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NWT Poll Shows Major Support for Northern Stewardship and Other Outcomes of the NWT PFP Initiative

November 9, 2023

NationTalk: Yellowknife: The vast majority of Northwest Territories residents support the core aspects of the Northwest Territories Project Finance for Permanence initiative currently being developed, according to a new poll conducted within the NWT.

Support was nearly unanimous for some of the core elements expected to be included in the initiative, such as efforts to help NWT communities prepare for the growing risk of wildfires (99%), invest in economic opportunities that are also good for the land, water, and wildlife in the NWT (96%), and collaborate with Indigenous Governments to identify areas within the NWT to protect (94%).

The proposed Northwest Territories Project Finance for Permanence, known as the NWT PFP, is a collaboration led by Indigenous Governments partnering with the Government of Canada, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and private philanthropies that will fund the protection of lands, employ land managers, support Indigenous cultures, and foster economic diversification across the Northwest Territories.

On October 11, 2023, all 25 partners signed a framework agreement outlining the terms and expected outcomes of the NWT PFP. Partners are now working towards a final agreement in the coming months.

The new poll, conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights on behalf of the Indigenous Leadership Initiative, surveyed people in the Northwest Territories via telephone. Findings include:

  • Resounding Support for the NWT PFP: Almost 9 in 10 (88%) NWT residents support the NWT PFP after reading a brief description of what it includes.
  • Vast majority say conservation generates economic prosperity: 83% of people surveyed say conserving lands in the NWT is a priority issue for them, and 84% agree that focusing on land protection will help economic growth and jobs in the NWT.
  • Most see the NWT PFP as good for NWT economy: Investing in economic initiatives that sustain lands, waters, and wildlife was one of the most strongly supported aspects of the NWT PFP (96%). And nearly 7 in 10 NWT residents agree the NWT PFP will have a positive impact on the economic growth and development of the NWT.

“NWT residents clearly understand the importance of both economic development and conservation and know there is no conflict between having both” said Lesli Martin, Senior Vice President of Pollara Strategic Insights.

“We are not surprised people support the proposed NWT PFP, because it is built around core NWT values.” said Dahti Tsetso, Deputy Director of the Indigenous Leadership Initiative. “Most people who live here have a strong relationship with the land. And time and time again, they tell us they want to create a future for the NWT that’s good for the land, good for people, and good for the economy. The NWT PFP will help make that possible. When it’s finalized, it will invest in the conservation, cultural, and economic opportunities that NWT residents value.”

A copy of the poll report is available here.

Telephone Polling Methodology:

Between October 19 and 25, 2023, 104 residents of the NWT ages 18 years and older participated in the telephone survey. Results of this sample size can be considered accurate to within ±9.6 percentage points, at a 95% level of confidence.

About the Indigenous Leadership Initiative:

The Indigenous Leadership Initiative (ILI) is dedicated to strengthening Indigenous Nationhood as a path to fulfilling the responsibility to care for lands and waters. ILI plays a convening role in the NWT PFP planning process, bringing partners together and hosting meetings.  ILI will not receive funding from the PFP initiative. Instead, its role focuses on supporting partners’ collective vision, guided by Indigenous values, ambitions, and leadership.

Media Contact:

Jenn Wesanko: 604-347-5988