George Blondin was born at Horton Lake, north of Great Bear Lake, in May 1922, the son of Edward Blondin. In his early years George worked as a guide for surveyors on the Canol Pipeline project, and at Port Radium as well as a woodcutter, trapper and hunter. He later moved his family to the Yellowknife region and worked for Giant Mine. He served as Chief of the Deline (Fort Franklin) Band and as Vice President of the Dene Nation. He worked with the Dene Cultural Institute and wrote for northern newspapers, sharing political opinions and traditional stories, for which he was well known. George wrote several books on the Sahtu Dene, traditional medicine, and traditional stories, including 'When the World was New' (1990), 'Yamoria the Law Maker' (1997), and 'Trail of the Spirit: The Mysteries of Dene Medicine Power Revealed' (2006). In 1990, George Blondin was awarded the Ross Charles Award for Native journalism, and in 2003 he was appointed a Member of Order of Canada for his work towards preserving the heritage of his people. George Blondin was married to Julie Blondin and had seven children: Evelyn, Ted, John, Tina, Georgina (Gina), Bertha and Walter (died in infancy). George died in 2008.
Charles LaBine was born in 1888 at Westmeath, a small community in the Ottawa Valley near Pembroke, Ontario. Charles was the elder brother of Gilbert LaBine. After working for several years in the silver mines of northern Ontario, Charles and Gilbert LaBine began prospecting for themselves. They founded Eldorado Gold Mines Ltd. in the 1920s following the discovery of gold in Manitoba. Charles LaBine was responsible for managing the financial aspects of the mining operation. Though Eldorado Gold didn’t succeed as hoped, it provided the LaBine brothers with the finances needed mto conduct further prospecting activities.
Investigating the mining potential around Great Bear Lake that had been documented by James McIntosh Bell of the Geological Survey of Canada, the LaBine brothers began prospecting along the shores of Great Bear Lake. In the spring of 1930, Gilbert LaBine discovered a deposit of pitchblende, another name for uranium ore. The discovery was made on the shore of Echo Bay. The development of a viable mining operation faced significant financing and logistical challenges, as the mine was more than 2000 km from the nearest railway. Although Charles was not with Gilbert when the pitchblende was found, it was his job to follow up and solve the financing and logistical problems of moving equipment to the mine site and the ore south for processing. In order to finance the development, the LaBines mined the silver that lay in the same area of Great Bear Lake.
The operation began as a radium mine in 1932, extracting radium from pitchblende. Mined materials were shipped by barge and air plane to Fort McMurray, Alberta, then by train to a radium refinery in Port Hope, Ontario. The company secured a contract with the United States military early in 1942. The Eldorado Mine at Port Radium was transferred to the Canadian Government in 1944 and renamed Eldorado Mining and Refining Limited. Uranium ore from the mine was used in the atomic bomb developments of 1945.
In the 1950s, uranium was discovered along the shores of Lake Athabasca. There the Labine brothers founded Gunnar Mines, the first Canadian producer of uranium that returned a profit to its shareholders. Gilbert was president and Charles the vice-president of Gunnar. Charles retired from the management in 1955.
The contribution of the LaBine brothers to the advancement of medical science as a result of their work was recognized at home and abroad. The brothers received the Curie medal from the governing body of the International Union Against Cancer. The citation accompanying the medal to Charles LaBine said that the Pierre and Marie Curie medal, which had been struck in 1938 on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the discovery of radium, was conferred upon him “for the distinguished services that you have rendered to science and to humanity.” Charles LaBine died in 1969 at the age of 81.
Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company of Canada Ltd. (C.M.S.) was formed in 1906 as a subsidiary of Canadian Pacific Rail with head operations in Trail, British Columbia. Its aggressive northern exploration in the 1920s and 1930s led to stakes claimed in 1927/28 on the lead and zinc deposits on the south shore of Great Slave Lake, which would later become Pine Point Mine, silver deposits at Great Bear Lake in the 1930s, and Con Mine, which was the first gold mine to go into production in the NWT in 1938. C.M.S. also developed other mines in the Northwest Territories including Thompson-Lundmark, Ruth, Ptarmigan, and Polaris. C.M.S. mines had a significant impact on the economic and social history of the Northwest Territories, particularly in the case of Con Mine and Pine Point.
C.M.S. sent several prospecting parties headed by Ted Nagle into the Yellowknife area in 1928/29, but their searches did not reveal anything significant. During a staking rush in 1935, Bill Jewitt sent a small group of men led by Mike Finland into the Kam Lake area of Yellowknife where they filed ‘CON’ claims in September and October. In 1937 C.M.S. bought an interest in Tom Payne’s adjacent properties, which developed into the Rycon Mine company. The construction of the Con-Rycon mines began on July 13, 1937 under the lead of Bob Armstrong. Production began in the spring of 1938 with the first gold brick poured on September 5, 1938. The Bluefish Hydro plant on Prosperous Lake was built in 1940 to support the energy needs of the mine, and also made Yellowknife the first electrified NWT community. Production at Con Mine ceased between 1943 and 1945 due to WWII although maintenance and development work continued under the direction of geologist Dr. Neil Campbell. The Campbell Shear Zone was named in honour of his hypothesis of a major orebody 2000 feet below the surface of the mine. Its existence was confirmed in 1946, with full production starting in 1963 and continuing until the closure of the mine. In 1953 C.M.S. bought the Negus Mine and found new reserves there. In 1966 C.M.S. changed its name to Cominco. The Robertson shaft – at 250 feet the tallest building in the NWT – was completed in 1977 and eventually reached a depth of 6250 feet. The Con Mine was the most productive gold mine in the NWT, and Cominco’s most successful gold mine.
In 1986 Cominco sold the Con Mine to Nerco Minerals for $46 million US. Con Mine was subsequently bought by Miramar Corporation for $25 million US in 1993. Miramar leased the mining rights of the Giant Mine in 1999 and milled Giant ore at the Con Mine. In 2003 mining ceased at Con, and the processing of Giant ore at Con ceased in 2004. Demolition and reclamation of the mine site occurred over several years, with the demolition of the iconic Robertson headframe - then the tallest structure in the NWT - happening on October 29, 2016.
Through its history, the Con Mine produced 5,276,363 ounces of gold from 12,195,585 tons of ore milled between 1938 and 2003. Over 10,000 gold bars were produced in 65 years of operation.
In 1928 C.M.S. began exploration in the Pine Point area south of Great Slave Lake, and in 1929 formed the Northern Lead Zinc Company with the Atlas Exploration Company and Ventures Ltd. Assessment work on the lead and zinc deposits in the area continued between 1930 to 1948, with extensive exploration drilling 1948 to 1955. Pine Point Mines Ltd. was formed in 1951 with C.M.S. holding a majority interest. In 1962 Pine Point Mines Ltd. began construction on the Great Slave Lake Railway with assistance from Canadian National Railway and the Canadian Federal government’s “Road to Resources” program. This railway line connected Roma Junction, Alberta and Pine Point, a company town that was established in 1964. Mining began in 1963, and mill production started in 1965. Mining ceased due to economics in 1987, and the town officially closed on September 1, 1987. 8.4 billion pounds of zinc and 2.6 billion pounds of lead were produced over the mine’s history. The railway and townsite have since been removed.
The NWT Mining Heritage Society formed in February 2000 as the Giant Mine Heritage Group when concerned individuals from the Yellowknife community, government agencies, Spirit YK and the NWT Chamber of Mines joined together to formulate a plan for saving the history and artifacts of Giant Mine after the mine ceased operations in 1999. During the summer of 2000, a comprehensive inventory of the Giant Mine property was compiled and was approved by Miramar Mining one year later. The Giant Mine Heritage Group reformed in the summer of 2001 and changed their name to the NWT Mining Heritage Group to better reflect their objective of creating a museum or interpretive centre for mining in the Northwest Territories on the Giant Mine property. During 2001-2002, work proceeded in preparation for repairing buildings at Giant Mine. A cost assessment report by Ann Peters was completed early in 2001, which reported on the cost to rehabilitate the structures for public access. The group also hired engineer, Phil Nolan, of Structural All Limited, to report on how the buildings and equipment at the mine site could be repaired. Between 2000-2002, the group also acquired mining artifacts from abandoned mines throughout the NWT and by donation. In July 2002, the NWT Mining Heritage Group formed a registered society, the NWT Mining Heritage Society. The first annual general meeting was held September 25th, 2002 where the first Board of Directors was elected.
Dr. Paris B. Stockdale was the head of the Geology Department at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He also did consulting work for Harry Beekner, a mining stock speculator from Greenville, Tennessee. In July 1946, Harry Beekner financed a trip to the Northwest Territories, Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba in order to see the progress of some Canadian gold mines, in which he owned stock. Dr. Stockdale and Harry Beekner traveled by airplane, train and floatplane and the original 16 mm film was shot by Dr. Stockdale. In addition, to acting as a consultant for Mr. Beekner, Dr. Stockdale did consulting work for the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Manhattan Atomic Bomb Project at Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Very little is known of Peter M. Porter, except that he entered the employ Slave Lake Gold Mines Limited on August 7, 1938 in Yellowknife and spent at least the following year on Outpost Island. He also appears to have had business interests in a mill and transport scow. Porter may also have been involved in other mining ventures around Yellowknife, as he shows up as a miner at Chipp Lake in 1942.
Alfred Klaus worked for Con Mine in Yellowknife from July 1941-July 1942, then left to join the Armed Forces.
John Phillip Matta was born in 1928 in Vancouver, British Columbia, the eldest of four children. His father worked in the mining industry and thus moved the family to mine sites in British Columbia and Quebec while John grew up. He graduated from high school in 1946, and worked in mines until 1953 when he chose to join the Royal Canadian Air Force. He spent 10 years in the RCAF as a photographer with photo intelligence. After leaving the Air Force he worked as a production manager for a photo finishing company until his retirement in 1991. He has lived in Calgary since 1954.
The Department of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources was formed from the Energy, Mines and Resources Secretariat in April, 1989. Its activities included the support and regulation of industry in the areas of electrical generation, oil and gas development, mineral development, mineral resources, energy mining and environment, land use planning, and development impact zones. A focus of the GNWT was to achieve northern control over oil and gas resources, particularly relating to a Mackenzie Valley pipeline project. The GNWT and the former Energy, Mines and Resources Secretariat had demanded that responsibility for northern oil and gas management be transferred from the federal Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND). The signing of the proposal for the Northern Accord in September, 1988 opened the way for oil and gas resource management discussions and the potential for the exclusive management of onshore oil and gas development in the NWT by the Territorial Government. In 1989, the Department worked to develop a comprehensive position in consultation with the Dene/Metis, Inuvialuit, and Tungavik Federation of Nunavut groups before final negotiations with the Federal Government. The 'Proposal for the Finalization and Implementation of the Northern Accord' covered a full range of oil and gas issues affecting northern communities and an outline of the structures and processes in place once the transfer of responsibilities occurred. The GNWT acquired the Northern Canada Power Commission in May, 1988 and subsequently established the NWT Power Corporation. The Department also participated in the issuance of new exploration rights to resource companies, helped to train employees for mineral resource development, and worked in conjunction with Environmental Impact Review Boards and the Federal Environment Assessment Review Office (FEARO) on environmental assessments and reviews. Actions of the Department included making reports of industry activities available to local communities, affected parties, and other government agencies. The Department also provided comments for the federal Green Plan and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, completed reviews of oil and gas royalty regulations, and formalized a Petroleum Contingency Plan for national and international energy crises. Under the federal/territorial Northern Oil and Gas Action Program (NOGAP), the Department developed and negotiated funding for the coordination of GNWT projects to improved government preparedness for hydrocarbon development. The Department also developed an energy supply and demand data system for the NWT, and helped the NWT Chamber of Mines conduct mineral exploration surveys annually. The Canada-NWT Mineral Development Agreement (MDA), a sub-agreement of the Economic Development Agreement, cost-shared with the federal government on a 70:30 ratio included the following programs: Geoscience Program, Northern Technological Assistance Program and the Northern Mining Information Program. The Geoscience Program's objective was to increase the mineral data base of the NWT and to assist and encourage mineral exploration. The Northern Technological Assistance Program was to assist private sector industries in the development of innovative technologies, to improve mining operations, and to adapt new technology to northern conditions. The Northern Mining Information Program's objective was to promote greater awareness of the economic importance of mining to the residents of the NWT by targeting both the general public and children in the school systems. The Development Impact Zone Program (DIZ) provided the public an opportunity to participate in decisions on resource development by sitting one of two councils, the Beaufort/Mackenzie Delta Group, or the Shihta Regional Council/DIZ Committee alongside members of the GNWT, DIAND and industry.
The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) was created on April 1, 2005 when the Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development (RWED) split to create ITI and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR).
The priorities of the Department include the overall economy of the territory, the sustainable development of natural and energy resources and needs assessments regarding related industries, industrial initiatives and the negotiation of agreements for proposed developments, development of traditional economy, and development of parks and tourism.
RWED transferred the responsibilities of the Economic Development division in several units: Tourism, Minerals, Oils and Gas, Investment and Economic Analysis and the Business Credit and NWT Development Corporations (which combined in 2006 to form the Business Development and Investment Corporation at arm’s length from ITI, and ceased to be part of the organizational chart of ITI in 2009-2010) to the newly formed ITI.
The Strategic Initiative division included the Diamond Projects, Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Office, Energy and Industrial Initiative units. Corporate Management division was comprised of the Directorate, Policy, Legislation and Communications (PLC) and Corporate Shared Services.
In 2006-2007 the divisions changed to Corporate Management, Economic Development (comprised of Tourism and Parks, Investment and Economic Analysis, and the NWT Business Development Investment Corporation), and Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources (comprised of Minerals, Oils and Gas, Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Office, Energy Planning, and Industrial Initiatives).
In 2008-2009 the divisions changed to Corporate Management, Energy, Tourism and Parks, Economic Diversification and Business Support, and Minerals and Petroleum Resources.
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.
The Department of Economic Development and Tourism was established in 1977 and assumed responsibility for the majority of the programs that were delivered by the Department of Economic Development.
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 the 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 Business Services and Tourism Division operated between 1973-1979. It combined services required by the business community and the travel industry in the development of their enterprises. The Business Services or Financial section provided financial assistance through the Small Business Loan Fund and Eskimo Loan Fund and provided counseling for applicants seeking loans. The Cooperative and Credit Union sector provided general business counseling to new or developing businesses and regulated and monitored the operations of cooperatives and provided advisory services to cooperatives and to the Canadian Arctic Cooperative Federation. In 1978, this division also delivered the Special Rural Development Agreement (ARDA) funding which provided financial contributions to businesses and organizations, particularly aboriginal development corporations. The tourism activity managed Travel Arctic and the territorial parks. It provided services and assistance to encourage tourism and for the development of related facilities, such as package tours and visitor's centers. In 1979, this division reorganized and the Financial Services and Cooperative section transferred to the Business Development Division. The Parks and Tourism Division was created as the importance of developing infrastructure for the emerging tourist market was emphasized.
The Projects and Marketing Division of the Department of Economic Development and Tourism was responsible for the planning, development and overall management of the department's commercial, industrial and craft projects, as well as for the marketing activity. The Arts and Crafts program provided development, planning and counseling services to Inuit and aboriginal artists and artisans and published information about northern arts and crafts to dealers and collectors within and outside of the Northwest Territories. The program also focused on training local people to assume a managerial role in craft operations. The Marketing program worked with the Arts and Crafts activity to assist in the marketing of finished products and to exhibit northern arts and crafts at trade shows, through catalogues and at events such as the Pacific National Exhibition, Montreal Olympics and the Calgary Stampede.
In 1980, the Commerce Division replaced the Project and Marketing Division. The Commerce Division was responsible for promoting new business ventures, supporting and stimulating existing commercial activity, especially within the renewable resources sector. The Small Business Development sector was a new addition to this division that provided financial consulting, technical support, marketing advice and training programs that assisted new and existing businesses. The Arts and Crafts sector became a more enabling program that supported craft producer organizations, developed an awareness of opportunities and helped people to take advantage of these opportunities through the newly formed Northwest Territories Arts and Crafts Council and the Commercial Enterprises and Marketing sector. The Cooperative Division was integrated into the Commerce Division from the Business Services and Tourism Division in 1979. It continued to regulate and monitor the operations of cooperatives and provided advisory support to individual cooperatives and to the Canadian Arctic Cooperative Federation. Renewable Resources Development also became part of the Commerce Division at this time, which was consistent with the departmental mandate to maximize commercial development of primary resources. The objectives of this service were to provide technical assistance to the public and private sectors involved in planning, implementing or expanding of renewable based enterprises. Assistance was offered in preparing and evaluating proposals, feasibility studies, providing day-to-day technical assistance and financial support to the lumber and fishing industries and country foods programs, as well as maintaining a membership in related industry associations. Financial Services such as the Eskimo Loan Fund and the Fisherman's Loan Guarantee Fund, that had been part of the Business Services and Tourism Division, were now delivered through the Commerce Division.
In 1983, the Commerce Division reorganized and was renamed the Business Development Division. This division included a Small Business Section, Renewable Resources Development Section, Non-Renewable Resource Section and Arts and Crafts Section. The Non-renewable Resources Development placed an emphasis on promoting northern business in the mineral and petroleum sectors, produced the Northwest Territories Business Directory, and participated in trade shows that exhibited Northwest Territories exports. In 1988-1989, the Oil, Gas and Mining program was delivered through the Commerce Division. It encouraged the use of northern suppliers and a northern workforce and was involved in the North Warning System construction. Other activities delivered by the Commerce Division included the Trade, Investment and Industrial Development section that was responsible for stimulating activity in the areas of intersettlement, interprovincial and international trade and investment in small businesses. The Natural Resource Section promoted the integration of traditional skills in the wage economy. Programs and services were administered in support of commercial development of fisheries, arts and crafts, wildlife, forestry, fur and agriculture. The Oil and Gas Division and Natural Resources Division joined at this time to form the Resources Development Division, which continued to encourage employment and income benefits from renewable and non-renewable resource development.
In 1995-96, the Business Development Division was reorganized and renamed Corporate and Technical Services. The department was reorganized to meet increasing demands and programs were restructured to place decision-making closer to the client population. This was due to mineral exploration in the Northwest Territories and the expectation that there would be increased opportunity for local development. The division continued to deliver programs and services to small businesses, the arts and crafts sector, renewable resources and provided financial assistance through the Business Development fund.
When the Business Services and Tourism Division were reorganized, the Tourism and Parks Division was formed. This division placed a greater emphasis on developing the tourism industry and territorial parks system. It was responsible for tourism promotion, developing tourist facilities, providing advice and information to travelers and for developing, in conjunction with a Territorial Parks Committee, a Territorial Recreational Parks Program. The promotional publication, the Explorer's Guide was published by this division and the division participated in travel shows in Canada and the United States and promoted the Northwest Territories by advertising in magazines, direct mail campaigns, videos, merchandising and public relations. The division was also responsible for the implementation of the Tourism and Parks Programs, surveying travelers and evaluating tourist trends. The Regional Tourism Association was developed at this time to facilitate increased cooperation between the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, the private sector and community residents in order to encourage community participation in the economic and social benefits to be derived from the tourism industry. The division's main task was to create entrepreneurial and employment opportunities for residents and encourage the development of services and attractions that would contribute to the economy of the Northwest Territories.
In 1995-1996, the Tourism and Parks Division was reorganized and separated to form two divisions. The Parks and Visitors Services Division planned, developed and operated territorial parks and visitor's centers. This division was also responsible for interpretive displays, highway and community signage and provided direct service, support and information to encourage travel. The Territorial Parks Act and Territorial Travel and Tourism Act guided the program. The Tourism Development and Marketing Division was responsible for developing, monitoring and evaluating tourism products and programs. Activities included supporting tourism industry associations, issuing licenses and ensuring that regulations were maintained. In cooperation with private sector, this division also planned and coordinated a tourism image for the Northwest Territories, through advertising, sales, promotion, merchandising, public and media relations and travel counseling. The division conducted analysis of market intelligence and evaluated tourism trends to maximize the effectiveness of tourism development programs.
The Planning and Development Division operated between 1976-1984. It was responsible for researching and planning new economic development projects and promoted the development of resident businesses. In addition, this activity prepared economic statistics in the Northwest Territories, conducted economic analysis of existing and proposed projects and provided technical information on non-renewable resources development. During this time period, the Planning and Development Division was involved in the introduction of the Department of Regional and Economic Expansion (DREE) and the delivery of the Special Agricultural and Rural Development Agreement fund (ARDA) to the Northwest Territories. Between 1980-1984, the focus of the Planning and Development Division concentrated on maximizing the benefits of renewable and non-renewable resource projects; therefore, the name of the division was changed to the Planning and Resource Development Activity to reflect this change of focus. The Economic Development Agreement was also delivered through the Planning and Resource Division and facilitated Federal-Territorial cooperation in initiatives that promoted planning and implementation of economic and socioeconomic development in the Northwest Territories. The economic initiatives focused on renewable resource development, arts and crafts, minerals, planning, tourism and small business development.
Between 1984-85, there were several changes within the Planning and Development Division and it ceased to exist. The mineral and petroleum resource section transferred to the Business Development Division and the responsibility for administering the Economic Development Agreement and development economic incentive policies were transferred to the Directorate.
In 1981, a Mineral and Petroleum Resource Development Section was added to the department to deal with non-renewable resource development and ensure participation of northerners within the industry. The Economic Planning Secretariat, also delivered by the department at this time, was responsible for Territorial economic planning program, formulation, policy development and evaluation and providing technical and professional expertise inside and outside the department.
In 1984-1985, the Financial Service and Administration Division was created and became responsible for the provision of financial and administration services in support of the department's objectives. The Administration section managed the division and provided support for personnel activities; the Finance section was responsible for general accounting of revenue and expenditures and coordinating and monitoring the budgetary processes. The Loans Administration Section was responsible for administration and accounting for Business Loans and Guarantees Fund, Eskimo Loan Fund, Special Agricultural and Rural Development Agreement Fund (ARDA) and Economic Development Agreement. The Systems and Procedures section provided technical assistance and training in financial management, accounting procedures and control.
Between 1985-86, the Department created the temporary Expo '86 division in which staff developed and operated a pavilion that presented the Northwest Territories to the world during Expo 1986, in Vancouver. The pavilion included audiovisual exhibits, a theatre, and a stage for live performances, a business center and retail sales concession. The program was completed during the 1986-87 fiscal year.
The Employment and Training Division was responsible for determining needs, developing strategies and administering programs directed at increasing employment levels and employability of northern residents. This division provided an employment and training placement and referral service, developed, coordinated and administered programs that would increase employment and provided training in career development. It also administered programs designed to solve short or long term unemployment problems in communities and developed and operated an employment counseling service through the Northwest Territories. This division delivered programs such as the Subsidized Term Employment Program (STEP), Territorial Employment Record and Information System (TERIS) and Hire North that trained northerners in operating highway construction equipment in order to construct a portion of the Mackenzie Highway.
The name of the Employment and Training Division was changed to Manpower Development Division in 1981. The division continued to be responsible for manpower counseling, identifying and securing training and employment opportunities for northerners and managing Apprenticeship Program, Training-on-the Job Program, Subsidized Term Employment Program, Labour Pools, Job Rotations, Job Relocations, Career Program and Territorial Employment Record Information System (TERIS).
During 1984-85, the Manpower Development Division continued to deliver programs however, it also was involved in facilitating the amalgamation of the various training functions in the Government of the Northwest Territories into the Department of Education.
The Policy and Planning Division emerged in 1987-1988 and was responsible for the evaluation and development of policies and programs for the department. It consisted of the Economic Planning and Policy Evaluation Sections and prepared the Northwest Territories Economic Review and Outlook. The division also provided technical assistance and advice to other divisions in the areas of market assessments, feasibility studies and special economic analyses. During 1995-1997, a Human Resources component was added to the Policy and Planning Division. This activity administered the Affirmative Action Business Education Development program (AABED) and was responsible for developing and maintaining the electronic information systems.
In 1995, the Business Credit Corporation was added to the Department of Economic Development and Tourism. It was a Crown agency that provided loans, contract security lines of credit and loan guarantees to eligible businesses in Northwest Territories. The purpose of this activity was to provide operational funding for the Northwest Territories Business Credit Corporation.
In 1996-1997, the Department of Economic Development and Tourism joined with the Department of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources and the Department of Renewable Resources to form the Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development.
From 1905 to 1967, the administration of the Northwest Territories was the responsibility of several different federal departments. From 1922 to 1953, various versions of the Northwest Territories and Yukon Branch were administered by the Department of the Interior (1922-1936) and the Department of Mines and Resources (1937-1953). During these years, this administration was run almost exclusively from Ottawa. In 1953, the branch concerned with the administration of the Northwest Territories, known at that time as the Northern Administration and Lands Branch, transferred to the Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources. The Northern Administration and Lands Branch expanded rapidly in the 1950s and in 1959 it was renamed the Northern Administration Branch. This coincided with a reorganization of the responsibilities handled by the Branch. The responsibility for northern affairs was divided into six divisions: 1) Territorial Division; 2) Education Division; 3) Industrial Division; 4) Welfare Division; 5) Resources Division and 6) Engineering Division. In conjunction with this reorganization, a program of decentralization of the field operations of the Northern Administration Branch was enhanced by the creation of two new regional offices. The Administrator of the Mackenzie was stationed in Fort Smith, while the Administrator of the Arctic, stationed in Ottawa, was responsible for the Districts of Keewatin and Franklin, as well as Inuit affairs in arctic Quebec. In 1966, the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development supplanted the Department of Northern Affairs and Natural Resources. In 1967, Yellowknife was established as the capital of the Northwest Territories and the transfer of responsibilities from the Northern Administration Branch to the Government of the Northwest Territories began. The transfer rendered the Northern Administration Branch obsolete and during 1968, the Territorial Relations Branch replaced it.