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New Arctic coast highway opens

L to R: Minister Louis Sebert, Minister of Justice & Minister of Lands, Minister Responsible for the Northwest Territories Power Corporation, Minister Responsible for Public Engagement and Transparency; Minister Wally Schumann, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment and Minister of Infrastructure; Premier Bob McLeod and Minister of Executive and Indigenous Affairs; Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada; Minister Amarjeet Sohi, Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; Minister Carolyn Bennett, Federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs; Commissioner of the Northwest Territories Margaret Thom; Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories Michael McLeod; and Jozef Carnogursky, President of the Nihtat Gwich’in Council. © Government of the Northwest Territories

The long awaited 137-kilometre Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway opened November 15, 2017 with celebrations taking place in Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk.

Beginning in the morning at Inuvik, Inuvialuit and Gwich’in representatives welcomed guests followed by the singing of Canada’s national anthem by the East 3 Choir. Federal and territorial speeches were then followed by the screening of the documentary trailer, End of the Ice Age — Last Season of the Inuvik to Tuk Ice Road. After a lunch reception, guests convened to the start of the highway near Muskrat Road for the official ribbon cutting ceremony before the inaugural drive to Tuktoyaktuk.

Once in Tuktoyaktuk, the opening celebrations were repeated with the anthem performed by the Tuktoyaktuk Mangilaluk School choir and included a fireworks display, community feast and craft sale. Entertainment included the Tuktoyaktuk Drummers and Dancers and the Collectif9 ensemble, as well as another screening of the documentary.