Fonds 331 - Northwest Territories. Department of the Executive fonds

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Northwest Territories. Department of the Executive fonds

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  • Graphic material
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  • Textual record

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  • 1899-2014, predominant 1955-2014 (Creation)
    Northwest Territories. Department of the Executive (1967-2017)

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Physical description

ca. 60 m of textual records and other material

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Administrative history

The Department of the Executive was established in 1967. It was comprised of the Commissioner's Office, the Ministers' Offices and the Executive Council Secretariat that provided administrative and operational support to the department and to the Executive Council that in turn directed the administration branch of the Government of the Northwest Territories. Regional Directors coordinated government activities in each of the five administrative regions of the Northwest Territories. Executive staff, which reported to Regional Directors, were located in many communities and assisted with the coordination and dissemination of information related to government programs and services at the community level.

The Department of the Executive provided operational and administrative support to many activities and agencies including: Fire Marshal or Fire Prevention Services (1967-1971); Management Services or Internal Audit and Regulations (1969-1971); Historical Advisory Board (1970-1971); Liquor System (1970-1971); Emergency Measures or Emergency Planning and Environment Protection (1975-1977) and (1982-1983); Science Advisory Board (1976-1977); Land Claims Secretariat (1978-1980); In-Service Library (1973-1975) and (1981-1983); Geographic and Place Names (1985-1986); Security Advisor or Security (1974-1993) Office of Constitutional Development or Office of Devolution (1985-1992); Highway Transport Board/Public Utilities Board (1989-1992); Energy and Resource Development Secretariat or Energy, Mines and Resource Secretariat (1981-1989); Bureau of Statistics (1979-1994); Worker's Compensation Board (1982-1997) and the Science Institute of the Northwest Territories (1989-1994).

In a major restructuring between 1994 and 1995, the Executive Council directed that the Ministerial and Departmental Mandates and Goals of the Department of the Executive, Finance and Personnel be revised and that associated organizational changes be implemented. The Department of the Executive was reorganized and divided into three separate and distinct programs, each under the authority of a separate Minister. The three programs are: Executive Offices, the Financial Management Board Secretariat and the Ministry of Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs (formerly Aboriginal Rights and Constitutional Development Secretariat).

The Executive Offices Program provides overall direction, management and coordination to the GNWT as a whole. The Department provides policy, legislative, communications and strategic advice to Cabinet and to GNWT departments. The program also provides broad direction for the territorial public service and addresses national and international issues that have cross-departmental implications. The Executive Offices reviews all departmental initiatives to ensure that they support the government’s agenda in a balanced manner and directs focus towards areas where balance is not being achieved. The Secretary to Cabinet/Deputy Minister of Executive manages the Executive Offices Program. This program is responsible for the following: the Commissioner's Office, the Ministers' Offices, the Cabinet Secretariat and the Public Utilities Board. In 2003-2004, Executive Offices Program became responsible for the another unit, the Beaufort Delta Regional Office, which was responsible for implementing Cabinet priorities and direction, coordinating GNWT program and service responsibilities in the region and transition planning at the regional level in preparation for the implementation of a final self-government agreement.

The Commissioner’s Office provides funding for the Commissioner’s operational expenses, travel and support staff and for the Commissioner’s Award Program which recognizes individuals who distinguish themselves by acts of bravery of exceptional public service.

The Ministers' Offices include the Premier's Office, Ministers' Offices, and Women's Advisory. This unit provides advice, communication and operation support to the Premier and Cabinet, six Ministers and support staff. The Women’s Advisory provides a point of contact within the territorial government on issues of concern to women and advice and support to the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women.

The programs delivered by the Cabinet Secretariat have changed throughout the years. It has included such units as Secretariat Management, Official Languages Unit, Personnel Secretariat, Division Review Secretariat, Intergovernmental Affairs, and Corporate Services, which supports all three Programs of the Department of the Executive budgetary by providing, budgetary, financial and administrative services. The Legislation and House Planning unit provides advice and support to Cabinet, departments and government agencies with respect to the development of legislation and for sessions of the Legislative Assembly. Between 1998-1999, the Regulatory Reform Secretariat was added to the Cabinet Secretariat activity. This activity was responsible for reviewing the way government departments and agencies carry out regulatory responsibilities in order to reduce barriers to economic growth. This review process was completed within the same fiscal year. The Division Review Secretariat also operated between 1998-2000, and provided support and advice to Cabinet and acted as a liaison between the GNWT and the Government of Nunavut. After division of the Northwest Territories and the creation of Nunavut, this unit ceased to exist. In 1999-2000, the Personnel Secretariat Unit was renamed Corporate Human Resource Services. This unit continued to develop and monitor the government's recruitment policy, Affirmative Action Policy and other government-wide human resource policies, as well as provide training and advice to GNWT departments on staff development and human resource planning. Furthermore, the services delivered by the Official Languages Unit were transferred to the Department of Education, Culture and Employment in 1999. Between 2000-2001, three new units were added to the Cabinet Secretariat; Communications, Regional Relations and Intergovernmental Forum Secretariat. The Communications Unit develops, produces and distributes Department of Executive publications, provides advice and implements public affairs strategies to the Premier, Executive Council and Departments and provides protocol services to the GNWT. In addition, this unit communities the goals, strategies and agenda of the GNWT within government and to the public. The Regional Relations Unit is responsible for enhancing communications within and between regions and Headquarters. It also assists regions in preparation for transfer of government programs and services through capacity building and aboriginal self-government. This unit ceased to exist in 2002-2003. The Intergovernmental Forum Secretariat is responsible for coordinating the Government’s participation in Aboriginal, Territorial and Federal government discussions on issues such as devolution, resource revenue sharing, oil and gas developments, and fiscal relationship with Ottawa and northern control over northern resources. In 2002-2003, the Intergovernmental Forum Secretariat and the Intergovernmental Affairs Unit joined to form the Intergovernmental Relations and Strategic Planning Unit. The Energy Secretariat was added to the Cabinet Secretariat in 2002-2003. It was responsible for coordinating the development of an NWT Energy Strategy within the GNWT. Once this unit completed its task and ceased to exist in 2003-2004. The Corporate Review and Transition Planning Project was added to the Cabinet Secretariat in 2003-2004; it conducted an examination of GNWT functions and structure in order to report on future issues and actions for consideration by the Executive Council.

The Public Utilities Board is an independent regulatory agency responsible for the regulation of the energy utilities in the NWT. The Board derives its authority from the Public Utilities Act.

The Financial Management Board Secretariat (FMBS) was expanded and transferred from the Department of Finance to the Department of Executive. With the exception of staffing and external financial responsibilities, the Financial Management Board Secretariat has assumed all human resource and financial management functions of the Department of Personnel and Finance. FMBS provides centralized revenue and general accounting, comptrollership, program and organizational design services, internal audit, program evaluation, pay and benefit services, human resources planning and development as well as labour relations services to the Government of the Northwest Territories. These services are provided through four core business units: Directorate, Human Resources, Government Accounting and Audit, Budgeting and Evaluation. Between 1998-99, these core units changed to the Directorate, Labour Relations and Compensation Services, Government Accounting, the Audit Bureau and Budgeting and Evaluation. In 2003-2004, the Office of the Chief Information Officer was created and reported to the Secretary of the Financial Management Board/Comptroller General. This Office was responsible for developing a strategy for the management and utilization of the GNWT’s information resources, as well as coordinates an information management/information systems/information technology planning process that span multiple departments as well as provide advice and support to the Informatics Policy Committee.

The Ministry of Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs serves the Minister Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs and the Cabinet Committee System. The Ministry manages and coordinates GNWT participation at land claims, self-government and treaty negotiations and monitors Western constitutional development. The three areas of program support included the Directorate, Policy and Implementation and Negotiations. Between 2001-2002, the Policy and Implementation Division separated to form their own separate divisions. The Implementation Division became solely responsible for the negotiation of implementation plans and managing and monitoring the implementation of settled lands, resources and self-government agreements. In 2002-2003, a new unit was added to the Ministry. The Intergovernmental Forum Secretariat is responsible for GNWT coordination in Aboriginal, territorial and federal government discussions on pan-territorial issues such as economic development, capacity building and financing governments. The Ministry also works to enhance communications with regions and between regions and Headquarters and to work with regions to prepare for changes to the delivery of government programs and services in advance of new governance arrangements being negotiated. A sixth functional unit was added to the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs in 2003-2004 with the Devolution Division. This division is responsible for managing GNWT participation and representing the GNWT interest in the negotiations of devolution and resource revenue sharing agreements. The Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations (DAAIR) formed in 2006-2007 when the Department of Aboriginal Affairs gained the intergovernmental relations function from the Department of Executive. The Department of Aboriginal Affairs had also been responsible for devolution and resource revenue functions, however with the formation of the DAAIR, these functions remained with the Executive.

Custodial history

Scope and content

This fonds consists of records documenting the activities of the Department of the Executive in the functional areas of leadership of the GNWT and support to Cabinet, oversight of the GNWT’s regional operations, indigenous and intergovernmental relations, human resource planning, and gender equity. There are also records from the Audit Bureau and the Bureau of Statistics, as well as publications and records of several special projects undertaken by the department.

Government leadership

Records from the Directorate include meeting minutes, correspondence, and other materials from interdepartmental Deputy Ministers’ committees, including the Social Agenda and the Committee for Aboriginal Rights, as well as meeting materials for the Department of the Executive Senior Management Committee, the Special Joint Committee on Non-Tax-Based Community Affairs, and the Special Committee on the Implementation of Self-Government and the Sunset Clause, and the Public Committees, Boards and Councils Handbook. There are also transcripts of meetings of the Electoral Boundaries Commission held in several NWT communities in 1989 and community reports, meeting minutes and files pertaining to community transfers generated by various regional GNWT departments throughout the NWT, including Sachs Harbour, Paulatuk, Tuktoyaktuk, and Arctic Red River (now Tsiigehtchic).

Records from the Cabinet Secretariat include minutes, agendas, and other materials from interdepartmental Deputy Ministers’ committees, including the Division Review Committee. There are also reports commissioned by the Corporate Review and Transition Project in 2002-2004, along with departmental responses to the review and recommendations. Files from the Protocol section document the 1994 Royal Visit and 2004 Deputy Commissioner's swearing-in ceremony.

The fonds includes chronos of the Government Leader/Premier and the Deputy Minister/Secretary to Cabinet, originating from both of the above divisions. There are also chronos of ministers holding various portfolios, particularly from the Minister of Renewable Resources, and files containing correspondence between officials of the Executive and the federal government.

Records from the Corporate Communications division include Senior Management Committee records, Deputy Ministers' Steering Committee on Trademark and Copyright Policy records, GNWT-wide communications plans and strategies, workshop material, related job descriptions, records relating to the Visual Identity Program, and briefing binders.

Records from the Legislation and House Planning division include Cabinet House Strategy and session preparation files, briefing materials for MLAs, legislative agendas and files related to the development of legislation, materials from the Legislation and House Planning Committee, and results of the Legislative Review Survey conducted by the Division Review Committee in preparation for the creation of Nunavut. The records date from the 11th through to the 15th Legislative Assembly.

Records from the Priorities and Planning Secretariat relate to GNWT policy and program development, land claims issues, parks development, Constitutional development, decentralization and natural resource projects. Some of these records are meeting minutes, correspondence and records of decision produced by the Priorities and Planning Committee, a committee within the secretariat which reviewed initiatives, policies and programs before they were put before the Executive Members and the Executive Council as a whole. There is also a report from the Program, Policy and Planning Division entitled "Government as Communicator."

Records from the Executive Secretariat date from 1967-68 and consist of copies of the transfer guideline documents concerning the formal transfer of responsibilities to the Government of the Northwest Territories and a copy of a Task Force Report on the organization of the Northwest Territories Public Service.

Regional operations

Records from the Regional Operations division consist primarily of minutes from settlement and hamlet meetings in the Mackenzie Delta, Western Arctic, Baffin and Great Bear Lake regions, monthly reports from regions and specific communities, minutes of regional council meetings, and records from regional associations such as the Keewatin Organizational Committee, Regional Management Committee in Inuvik, and the Inuvik Regional Health Board. There are also files relating to resource development projects, including the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline, Nanisivik Mines, Polar Gas Project and Beaufort Delta Oil Project.

Records from the Corporate Services Division are primarily from the Keewatin Region and consist of minutes of meetings from the Executive Committee, Regional Director's Meetings, Annual Management Meetings, Senior Management Committee Meetings, various hamlet meetings and board meetings. Furthermore, there are minutes from the following Regional Councils: Baffin Regional Council, South Slavey Regional Council, North Slavey Regional Council, Deh Cho Regional Council, Shihita Regional Council, Kitikmeot Regional Council and the Keewatin Regional Council. There are also files relating to Commissioner's Tours and Ministerial Tours of the Baffin and Keewatin Regions. Records from the Finance and Administration section consist of policy and planning files and records relating to Regional Decentralization.

In addition, the fonds includes files containing correspondence from Regional Administrators concerning the administration and implementation of the Liquor Ordinance and alcohol abuse problems at Frobisher Bay (Iqaluit). There are also reports dating from 1971-1973 about the community of Port Burwell and the Kennuayuak Association .

Aboriginal affairs, intergovernmental relations, and strategic planning

Records from the Aboriginal Rights and Constitutional Development Secretariat and its successor, the Ministry of Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs, date predominantly from 1974-1996. These records relate to land claims, including the Inuvialuit (COPE), Dene/Metis, Sahtu, Gwich'in, Tlicho, Deh Cho, Denesuline, Makivik, Hay River Dene, and Treaty 8 organizations, and the creation of Nunavut. The records also document self-government by Indigenous groups (including the creation of the Western Arctic Region Municipality (WARM) or Western Arctic Regional Government (WARG)), constitutional development, intergovernmental relations, and devolution of airports, land, water, and resource management from the Federal government (see also Office of Devolution).

The fonds also includes newsletters and reports created by the Aboriginal Rights and Constitutional Development Secretariat and Equal Employment Directorate. The newsletters consist of 10 issues of Building Blocks, and discuss varied issues of devolution and compensation. There are three reports on equal employment, dating from the mid-1980s.

Records from the Office of Devolution date from 1993-2014, documenting negotiations between the GNWT and federal government over the devolution of lands and resources and implementation of the devolution agreement. Records include correspondence, committee records, briefing materials, reports, and communication plans.

Records from the Strategic Planning division and its predecessor, Intergovernmental Relations and Strategic Planning (IGRASP), include briefing packages, minutes, and other materials related to a variety of meetings and projects. These include meetings between the Premier and federal ministers, other Premier meetings, Intergovernmental and Arctic Circle meetings, and the Deputy Ministers’ Senior Management Committee, as well as planning materials for the National Aboriginal Women’s Summit (NAWS II). There are records from the Boards and Agencies review in 2004-2006, including meeting minutes, agendas, reports, drafts, and interviews with departments and agencies. Also included are files on the Living History Project, a project to reflect and celebrate NWT progress since the Berger Inquiry, and one file which outlines the activities and strategies of the Social Envelope section in 1997-1998. There are also files related to departmental policies and a proposed reorganization of intergovernmental affairs functions.

Human resource planning

Records from the Personnel Secretariat Division include reviews of personnel policies, reports on conferences, workshops and seminars, files on employment equity, the decentralization of the Highway Transport Board and Liquor Licensing Board and several files on the restructuring of various GNWT departments.

Records from the Corporate Human Resources division comprise annual reports on the Affirmative Action Policy for the GNWT, an evaluation report and guidelines for the Northern Graduate Employment Program, reviews of staffing services and employee benefit administration at departments and agencies, and a file relating to the creation and organization of the division.

Women’s Advisory

Records from the Women’s Advisory include reports, decision papers, briefing notes, correspondence, and policy statements documenting the roles and responsibilities of the Women’s Advisory, its relationship to the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, the restructuring of the Women’s Advisory in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and the 5-year Action Plan on Equality for Women. There are also reports from the Status of Women Committee and from organizations funded by the Women’s Advisory, including the Status of Women Council, the Native Women's Association, the Pauktuutit Inuit Women's Association and the Women's Community Action Team.

The fonds also contains two audio reels dating from 1974-1975, including a panel discussion on the Status of Women as a lead up to the International Year of Women (1975) and an NWTCC board meeting discussing housing, waste management, air transportation, and business/government relations.

Audit Bureau, Bureau of Statistics, special projects and publications

Records from the Audit Bureau consist of audit files for various Hamlets, Hunters and Trappers Associations and craft shops, as well as files relating to Audit Committee Meetings, Manager's Reports and organization charts.

Records from the Bureau of Statistics include population statistic and projection reports, Yellowknife apartment surveys, spatial price surveys, food price surveys, personal income statistics, labour force surveys, census results, a report on interprovincial/territorial trade and a business directory. It also includes an incomplete collection of volumes of the Statistics Quarterly, from volumes 1 through 26.

Also in this fonds are records generated by the History of Education Project that was undertaken by Norman McPherson and resulted in a book on the history of education in the Northwest Territories (Dreams and Visions: Education in the Northwest Territories from the Early Days to 1984). The records consist of original files and copies of reports from schools in many communities throughout the Northwest Territories, as well as copies of transcripts from oral history interviews.

There are also eight audiocassettes and a fifteen page summary report of a Traditional Knowledge Elders gathering held in October of 1993 at Fort Providence.

The fonds also includes a small group of miscellaneous documents and reports relating to auditing, management, cross-cultural training, the Beaufort Sea Drilling Program, and research subject headings.

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Language of material

  • English
  • Inuktitut

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  • Unified Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics
  • Latin

Language and script note

The minutes from the Baffin Regional Council meetings are written in English and in Inuktitut (G-1999-094)

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Access restricted under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

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Most accessions have file level descriptions in the database, but there are some which have hard copy or PDF listings. See accession records for details.

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Copyright held by the Government of the Northwest Territories.

Physical description

ca. 60 m and ca. 30 MB of textual records
71 photographs
8 audio cassettes ; 2 audio reels
4 maps

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  • English

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