North

Det'on Cho cleans up contracts for Giant Mine jobs

The company, owned by the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, has been awarded the majority of job contracts for the Giant Mine remediation project to benefit their Northern partners and residents.

Yellowknives Dene First Nation's company awarded majority of job contracts for Giant Mine cleanup

Buildings on the former Giant Mine property on Nov. 24, 2017. The actual remediation project of the mine is still about three years away, but care and maintenance will be ongoing by Det'on Cho and their partner groups, says Det'on Cho CEO Paul Gruner. (Walter Strong/CBC)

A company owned by Yellowknives Dene First Nation has been awarded the majority of job contracts for the Giant Mine cleanup.

It will be Det'on Cho Corporation and its partners performing the work.

In the past, all we have gotten is death and destruction.- Ernest Betsina, Ndilo chief

These are tenders awarded by Parsons Inc., the third-party U.S. company in charge of managing the contract procurement process and overseeing the mine cleanup project. 

Ndilo Chief, Ernest Betsina said he's happy to see that the Yellowknives Dene Nation will be able to maximize the economic benefits for its members — but he said it's not enough for reconciliation.

Betsina said the Yellowknives Dene First Nation "would like reconciliation to be a part of the economic development."

"In the past, all we have gotten is death and destruction."

He said his membership has been asking for an apology and compensation from the federal government for the negative impacts the mine has had on Ndilo residents. In March, N.W.T. Premier Bob McLeod said the prime minister responded by saying he's forwarding the letter asking for an apology to the minister of Crown-Indigenous relations and Northern affairs.

"My people will continue to ask for an apology and compensation."

70 to 80 jobs created

Betsina is encouraging members of Yellowknives Dene to apply to Det'on Cho for a job.

All partner companies of Det'on Cho are focused on local and Indigenous hires, said Paul Gruner, the president and CEO of the company.

The actual remediation project of the mine is still about three years away, said Gruner. The care and maintenance will continue through Det'on Cho and their partner Nuna Logistics Ltd.

Gruner said Det'on Cho subcontracted jobs to four of their partners: Nuna for surface works, Procon for underground work, Scarlet Security Services Ltd. for security, and medical services from Advanced Medical Solutions.

All partners will be working together to maximize the economic benefit for the First Nation membership, said Gruner.

Det'on Cho is expecting to see 70 to 80 jobs created.

"We're absolutely going to be looking at training and development and how do we engage the local workforce," he said.

"It's in everybody's best interest that we continue to focus on Giant Mine as a local project."

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