Gwich’in Development Corporation

‘Creating wealth by generating business through acquisitions, investments, and partnerships.’

The Gwich’in Development Corporation (GDC) is 100% owned by the Gwich’in Tribal Council and was created shortly after the Gwich’in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement was signed in 1992. By forming partnerships with experienced companies who have an interest in natural resources and opportunities existing within the Gwich’in Settlement Area, the GDC has proven to be successful in the competitive regional economy by combining outside expertise and technology with traditional knowledge and experience of geography and cultures.

Reflecting on the corporation’s inception, CEO Roy Erasmus shares “The GDC embodies our commitment to preserving the community’s heritage while embracing new opportunities. It’s about striking a balance between our traditional knowledge and the evolving global market.”

The GDC’s success narrative is intertwined through strategic collaborations with industry partners to develop work in their region. By bridging external expertise with communal knowledge of geography and culture, the corporation has carved a niche in a competitive market. As Erasmus emphasizes, “Our strength lies in marrying outside technology with our innate understanding of the land and our heritage. It’s a momentum that propels us forward.”

Headquartered in Inuvik, Northwest Territories, the GDC operates as more than just a business entity. It serves as a custodian of cultural heritage, prioritizing community interests while engaging in economic pursuits. “Our focus isn’t merely on profit margins,” Erasmus remarks, “It’s about ensuring that our economic endeavors align with the aspirations of our communities. We prioritize unity, language, and cultural sustainability in every step we take.”

The corporation has a satellite of companies and partnerships including GDC Civil Construction- a Construction Project Management company 100 percent owned by GDC. It has performed highway maintenance contracts and environmental remediation contracts. GDC Properties is 100 percent owned by GDC and has significant holdings of vacant land for development in Inuvik and Fort McPherson. Larga Ltd. is a medical accommodations facility in Edmonton. GDC owns 37.5 percent of Larga Limited – the other shareholders are Nunasi Corporation and Kitikmeot Corporation. Aadrii Ltd. is a Joint Venture with the Northwest Territories Power Corporation and it operates a Waste Heat Resource Recovery system in Fort McPherson. GDC owns 50 percent and Northwest Territories Power owns 50 percent. Gwich’in Helicopters is a Joint Venture with Great Slave Helicopters (51 percent GDC and 49 percent Great Slave 2018) – it owns one helicopter and a hangar at the Inuvik airport and leases the helicopter and hangar to Great Slave Helicopters for operations. Zheh Gwizuh’ Limited Partnership represents the Gwich’in interests in a partnership with Northview Canadian High Yield Residential Fund. Its real estate portfolio includes various commercial properties in Inuvik and the Inuvik Capital Suites. GDC owns 74.95 percent of ZGLP. And Deetrin Geomatics is 60% owned by GDC and 40% owned by Challenger Geomatics.

In navigating the ever-evolving economic landscape, the Gwich’in Development Corporation remains steadfast in its commitment to preserving tradition while embracing innovation, new business, and economic self-determination. GDC has emerged as an regional economic powerhouse and is paving a path toward sustainable economic growth while materially contributing towards the growing global and local Indigenous economy. The company is creating generational value focusing on sustainability. This is Indigenomics.

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