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NNSL Photo/graphic

A joint venture between the Gwich'in Development Corporation and Denendeh Investments Inc. was announced during the First Annual Aboriginal Business Conference. Members of the two corporations include: Darrell Beaulieu, chief executive officer, Denendeh Development Corp., John Bekale, Denendeh Development Corporation chair and president, Cynthia Cardinal James, general manager, Arrowmakers Fine Traditional Art Gallery, Chief Charlie Furlong, representing Gwich'in Development Corporation and Barrie Robb, vice president of business development, Mackenzie Aboriginal Corporation. - David Ryan/NNSL photo

Forging a link for the future

David Ryan
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Nov 13/06) - A new joint venture between is promising jobs to Northerners during construction and operation of the Mackenzie Valley pipeline project.

Denendeh Investments Inc.(DDI), the business arm of the Denendeh Development Corporation, has acquired one third ownership in the Aboriginal Contractors Corporation.

That corporation is the majority owner of the Mackenzie Aboriginal Corporation (MAC), a partnership between five southern contractors specializing in pipeline construction.

The move positions DDI to provide more employment opportunities to Dene along the Mackenzie Valley during construction of the proposed Mackenzie Valley pipeline, said Darrell Beaulieu, Denendeh Development Corporation chief executive officer.

The potential is jobs for aboriginal workers in camps, developing infrastructure and providing catering, he said.

The five contracting companies in the partnership include: Flint Energy Services, North American Construction Group, Peter Kiewit and Sons Co., Ledcor Industries Inc. and Midwest Management.

The five companies are prepared for 25 apprenticeship positions for aboriginal workers, said Barrie Robb MAC vice president of business development.

An inventory of aboriginal workers and sub contractors throughout the Mackenzie Valley will also be produced, said Robb.

"In our view, it should make a very attractive package," he said.

Doors have opened for future development, said Aklavik Chief Charlie Furlong, who was representing the Gwich'in Development Corp.