Dec 12 2014

Minister meets Aboriginal governments on culture and heritage  

YELLOWKNIFE (December 12, 2014) – Minister of Education, Culture and Employment Jackson Lafferty met last week with Aboriginal governments from across the Northwest Territories to generate ideas for a 10-year culture and heritage strategic framework. This is a new initiative of the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) which will help GNWT departments align their work with a shared set of cultural principles during the next decade. The framework will be the first of its kind in the NWT.

“Cultural identity is part of what makes Northerners who we are and supports personal and community wellness,” said Minister Lafferty. “Government has a responsibility to preserve, promote, document and present culture and heritage and ensure it shapes government decisions, policies and programs. Aboriginal governments have rights respecting their culture, language and heritage resources and it is essential that we work together on this initiative.”

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Dec 12 2014

GNWT Congratulates FOXY on winning Arctic Inspiration Prize

YELLOWKNIFE (December 12, 2014) – The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is congratulating FOXY (Fostering Open eXpression among Youth), recipients of the third annual Arctic Inspiration Prize announced Wednesday night in Ottawa.Premier McLeod spoke today about the importance of empowering young women in the NWT and the key role they play as our future leaders.

“Congratulations to FOXY and all the young women who have contributed to its success while participating in their programs,” said Premier Bob McLeod, Minister Responsible for Women. “FOXY’s unique approach to participatory action research brings young women together as peers to talk about their experiences and the challenges they face growing up in small Northern communities and turns that real-life knowledge into practical solutions that are in touch with Northern realities. I am pleased to see the value of this approach and the knowledge it can contribute to the understanding of life in the North recognized on a national level.”

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Dec 11 2014

First year of near-continuous highway service to Inuvik through freeze-up


YELLOWKNIFE (December 11, 2014) — Traffic is flowing safely and reliably across both Dempster Highway ice crossings. This is the first year highway service to the Beaufort-Delta region has been interrupted for only a short time during freeze-up.

“For the first time ever, we have provided near-continuous highway service to Inuvik during freeze-up,” said Minister of Transportation Tom Beaulieu. “We operated both ferries 24 hours a day while constructing the ice bridges. This investment significantly increased access to the region. It lowered the cost of living, improved mobility and provided more secure energy resupply to the Beaufort-Delta during what has always been a time when reliable highway access was not possible.”

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Dec 9 2014

Drop the Pop winners announced and new campaign begins

YELLOWKNIFE (December 9, 2015) – The Department of Health and Social Services’ annual Drop the Pop campaign will soon begin in schools across the NWT.

This is the 10th year of the pan-territorial campaign, which is part of the Government of the Northwest Territories’ (GNWT) commitment to support Healthy Choices. Schools across the North that participated last year were eligible to be acknowledged with a cash award for their efforts to promote healthy eating and healthy lifestyles.

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Dec 5 2014

Anti-Poverty meeting wraps up

YELLOWKNIFE (December 5, 2014) – More than 100 delegates from across the Northwest Territories came together in Yellowknife over the past two days to hammer out an action plan to combat poverty in the NWT.

Participants in the Second Annual Northwest Territories Anti-Poverty Roundtable included representatives from community organizations, Aboriginal and community governments, non-government organizations and the private sector, representing every region of the NWT.  The event was hosted by the Department of Health and Social Services.

Minister of Health and Social Services Glen Abernethy, who also chairs the Social Envelope Committee of Cabinet, said that the purpose of the roundtable was to develop a territorial, multi-stakeholder action plan to combat poverty.  “Government is part of the solution but government can’t be the entire solution – we can beat poverty by creating partnerships, creating relationships and working together.”  Discussions at the session built on work initiated at a roundtable held in November 2013, following the publication of Building on the Strengths of Northerners:  A Strategic Framework toward the Elimination of Poverty in the NWT.

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Dec 4 2014

Specialized training provides foundation for stronger NWT Aboriginal tourism product

YELLOWKNIFE (December 4, 2014) – Seven Northwest Territories residents were recently certified to deliver the FirstHost Tourism Program to those working in the territory’s emerging Aboriginal tourism sector.

Developed by the Native Education College in British Columbia and modified by the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) for delivery in the NWT, the training program focused on developing front-line skills and techniques to enhance customer service excellence and celebrate Aboriginal culture.

Janet Kanoyuk from Ulukhaktok; Gerry Antoine, Fort Simpson; Rachenda Weyallon, Behchoko; Pearl Leishman, Fort Providence; Kayley Mackay and Be’sha Blondin, Yellowknife; and Bryanna Modeste, Délįnę; completed the  training session held for the first time last month in Yellowknife.

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Dec 3 2014

Bridging the Dehcho chronicles the history of the Mackenzie River

YELLOWKNIFE (December 3, 2014) – A new book documents the history of the Mackenzie River, the people of the region and the crossing at Fort Providence.

Bridging the Dehcho explores the ancient history of the region and describes the arrival of Sir Alexander Mackenzie, the fur traders and missionaries. It describes the construction of the Mackenzie Highway and tells the stories of the crews who built the ice bridge and ran the ferries for over 50 years before the Deh Cho Bridge was opened. The book also documents the evolution and construction of the bridge project and paints a portrait of the community of Fort Providence.

“The Mackenzie River and the people in the region surrounding the Deh Cho are important parts of our heritage,” said Minister of Transportation Tom Beaulieu. “Long before highways were built through the NWT, the river provided a critical connection for cultural and economic activities. We carry on that tradition today and we tell the stories of those who worked along the crossing.”

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Nov 28 2014

New Wildlife Act comes into force today in the NWT

Yellowknife (November 28, 2014) – The new Wildlife Act for the Northwest Territories (NWT) comes into force today.

The new Act provides the tools needed to manage and conserve wildlife for the benefit of current and future generations in the NWT and reflects the interests of all residents of the NWT.

“This new legislation is the result of a collaborative process between our government, wildlife co-management boards, Aboriginal governments and extensive consultation and public engagement,” said Environment and Natural Resources Minister J. Michael Miltenberger. “It promotes cooperative and collaborative working relationships for effective wildlife management at the local, regional and territorial levels and recognizes Aboriginal and treaty rights and the rights contained in land claim and self-government agreements.”

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Nov 27 2014

Premier McLeod Statement on Alex Van Bibber

YELLOWKNIFE (November 27, 2014) – I was saddened to hear of the Yukon’s Alex Van Bibber passing away.  Van Bibber was known all across the north and, up until he was 96, was an outfitter, miner, residential school survivor and honoured veteran. He continued to promote a responsible and thriving trapping industry in the north by teaching northerners how to use more humane trapping methods and the importance of protecting wildlife habitats.

Alex Van Bibber traveled all across the north and at one time he ended up taking a 500-mile trek breaking trail through the Mackenzie Mountains for the American army to what would become Norman Wells and the Canol Oil Pipeline project. Van Bibber kept a small vial of the first crude oil to arrive in Whitehorse from Norman Wells which he later donated to the Yukon Transportation Museum.

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Nov 27 2014

David Ramsay – Building Capacity: Preparing for the Oil and Gas Industry (Aboriginal Oil and Gas Forum)

Distinguished guests, Chiefs, honoured colleagues, thank you for the invitation to join you today.  It is an exciting time in Canada’s oil and gas sector and in particular, in the Northwest Territories.  I am honoured to be here representing Government of the Northwest Territories and participating in this panel.

Building capacity to ensure our residents and communities are prepared for development and the effects of that is a major priority for our government.

Experience has shown us that when development occurs, having the capacity to deal with this and make the most of it – is crucial. And more importantly, our people, communities and businesses must be positioned to seize the opportunities that will come.

To set the stage before our panel discussion, I would like to take the few minutes I have to give you some background on the North’s tremendous petroleum potential and the importance of responsible development. Then I would like to highlight the partnership approach our government has taken with our Aboriginal partners and communities that is central to successful development, and also share some of our government’s strategic initiatives that we are undertaking to help build capacity. 

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