Today it was announced that Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada’s Climate Change Programs are providing more than $5.5 million in support of climate change adaptation and clean energy initiatives in the community of Tuktoyaktuk.

$3.6 million is specifically going toward the hamlet and the GNWT in support of Tuktoyaktuk’s coastal erosion mitigation efforts, including the relocation of residents to a safer and longer-term living area and the final structural design of measures to protect the shoreline.

Caroline Cochrane, Premier of the NWT mentioned that climate change is a reality in the North that requires joint action and innovative solutions from all levels of government so that there can be resilient, sustainable communities for people.

“The GNWT has been working with the community of Tuktoyaktuk to help creatively solve some of the difficult challenges facing them. By working together at the local, territorial and federal level, we are addressing the coastal erosion issues and continue to work as partners to address the community’s needs.”

Other climate change related projects funded in the community include the use of SmartICE monitoring technology to provide data-driven insights into sea-ice thickness and local ice conditions in near real-time, the production of a youth documentary on climate change impacts, the development of a locally-managed climate monitoring program, and the addition of more solar power on buildings to further help the community reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.

In a release from the Federal government, they note that in Tuktoyaktuk, sea ice is melting at an alarming rate resulting in an eroding shoreline and that this is threatening homes and other vital infrastructure. It is also mentioned that the community has been working to protect residents and infrastructure from the impacts of climate change despite the challenges of COVID-19.

Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk Mayor Erwin Elias, noted that since the 1970’s, Tuktoyaktuk has witnessed the rapid deterioration of their peninsula which has threatened peoples homes and livelihoods.

“As a community, we decided to tackle the problem head on and together we implemented a suite of adaptation measures aimed at protecting our community while preserving Inuvialuit culture, and traditions essential for a successful and sustainable future. We are now in a position to share our knowledge and experiences with other communities threatened by critical coastal erosion due to climate change.”

Climate Change Preparedness in the North Program has contributed $4.5 million toward protecting Tuktoyaktuk’s shoreline, Indigenous Community-Based Climate Monitoring Program has contributed $517,720 to develop a locally-managed program to monitor climate change impacts in Tuktoyaktuk and Northern REACHE Program is providing $475,000 over two years to support the installation of 51 kilowatts of solar photovoltaic systems on four hamlet buildings.