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Norman Wells land deal an 'investment'
'It's good for the future'

Katie May
Northern News Services
Published Saturday, February 5, 2011

LLI GOLINE/NORMAN WELLS - The Norman Wells Land Corporation, trying to bring in more weight for future negotiations, has purchased 36,000 acres of land from the territorial government.

NNSL photo/graphic

Dr. Susan Kutz: veterinary professor from the University of Calgary carries a dog during one of her visits to the Sahtu. - photo courtesy of Dr. Susan Kutz

The deal isn't finalized yet, and the Corporation said the price paid for the land is private. The former Commissioner's land is mostly located on the Hammer Mountain range outside of Norman Wells, still has to be surveyed a process that could take up to three years.

The corporation's chief negotiator, Larry Tourangeau, said the agreement has been in the works for more than two years.

"Members have time to ponder over how they're going to design the land-use plan. There's got to be some there for recreational use. Whatever it is we do with this land, it's going to be available for the general public," he said.

It's now up to the corporation's board of directors to decide how the land will be used.

"That's going to take some time and money to develop," Tourangeau said. "We feel that in order for our organization to be economically self-sufficient, we need a little bit more land."

Recently elected NWLC President Cece Hodgson-McCauley said she doesn't have any ideas yet as to what will be developed. The important thing, she said, is that the corporation now has the land for future generations.

"Land is important to everybody," she said. "If you look at Canada, all the aboriginal people have reserves, and we have nothing up here. So if we have a little piece of land, that's great. It's good for the future," McCauley added. "It's for the future generations. Probably nothing will happen for quite a long time yet but at least we have the land. At one time we had the whole territory. Now we have to beg to have a little piece of it."

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