Diavik community

Diavik Communities

Commitments are formalised through individual participation agreements with the Tlicho Government, the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, the North Slave Metis Alliance, the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, and the Lutsel K'e Dene First Nation.

We also have a socio-economic monitoring agreement with the Government of the Northwest Territories, which was signed by Indigenous partners. 


Economic Contribution


Local Procurement


Community Investment

2019 figures. Economic contribution figure is for period 2000 - 2019.

  • Community Contribution Programme
  • Scholarships
  • Sourcing Locally
  • Cultural Heritage
  • Traditional Knowledge
  • Land Agreements

Community Contribution Programme

Aimed at serving and strengthening the communities of the Northwest Territories and West Kitkimeot, we provide support through our community contribution programme. The key priority areas of the programme are: education and skill development; health and wellness; and culture, art, community pride. The community contribution builds upon existing programmes, all of which are focused on improving the quality of life for local residents.  

We also contribute to local communities through in-kind volunteering and participating in the communities, including our five local participation agreement groups. 


We provide financial assistance for northerners pursuing their education goals through various scholarships including for graduating students in post-secondary programmes and for children of employees and contractors.  

We support a scholarship fund at the Yellowknife Community Foundation and, in 2018, funded a new scholarship for women in the NWT and Kitikmeot region to pursue postsecondary education in science, technology, engineering, and math programmes. 

In our first decade, our scholarship programmes awarded $1.7 million through 1,200 individual scholarships to residents of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut’s West Kitikmeot region. 

During construction of our Diavik Diamond Mine, our community-based trades training programme resulted in numerous examples of new and improved community infrastructure. The courses, which left a legacy of local community infrastructure, provided trainees with hands-on trades experience, academic and life skills, and improved levels of confidence. Many of the participants were from small, remote northern communities. 

Sourcing Locally

In 2018, we continued to focus on partnering with Northern businesses and, in so doing, ensured major benefits flowed to local firms, many of which are Indigenous. For example, 75% of our spending, or $329.1 million, was with Northern businesses – an increase over the $283.6 million spent with northern companies in 2017.

This was above our target of at least 70% of total purchases of goods and services being procured through local northern businesses. Of this 2018 northern spend, $158.4 million was with northern Indigenous businesses – an increase over the $148 million spent in 2017.

Cultural Heritage

Diavik operates in one of the world’s most untouched and ecologically sensitive environments. Vast tundra surrounds the mine and it is home to bears, wolverine, and migrating caribou. The waters of Lac de Gras are pure and teeming with fish and bird life. 

Over one-third of the Northwest Territories is covered by lakes and rivers and in spite of its apparent abundance water is considered a precious resource, especially by Indigenous peoples. It provides habitat for much of the wildlife that is critical to the traditional lifestyles of local communities.  

For example, caribou play a key role in Indigenous culture and spirituality and it remains a staple in the diets of many Indigenous people. These and other environmental factors were carefully taken into account to ensure Diavik has minimal environmental effects and the operation meets the needs of local communities.

Traditional Knowledge 

Diavik engages with local Indigenous communities and its environmental monitoring programmes include incorporating traditional knowledge from local communities.  

For example, the mine’s aquatic effects monitoring programme was designed by community members to evaluate fish health and water quality using traditional indicators. As part of this programme, which is based from a seasonal camp near the mine site, fish are caught, cleaned, inspected, cooked, and tasted. Water is inspected, sampled, boiled, and tasted. Participants share traditional knowledge of the Lac de Gras area and record their observations of the fish and the water. The initiative was documented and a video, titled We Fish Today, For Fish Tomorrow, has been produced. Results from both scientific and traditional knowledge observations indicate the present status of fish and water in Lac de Gras is good. 

We Fish Today, For Fish Tomorrow

Land Agreements 

We are committed to ensuring local communities benefit from the sustainable development of its mine and these commitments are formalized through individual participation agreements with the: Tlicho Government, the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, the North Slave Metis Alliance, the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, and the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation.  

We have entered into an Environmental Agreement with local Indigenous groups, and federal and territorial governments. Concluded in March 2000, the agreement formalizes Diavik’s environmental protection commitments, establishes reclamation security requirements, and provides transparency and oversight to local communities. Through this agreement, we established an Environmental Monitoring Advisory Board to provide advice and oversee environmental issues with representatives from our Indigenous communities. 

As part of Diavik’s local commitments under the Socio-Economic Monitoring Agreement, Indigenous people and northern residents receive hiring priority. We are committed to achieving at least 40% Indigenous employment at Diavik, and at least 66% Northern employment including our contractors. This commitment is formalised in the socio-economic monitoring agreement with the Government of the Northwest Territories and Indigenous signatories.