Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Northern Manitoba
The first Co-operatives in northern Canada were legally incorporated
in 1960. During the 1960s and early 1970s, many communities
in the NWT and Nunavut formed Co-operatives as community-based,
member-owned businesses in order to provide community residents
with services and employment opportunities. Today, there are
36 Co-operatives in the NWT, Nunavut and Northern Manitoba communities,
representing the interests of thousands of members and providing
an important source of income for hundreds of northern families
through wage employment and the purchase of arts and crafts,
furs and country foods. Northern Co-operatives are involved
in general merchandise retailing, hotels, contracting, taxi
and cartage services, commercial fisheries, bakeries, and cable
The NWT, Nunavut and Northern Manitoba Co-operatives affiliated over the years
to form two Co-operatively-owned subsidiary service organizations:
Arctic Co-operatives Limited
and the Arctic Co-operative Development Fund, or ACDF (formerly
known as NWT Co-operative Business Development Fund). These
two organizations are owned by Member Co-operatives and provide
a number of essential services.
ACL services include: accounting and auditing for members, art marketing, supply
and transportation of merchandise inventory, training and education
for managers and Boards of Directors, management advisory services
and support services in the areas of hotel and tourism, cable
television, fuel delivery and project development.
Services provided by ACDF are financial in nature, and include providing
affordable self-financing to Member Co-operatives through the pooling of
financial resources of the NWT, Nunavut and Northern Manitoba Co-operatives.
All investments made are in the Co-operative Movement to facilitate local
With strong member support in the northern communities, and the integration of
the services provided by the central organizations, the Co-operative Movement
has become a major economic and social force in the north.
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