Great Slave Lake Remediation Project: Science Day in Fort Resolution

On November 21, 2016, students at Deninu School in Fort Resolution, NT participated in a Science Day, hosted by INAC as part of outreach activities for the Great Slave Lake Remediation Project.

This remediation project included the creation of a revegetation test plot at the Outpost Island mine site in September 2015, with follow-up work in August 2016. The revegetation work was completed on a former tailings area adjacent to the north bay of the island. These tailings were deposited approximately 60 years ago when Outpost Island was mined for gold, copper and tungsten.

During the Science Day, students in Fort Resolution learned about the steps in a revegetation program and how this promotes biodiversity in the area. The first step in a revegetation project is to replace contaminated soil with clean material that has been loosened, or tilled, to provide space for root development. Crews then introduce "pioneer" plants, such as local grasses and willows, which are typically the first species to re-establish in disturbed areas. As these species begin to grow in the revegetation area, they improve soil conditions, reduce erosion, and allow the process of natural ecological succession to begin. Over time, more complex communities of vegetation will take hold, eventually creating a diverse habitat that can support many species of plants and animals. Local crews who worked on this revegetation program are contributing to the restoration of a diverse and healthy ecosystem for future generations in their communities.

The Science Day also included engagement with Fort Resolution community leaders and Deninu School students to inform the future of the Great Slave Lake revegetation program. Mary Hewitt, the scientist who completed the revegetation work and associated research, presented information about the program and used hands-on components to engage students and share observations, data, photos, and recommendations for the revegetation work.

The Government of Canada is committed to a renewed, nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous Peoples, based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership. This includes engaging Indigenous communities on decisions that affect their traditional territories, their communities and their people. Through events like the Science Day in Fort Resolution, INAC can support interest by young people in environmental science, so that they are well-prepared to participate in decisions about projects in their community and throughout Canada.

Related social media

Follow us: Twitter (@GCIndigenous), Facebook

For more information, the media may contact:

Ariel Holmwood-Bramwell
Communications Officer
869-669-2584

A student draws plant specimen.

A student learns how to identify willows by drawing a willow branch. Willows are a pioneer plant, which means that they are one of the first plants to grow in a previously disturbed area.

A Project Officer for INAC demonstrates the magnetic properties of hematite to a student.

Tawanis Testart, a Project Officer for INAC’s Contaminants and Remediation Division, demonstrates the magnetic properties of hematite to a student.

Students look at seeds through a microscope.

Students participated in hands-on activities to learn more about revegetation and environmental science. Activities included examining plants and rocks through microscopes, and identifying plants.

A student looks into a microscope while his friend holds the specimen.

Students look at seeds under a microscope.

Geologist and Revegetation Specialist, Mary Hewitt, demonstrates the rough and loose revegetation technique to students.

Geologist and Revegetation Specialist, Mary Hewitt, demonstrates the rough and loose revegetation technique. This technique was used at the revegetation test plot at the Outpost Island mine site to prevent erosion.

Date modified: