik and Hay River, mineral development, strategy and northern hiring practices, Development Impact Zones (DIZ's) and major project preparedness for full-scale hydrocarbon development of the Northwest Territories.

This fonds also consists of files related to the Energy Secretariat, tasked with drafting an energy strategy for the NWT. Materials include workshops, meeting minutes, public consultations, stakeholder responses, correspondence and a discussion paper, "Towards an Energy Strategy for the NWT."

This fonds also consists of files related to the Environmental Protection Division. This material includes correspondence, meeting minutes, society formation and workshop proceedings of the Arctic Energy Alliance, created in concert with four other Government of the Northwest Territories organizations and the NWT Association of Municipalities.

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Physical condition


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

  • Latin

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Access restricted under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

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Copyright held by the Government of the Northwest Territories.

Physical description

ca. 57.48 m of textual records
53 audio cassettes
281 photographs
106 maps

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  • English

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