Sold-Out Gala Celebrates Diamond Pioneers and Leaders

YELLOWKNIFE (November 22, 2016) – The Northwest Territories (NWT) said thank you November 17 to a resource and an industry that has made it strong.


‎A Diamond Gala, co-sponsored by the NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines and the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT), celebrated the 25th anniversary of the NWT diamond discovery by paying tribute to the discoverers, mines, and Aboriginal governments that have enabled it to grow. The sold-out event was held at the conclusion of the 2016 Geoscience Forum, the NWT’s largest convention and tradeshow held annually in Yellowknife.


Key-shaped crystal awards were presented to the individuals responsible for the discoveries that became the four NWT diamond mines – unlocking the potential for diamond mining in the NWT.


Mines and Aboriginal governments received diamond-shaped crystal awards to recognize their role in constructing and operating the mines, and creating significant new employment and business opportunities.


The GNWT has committed, in its mandate for the 18th assembly to implementing the NWT Mineral Development Strategy — a suite of initiatives designed to support and encourage future innovation and investment in mining and exploration.  


Award recipients were:




  • Chuck Fipke
  • Stu Blusson
  • Jim Eccott
  • Gren Thomas
  • Bob Gannicott
  • Chris Jennings
  • Ned Goodman
  • Randy Turner
  • Harry Dobson
  • John Dupuis


Diamond Mines


  • Ekati – Jon Carlson, Dominion Diamond Corporation
  • Diavik – Denton Henkelman, Diavik Diamond Mines Inc.
  • Snap Lake – Erik Madsen, De Beers Group of Companies
  • Gahcho Kué – Patrick Evans, Mountain Province Diamonds and Allan Rodel, De Beers Group of Companies


Aboriginal Governments


  • Tłı̨chǫ Government
  • Yellowknives Dene First Nation
  • Łutsel K’e and Kache Dene First Nation
  • Deninu Kué First Nation
  • Northwest Territory Métis  Nation
  • North Slave Métis Alliance
  • Kitikmeot Inuit Association


For more information contact Drew Williams, Manager of Communications, Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment at, or by phone at (867) 767-9202 ext. 63037.