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Authority record
Corporate body · 1905-present

As the primary body of elected officials, the Legislative Assembly is empowered to pass new laws, amend existing laws, determine how public monies are expended, and approve policies and programs. Elections are held every four years and following the elections, the members of the Legislative Assembly elect from among themselves a Speaker of the House, a Premier and the members of the Executive Council. The members of the Executive Council, the Ministers, are assigned portfolios by the Premier and are responsible for managing the various departments and agencies of the Government of the Northwest Territories. Typically this includes introducing new legislation, setting budgets and setting government direction. Prior to 1979, the Legislative Assembly was known as the NWT Council, or Council of the Northwest Territories.

The Legislative Assembly operates according to standard parliamentary procedures with some modifications. The Assembly frequently refers questions to the Committee of the Whole where informal discussion takes place. The Legislative Assembly establishes standing and special committees in order to gather information and public opinion on different issues. The standing or permanent committees on finance, public accounts and legislation carry out a majority of the work of the Legislative Assembly. Sessions are usually held twice yearly for approximately 12 weeks. The official seven languages of the Northwest Territories (English, French, Chipewyan, Slavey, Dogrib, Gwich'in and Inuktitut) are used in the Legislative Assembly with interpretation services provided by the GNWT Language Bureau.

The original North West Territories were created in 1870 when the Hudson's Bay Company sold to the British Government all the lands which it governed under the letters patent of Charles II. These lands were im­mediately transferred to the Government of Canada. On June 22, 1869, the Dominion government of Canada had passed An Act for the temporary government of Rupert's Land and the Northwest Territory in preparation for the transfer of control of these lands. This Act provided for a lieutenant governor, who was to set up a council of 7 to 15 in the administration of affairs. The lands included all the country drained by the rivers flowing into Hudson Bay including most of Saskatchewan and Alberta, part of Manitoba and the Keewatin District of Nunavut. It did not at that time include the greater part of the Arctic, to which the United Kingdom had some claim arising from the various naval expeditions of the early nineteenth century. Although the Hudson's Bay Company abandoned its jurisdiction in 1870, it retained its trading posts and expanded its commercial activities into other parts of Canada. In 1880 the British Government transferred any rights which it had over the Arctic Islands (which were still not completely explored or mapped) to the Canadian Government.

In 1875, the North-West Territories Act was passed, providing for a resident Lieutenant-Governor and an appointed council of not more than five people. A provision allowed for electoral districts of not more than 1000 square miles and not less than 1000 people. At such time as there were 21 electoral districts, the Council would become a Legislative Assembly. This number was surpassed in 1888. The Territories were governed by English law as it existed at the time of the transfer to Canada. This was amended by a con­siderable body of Ordinances passed by the Council. Increasing demands for political independence led to the 1905 creation of the Provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta and the northward extension of the Province of Manitoba.

The remaining Northwest Territories were constituted by an Act of the Canadian Parliament (4 & 5 Edw.VII, c. 27) in 1905. This provided for the appointment of a Commissioner and a nominated Council of four. A Commissioner for the Territories was appointed in August 1905 but for the next fifteen years the Commissioner ruled without the assistance of a Territorial Council.
The two Commissioners during this period were Frederick White (1905 - 1919), who was also Comptroller of the Royal North West Mounted Police, and N.W. Cory (1919 - 1930), who was Deputy Minister of the Interior. The entire adminis­tration of the Territories was therefore, in Ottawa. Administration of the Territories was the responsibility of the Federal Minister of the Interior, to whom both the Commissioner of Police and the Commissioner of the Territories reported. The population of the Northwest Territories was very sparse in 1905 and the northern islands still largely unexplored. It was not until 1911 that the first complete census was organized throughout the area. Since the area to be covered was vast, administration was limited to essen­tials, and these duties were of a municipal type - the relief of the desti­tute, care of the sick and the prevention of crime. The police posts and patrols provided the local personnel and they were supplemented by the volun­tary efforts of missionaries and Hudson's Bay Company post managers. The police reported to the Mining Lands and Yukon Branch of the Ministry of the Interior (the Mines Branch until 1909) in all matters concerning the Terri­tories. For the administration of justice, the relevant ordinances of the old North West Territories were applied. A few amendments and additions were made by Order in Council at the end of this period, but a decision of the Department of Justice in April, 1921 stated that these were invalid because no Council existed. Any justices appointed for the original Terri­tories were apparently considered capable of hearing cases, and no new jus­tices were appointed. Appeals could be made from their decisions to the nearest Provincial Court of Appeal (Acts 6 & 7 Edw. VII, c. 32 and 7 & 8 Edw. VII, c. 49).

Canada's interest in its Arctic territories has been stimulated from time to time by geological discoveries (gold, other metals and oil) or by war. Each of these events has been followed by changes (and an in­crease in volume) of administrative and judicial activity. The first of these changes occurred at the end of the First World War when oil was dis­covered at Norman Wells. The need to provide for the registration of land and mining claims in the Mackenzie District and for the amendment of the old Ordinance led to the appointment of the first Territorial Council on 20 April, 1921. The councillors (all senior members of the De­partment of the Interior, including the Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) met only once, on 28 April 1921, to hear a report by their Acting Secretary, Mr. O.S. Finnie. A party of twenty-two employees had been sent from Ottawa to Fort Smith (just across the Alberta border) to organize a government office for the Mackenzie District. The councillors expressed considerable doubt about the legal posi­tion of the administration. The Ordinances needed revision and the validity of some was referred to the Department's legal advisers. Consideration was given to raising territorial revenue by charging fees for trading and busi­ness licences. It was agreed to ask for an amending Act to increase the number of councillors to six. The amending Act (11 & 12 Geo. V, c. 40) was passed on 13 June 1922 and the new Council met on the next day in a flurry of legal activity. The City of Ottawa lawfully became, for the first time, the capital of the Northwest Territories. The Entry and the Beverage Ordinances (issue by the Commissioner's sole authority) were declared ultra vires, and various official duties relating to the Territories were re-assigned.

A Northwest Territories and Yukon Branch was organized within the Department of the Interior with Mr. O.S. Finnie as its Director. He, and the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs became the two new councillors added by authority of the 1922 Act. By agreement with the Quebec Government, the Branch was also responsible for New Quebec and its Indigenous people. In 1936, when the Department of the Interior was abolished, the Branch and its duties were transferred to the Department of Mines and Resources. It was renamed the Bureau of Northwest Territories and Yukon Affairs and placed in the Lands, Parks and Forests Branch of the Department. In 1950 and 1951 the duties of the Bureau were re-arranged and it was renamed several times.

Until the outbreak of the Second World War, the Territories con­tinued to be governed in the same fashion as before 1922. The police (now re-organized as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) provided the local ad­ministration with assistance from the handful of local territorial govern­ment employees as well as the missionaries and H.B.C. post managers. How­ever closer control was maintained by the Ottawa office and the Territorial Council. Increased efforts were made to list and control the Indigenous peoples. This in turn led to further demands for welfare services and an extension of law enforcement. Progress was slow. It was not until 1942, as a result of wartime problems, that Inuit were listed and issued with disc numbers. For many years the only magistrate in the Territories was an Alberta provin­cial judge who made an annual visit to the Territories.

The discovery of gold in the Great Slave Lake area was followed by the Second World War and further development of the oil resources of Norman Wells. Although these events did not produce any legislative and administrative changes, their impact on the Northwest Territories is clearly shown by the increased number of meetings of the Council and the increased volume of business generated by the administration. During almost the whole of this period the appropriate Deputy Minister acted as Commissioner: W.W. Cory (1919-31), H.H. Rowatt (1931-34), Dr. Charles Camsell (1936-46), and Dr. H.L. Keenleyside (1947-50). In 1935 Mr. R.A. Gibson, the Deputy Commissioner, presided at meetings of the Council. All the members of the Council were Federal public servants, with the first northern resident only being appointed to the Council in 1947 (J.G. McNiven). However by 1951 it was quite clear that this colonial style of government was unsuitable for the increased population and industrial activities of the Territories.

In 1951, the Northwest Territories Act was amended to permit three elected members to be included in the Council of eight and required Council to hold at least two sessions a year, one of them in the north. Further amendments increased the Council's legislative and financial powers. By 1955, Council could authorize the Commissioner to make agreements with the federal government, subject to Ottawa's approval and they could use a separate Northwest Territories revenue account, as long as a deficit was not created. The amendments also allowed the Commissioner to control some public lands, created a Territorial Court, and repealed major part of the NWT Act so that territorial ordinances could take their place.

In 1958, the Council received the power to borrow money subject to federal approval and by 1960 the Council had the power to pass game laws affecting Dene and Inuit. A fourth elected member was added in 1954, as Council membership rose to nine. The size remained the same until 1966, when the first electoral districts were created outside of the Mackenzie. In 1960, the first members from outside the civil service were appointed. In 1964, separate offices for the Government of the Northwest Territories were created; the position of Commissioner became a full-time appointment and the task of building a headquarters that would eventually move north began. A year later, the naming of the Deputy Commissioner became a separate Governor-in-Council appointment and his duties were made full-time. By 1964, four of the five appointees to the nine-member Council were from the private sector; the Deputy Commissioner remained as the only civil servant appointee to the Council. In 1965, the first Inuit member of Council was appointed and the following year, the Council's elected membership increased from four to seven as electoral districts were created in the Keewatin, High Arctic and Eastern Arctic. In that year the Commissioner-in-Council was given authority to set qualifications for electors and candidates, and a separate Consolidated Revenue Fund for the Northwest Territories was set up within the Consolidated Revenue Fund of Canada.

The Carrothers Report recommended that northern residents be given a greater degree of self-government, but felt that the Northwest Territories should not be divided at that time. In 1967, the territorial government moved to the new capital of Yellowknife, as the Report had recommended. In 1970, the Northwest Territories Act was amended again and Council's elected membership increased to 10 and the appointed membership decreased from five to four. Council's term of office was increased to four years from three and the Commissioner-in-Council was authorized to set members' indemnities and allowances and the period in which Ottawa could disallow territorial legislation was cut from two years to one.

The Seventh Council, which included the first elected Dene member, two Inuit members and a Metis member, took office early in 1971. The first fully-elected Council since 1905 took office in 1975. This Council was given the authority to elect its own Speaker and to name two elected members to the Executive Committee (a third was added a year later). In 1979, the NWT Council was renamed the Legislative Assembly. As the chief political body it is composed of non-partisan elected officials representing all residents of the Northwest Territories.

Between 1980-1981, the Legislative Assembly provided all administrative and support services to the Assembly, to the Standing and Special Committees and to individual Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) throughout the year. Its budget included provision for all indemnities and allowances, including those related to the activities of the MLAs. Initially, the main task of the Legislative Assembly was to work toward responsible government and ultimately to attain provincehood for the Northwest Territories. The Clerk's office worked closely with the office of the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada during elections, when electoral districts were being established and members were being elected.

As the Legislative Assembly evolved, the Deputy Commissioner position was removed from the Executive in 1983. The Legislative Assembly budget increased and provided for additional activities of the Legislative Assembly, including retiring allowances for MLAs, the costs of holding sessions of the Assembly and the meetings of Standing and Special Committees. The Standing and Special have concentrated on such matters as the Constitution of Canada, Division of the Northwest Territories, and Constitutional Development in the Western portion of the Territories and Electoral District Boundaries.

Between 1990-1991, the mandate of the Legislative Assembly was as follows: The Speaker and Clerk of the Legislative Assembly were responsible for all activities of the Legislative Assembly. The administration of the Office of the Legislative Assembly and the Office of the Clerk adhered to the Executive Council Act and the Legislative Assembly Retiring Allowances Act. The Acts represented the legal mandate of the Legislative Assembly. The Management and Services Board, in accordance with the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act, provided the legal and administrative structure for the Legislative Assembly. The Office of the Clerk provided research, financial, administrative, committee, and public affairs support to members of the Legislative Assembly. Between 1992-1993, the Legislative Assembly Retiring Allowances Act, the Supplementary Retiring Allowances Act, the Elections Act and Official Languages Act were added to the legal mandate of the Legislative Assembly.

Prior to 1993, the Legislative Assembly operated from temporary and leased premises. With the opening of the new Legislative building in 1993, the services delivered by the Assembly expanded. The Clerk provided advice and support to the Speaker and Members on procedural and administrative matters, managed the Legislative Assembly offices, coordinated the provision of legal services to the Speaker, Members, Committees, Management and Services Board and coordinated the duties of the Sergeant-at-Arms and the Pages.

The House and Committee Services provided procedural advice to the Speaker, Chairmen, Committees and Members of the Assembly, managed support services, maintained house records, produced House documents, and managed the Hansard service and the language services, which included the translation of House documents.

The Research and Information Services provided research services to Members and Committees, provided information and reference services through the Legislative and Government Library, provided public information about the Legislative Assembly and assisted Members in the preparation of public information materials.

The Finance and Administration division provided financial and administrative support to the Legislative Assembly, human resource management services, coordinated the management of pension plan for Members, provided administrative support to Members and administrative and financial support to Office of the Languages Commissioner.

The Facilities Management division provided overall management of the Legislative Assembly building and facilities by providing security, maintenance and janitorial services.

The Elections NWT program provided for the administration of Elections and Plebiscites and the Office of the Languages Commissioner provided for the independent operation of the Language Commissioner.

In 1994-1995, the services provided by the Legislative Assembly were condensed to form the following programs. The Office of the Clerk, Office of the Speaker, Expenditures on Behalf of Members, Office of the Chief Electoral Officer and the Commissioner of Official Languages.

The Office of the Clerk included the Clerk’s Office, Deputy Clerk’s Office, Finance and Administration, Research and Library Services, Sessions and Committees. Through these various units the Office of the Clerk managed and directed the Legislative Assembly Office and provided advice and support to the Speaker and Members on procedural and administrative matters, as well as provided visitor services, public information and language services. Through the Research and Library Section, research and reference services were provided to individual Members, Standing and Special Committees, and to the Clerk’s Office and Deputy Clerk’s Office. The Sessions and Committee Units provided funding for the administration of session, provision of Hansard service and funded the administration of all Committees of the Legislative Assembly. Between 1999-2000, the Finance and Administration section was renamed Corporate Services to include financial management, human resources, electronic data processing, office automation, information services and the overall management of the Legislative Building and its facilities. Between 2003-2004, the Research and Library Services was separated into two distinct functions: Research Services and Library Services.

The Office of the Speaker is responsible for developing policies on the overall control and operation of the Office of the Legislative Assembly as Chair of the Management and Services Board. The Speaker is the official representative of the Legislative Assembly at Provincial/Territorial, Federal and International functions.

The Expenditures on Behalf of Members activity provides allowances, per diems, indemnities, pension administration, as well as salaries for Member's constituency assistants.

The Office of the Chief Electoral Officer conducts and administers general elections, by-elections and plebiscites in the Northwest Territories according to legislation enacted by the Legislative Assembly. This office is responsible to educate and inform eligible electors and candidates in the Northwest Territories of their democratic rights accorded to them in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Commissioner of Official Languages is responsible for ensuring that the rights, status and privileges of all Official Languages in the Northwest Territories are complied with within the spirit of the Official Languages Act. The Languages Commissioner is responsible for tabling an annual report to the Legislative Assembly that details the activities undertaken and achieved by the office.

In 2004, the NWT Human Rights Commission was established by the enactment of the NWT Human Rights Act. Members of the Commission are appointed by the Legislative Assembly for a term of four years. The Director is an officer of the Commission and is also appointed by the Legislative Assembly for a four year term. Adjucation of complaints/disputes rests with the NWT Human Rights Adjudication Panel, a separate entity.

Cominco Ltd.
Corporate body

Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company of Canada Ltd. (C.M.S.) was formed in 1906 as a subsidiary of Canadian Pacific Rail with head operations in Trail, British Columbia. Its aggressive northern exploration in the 1920s and 1930s led to stakes claimed in 1927/28 on the lead and zinc deposits on the south shore of Great Slave Lake, which would later become Pine Point Mine, silver deposits at Great Bear Lake in the 1930s, and Con Mine, which was the first gold mine to go into production in the NWT in 1938. C.M.S. also developed other mines in the Northwest Territories including Thompson-Lundmark, Ruth, Ptarmigan, and Polaris. C.M.S. mines had a significant impact on the economic and social history of the Northwest Territories, particularly in the case of Con Mine and Pine Point.

Con Mine
C.M.S. sent several prospecting parties headed by Ted Nagle into the Yellowknife area in 1928/29, but their searches did not reveal anything significant. During a staking rush in 1935, Bill Jewitt sent a small group of men led by Mike Finland into the Kam Lake area of Yellowknife where they filed ‘CON’ claims in September and October. In 1937 C.M.S. bought an interest in Tom Payne’s adjacent properties, which developed into the Rycon Mine company. The construction of the Con-Rycon mines began on July 13, 1937 under the lead of Bob Armstrong. Production began in the spring of 1938 with the first gold brick poured on September 5, 1938. The Bluefish Hydro plant on Prosperous Lake was built in 1940 to support the energy needs of the mine, and also made Yellowknife the first electrified NWT community. Production at Con Mine ceased between 1943 and 1945 due to WWII although maintenance and development work continued under the direction of geologist Dr. Neil Campbell. The Campbell Shear Zone was named in honour of his hypothesis of a major orebody 2000 feet below the surface of the mine. Its existence was confirmed in 1946, with full production starting in 1963 and continuing until the closure of the mine. In 1953 C.M.S. bought the Negus Mine and found new reserves there. In 1966 C.M.S. changed its name to Cominco. The Robertson shaft – at 250 feet the tallest building in the NWT – was completed in 1977 and eventually reached a depth of 6250 feet. The Con Mine was the most productive gold mine in the NWT, and Cominco’s most successful gold mine.

In 1986 Cominco sold the Con Mine to Nerco Minerals for $46 million US. Con Mine was subsequently bought by Miramar Corporation for $25 million US in 1993. Miramar leased the mining rights of the Giant Mine in 1999 and milled Giant ore at the Con Mine. In 2003 mining ceased at Con, and the processing of Giant ore at Con ceased in 2004. Demolition and reclamation of the mine site occurred over several years, with the demolition of the iconic Robertson headframe - then the tallest structure in the NWT - happening on October 29, 2016.

Through its history, the Con Mine produced 5,276,363 ounces of gold from 12,195,585 tons of ore milled between 1938 and 2003. Over 10,000 gold bars were produced in 65 years of operation.

Pine Point
In 1928 C.M.S. began exploration in the Pine Point area south of Great Slave Lake, and in 1929 formed the Northern Lead Zinc Company with the Atlas Exploration Company and Ventures Ltd. Assessment work on the lead and zinc deposits in the area continued between 1930 to 1948, with extensive exploration drilling 1948 to 1955. Pine Point Mines Ltd. was formed in 1951 with C.M.S. holding a majority interest. In 1962 Pine Point Mines Ltd. began construction on the Great Slave Lake Railway with assistance from Canadian National Railway and the Canadian Federal government’s “Road to Resources” program. This railway line connected Roma Junction, Alberta and Pine Point, a company town that was established in 1964. Mining began in 1963, and mill production started in 1965. Mining ceased due to economics in 1987, and the town officially closed on September 1, 1987. 8.4 billion pounds of zinc and 2.6 billion pounds of lead were produced over the mine’s history. The railway and townsite have since been removed.

Corporate body

In 1946, the Forest and Wildlife Division of the Northwest Territories was created by the Department of Mines and Resources with the responsibility of providing some protection for renewable resources and creating comprehensive management plans. Fire protection was one of the pillars of accomplishing these aims. The Division was headquartered in Fort Smith and fire protection efforts centred on that region, with services expanded to other areas gradually. A forest protection ordinance was enacted in 1951 and in 1959, the fire protection section was named the Mackenzie Forest Service (MFS).

Responsibility for the Forest and Wildlife division and later MFS changed hands from the Department of Mines and Resources to the Department of Resources and Development in 1950, the Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources in 1953, and finally the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (in the Northern Affairs Program) in 1966.

In 1972, following a disastrous 1971 fire season, the Mackenzie Forest Service was reorganized and renamed the Northwest Lands and Forest Service (NLFS). It was placed under the direction of a regional superintendent and focused on resource management activities, including land use enforcement, land administration, timber management, water quality control, and fire management. A new fire protection policy was created and implemented in 1973.

After another disastrous fire season in 1979, a Ministerial Fire Review panel was appointed, holding meetings in the western NWT and coordinating research projects. They presented their report in the spring of 1980, which featured 96 recommendations. A new fire management policy was announced in 1980-81 and implemented in 1983 to improve fire-fighting procedures and increase community involvement, including the creation of a Fire Management Program Committee. Also in the 1980s, the regional office in Fort Smith became known as the Territorial Forest Fire Centre.

Devolution of the forestry and fire programs from the federal Government to the Territorial government, specifically the Department of Renewable Resources, began in 1985 and was put into effect on April 1, 1987.

Stillwell, Emily
Person · [1930 or 1931]-2022

Emily Irene Stillwell was born in Indian Head, Saskatchewan. She received her Nursing Diploma from Regina (Saskatchewan registration) and her PHN Diploma from the University of Saskatoon. Emily’s interest in Canada’s north, its people, sense of adventure and patriotism motivated her to want to work and experience Northern Canada. She moved to the Yukon Territory in 1955 and then relocated to Aklavik in 1958. While living in Canada's north, Emily worked in Mayo (Yukon Territory), Dawson City (Yukon Territory), Aklavik, Inuvik and Yellowknife. After the All Saints Anglican Hospital in Aklavik closed and the patients were moved to the Inuvik General Hospital she worked in Inuvik before moving to Edmonton. Due to a staffing shortage in 1964 at Northern Health Services in Yellowknife, she was asked if she would assist there for a time. She spent a two months in Yellowknife before returning to her duties at the Charles Camsell Hospital.

After retiring at age 55, Emily lived in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan for many years, and passed away at age 91 on June 2, 2022.

Corporate body

On March 21 1974, Mr. Justice T.R. Berger was appointed by the government of Canada to conduct an inquiry and report on the terms and conditions that ought to be imposed on a proposed Mackenzie Valley Pipeline. Berger's first action was to visit communities up and down the Mackenzie River and over the mountains to the Yukon Territory, in order to meet the people whose lives he was going to inquire into. It was a 10,000-mile trip by helicopter, canoe, jet and bush plane that took Berger to Tuktoyaktuk, Aklavik, Fort McPherson and almost all of the 27 communities that would be affected in some way by the proposed pipeline. The inquiry commenced with preliminary hearings in Yellowknife, Inuvik, Whitehorse and Ottawa in April and May 1974. The formal hearings began in March 1975 and lasted until November 1976. Community hearings were also held in the Northwest Territories and almost all of the provinces between April 1975 and August 1976. Mr. Justice Berger's report was submitted to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development in 1977.

Corporate body · 1971-2003

The first Boy Scout troop in the NWT was founded in Hay River in 1916. The movement grew slowly at first but gathered strength in the late 1950s and 1960s. Beginning in 1963, the national council's Committee for Arctic and Northern Scouting was responsible for getting new groups established and planning large projects, while provincial councils in Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec provided day-to-day guidance and support to Scout groups in the NWT.

Toward the end of the 1960s, the Arctic and Northern Committee decided that Scout groups in the NWT should be served by a council within the NWT, due to increased east-west communications within the NWT as well as a feeling that a northern-based administrative body would better understand and support northern groups. In 1971, the new Northwest Territories Council was chartered. This Council reported directly to the national council, on a level with the provincial councils.

The NWT Council was responsible for overall strategic planning and coordination for Scouting in the NWT. The Council coordinated the registration of members, forwarding national membership fees and registration numbers to the National Council. It organized three NWT Jamborees and other territorial events, programs, and initiatives, as well as providing advice and oversight for regional and local events. The NWT Council produced a number of publications, including the Boreas newsletter aimed at Scouters in the NWT, as well as newsletters and annual reports discussing the activities of the NWT Council itself. The Council also operated two Scout shops in Iqaluit (then Frobisher Bay) and Yellowknife, from which groups could order badges, uniforms, and equipment.

The NWT Council initially divided the territory into five regions: Mackenzie, Great Slave Lake, Arctic, Baffin, and Keewatin. A sixth region, the Yellowknife Region, was added in 1978 and remained until 1996, when it was changed to the Yellowknife District. Between 1995 and 1999 all the regional councils became inactive, so support to groups was provided directly by the NWT Council. With the creation of Nunavut in 1999, the Council changed its name to the Northwest Territories and Nunavut Council and continued to provide support for groups in both territories.

In 2003, due to logistical issues and declining membership, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut Council was dissolved. Scout groups in the NWT became part of the Northern Lights Council in northern Alberta, while those in Nunavut joined the Voyageur Council in northern Ontario.

Corporate body

The DehCho Division Board of Education was established under the authority of the revisions to the Archives Act and the related establishment regulation in 1995. It was renamed the Dehcho Divisional Education Council (DDEC) with revisions to the regulations in 2002.

The Dehcho Divisional Education Council (DDEC) is tasked with setting policy for the operation of schools within the Dehcho region, with financial decisions and setting broad education goals for the region. Each municipality that has a school also has a District Education Authority (DEA). The DEA is responsible for the operation of the school or schools within it's municipal boundries. The DDEC works in conjunction with the District Education Authories (DEAs) to ensure that provisions of the Education Act and regulations pursuant to the Act are fulfilled. Each DEA must select a member to represent them on the Division Education Council.

Arsenault, Spud
Person · 1899-1981

Ulric Joseph Octave 'Spud' Arsenault was born in Wellington, Prince Edward Island on April 21, 1899, the son of Gertrude (nee Cormier) and Joseph Felix Arsenault, who was an Acadian businessman and member of the PEI Legislative Assembly. His childhood was spent in Wellington PEI, Minnesota, Quebec City and Summerside PEI.

At the age of 16 he enlisted with the armed forces in World War One and served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the 105th, 26th, and 13th Battalions and was wounded in action in Amiens, France. He was discharged in 1919.

After farming and working on railways in Wellington PEI, he moved to western Canada in 1921, working on railways in Fort McMurray Alberta ca. 1921-1922, and for the Alberta Forestry Service as a fire ranger ca. 1922-1928. In the winters he had a cabin and trapline on the Athabasca River. In 1928 he began prospecting and mining with various companies including Dominion Explorers (1929), Eldorado Company (1931-1934), Althona (1935), Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company (1938), Ruth Mine (winter 1941/42), and Frances Lake, Yukon (1943-1944).

In 1945 Arsenault returned to the Yellowknife area to work as an independent prosepector, and staked some lapsed claims that he'd originally staked for Consolidated Mining, now the Spartan (Arsenault) group of claims. Working with friend Bill MacDonald this group of claims was purchased by Beaulieu Yellowknife Mines for $100,000 and 250,000 shares in a new mining company to be named Spud Arsenault Mines Ltd. Arsenault's story became a media sensation, but the collapse of the fraudulent Beaulieu Yellowknife Mines meant that the Spud Arsenault Mines project never materialized.

Despite prospecting again in Yellowknife in 1946 and 1976, Arsenault moved to Edmonton where he lived in semi-retirement for approximately ten years, and then moved to Vancouver Island.

Ulric 'Spud' Arsenault died in Victoria, B.C. on June 10, 1981 at the age of 82. His remains were buried in St. Paul's Roman Catholic Cemetery in Summerside, PEI.

NWT Mining Heritage Society
Corporate body

The NWT Mining Heritage Society formed in February 2000 as the Giant Mine Heritage Group when concerned individuals from the Yellowknife community, government agencies, Spirit YK and the NWT Chamber of Mines joined together to formulate a plan for saving the history and artifacts of Giant Mine after the mine ceased operations in 1999. During the summer of 2000, a comprehensive inventory of the Giant Mine property was compiled and was approved by Miramar Mining one year later. The Giant Mine Heritage Group reformed in the summer of 2001 and changed their name to the NWT Mining Heritage Group to better reflect their objective of creating a museum or interpretive centre for mining in the Northwest Territories on the Giant Mine property. During 2001-2002, work proceeded in preparation for repairing buildings at Giant Mine. A cost assessment report by Ann Peters was completed early in 2001, which reported on the cost to rehabilitate the structures for public access. The group also hired engineer, Phil Nolan, of Structural All Limited, to report on how the buildings and equipment at the mine site could be repaired. Between 2000-2002, the group also acquired mining artifacts from abandoned mines throughout the NWT and by donation. In July 2002, the NWT Mining Heritage Group formed a registered society, the NWT Mining Heritage Society. The first annual general meeting was held September 25th, 2002 where the first Board of Directors was elected.

Corporate body

On September 29, 1958 the Yellowknife Vocational Training and High School (also known as the Yellowknife Composite High School) was officially opened. In was operated under the auspices of the federal Department of Native Affairs and National Resources, which was responsible for education in the Northwest Territories. The school's first principal was Jack Black and the first Vice Principal was Dave Wattie. There were approximately 200 students in attendance, Dene and Inuit students from communities across the Northwest Territories, as well as local Yellowknife students. The school offered three basic programs: Matriculation, Vocational and Opportunity (or upgrading) classes. Due to public dissatisfaction regarding the school's unwieldy name, a contest was held in 1959 to select a new name for the school and 'Sir John Franklin High School' was the winning entry. With the transfer of responsibility for education to the Government of the Northwest Territories in 1967, the name was amended to Sir John Franklin Territorial High School, although this addition has since been dropped. The school underwent a large renovation and upgrade in 2000, marked by a grand opening celebration on November 9th of that year.

Metis Nation
Corporate body

At the founding conference of the Native Council of Canada in March, 1972, sixteen Metis from the Northwest Territories established a steering committee with the aim of forming a Metis interest group in the Northwest Territories. The Metis Association of the Northwest Territories headquarters was established in Hay River in April, 1972. The Association's membership at that time numbered 7700. After a period of financial instability, the Metis Association moved to Yellowknife in late-1973 better able to meet its administrative and program requirements established at the first annual General Assembly held earlier that year. The original focus of the Association was on self-help programs at the community level, as well as the development of leadership among northern Metis. After the move to Yellowknife, the focus shifted to establishing Metis title to land and resources, gradually aligning themselves with the Indian Brotherhood of the NWT. Programs run by the Association helped to repair homes in the Western Arctic, raise awareness of drug and alcohol issues in the communities, and as part of its cultural program, produce a history of the Metis entitled "Our Metis Heritage" in 1976. At this time, the Metis Association also managed the health claims of its members. Although not negotiating land claims directly, the Metis Association provided administrative support to the Indian Brotherhood of the NWT and some of its members sat on the Joint Dene Land Claims Negotiating Committee alongside the Indian Brotherhood (later called the Dene Nation). In 1988, the Metis Heritage Association was formed from the existing Metis Association, handling cultural affairs of the Metis of the NWT. The Metis Association of the NWT changed its name to the Metis Nation in the early 1990s. The Metis Nation closed its Yellowknife head office in the summer of 2001.

Eldorado Nuclear Limited

Charles and Gilbert Labine originally established Eldorado Gold Mines, Limited in 1926 for gold claims in Manitoba. In 1930, Gilbert Labine discovered pitchblende with high uranium content near Great Bear Lake. The uranium mine at Port Radium was then established under the name Eldorado Gold Mines, Limited. The company's name was changed in 1943 to Eldorado Mining and Refining, Limited, and in 1944, it became a Crown corporation. The name was again changed in 1968 to Eldorado Nuclear Limited.

Corporate body

The Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW) is a national non-governmental organization founded in 1976 as a response to International Women's Year. CRIAW is committed to advancing the position of women in society, to encouraging research about the reality of women's lives and to affirming the diversity of women's experiences. CRIAW provides the following: publication of women-centered research; sponsoring an annual scholarship in women's history; sponsoring a national theme conference every two years in a different part of the country; recognition of feminist scholars through a program of prizes and awards; operation of a resource center; and provision of a tri-annual Newsletter to members. CRIAW is a bilingual membership-based organization run by a volunteer Board of Directors elected from each province and territory. Members include independent researchers, students, academics, policy-makers, journalists, community activists and women's centers. CRIAW receives funding from the Women's Program and Status of Women Canada. Additional funding is derived from memberships, sale of publications, research contracts and from donations. The organization is a registered charity. In 1989, the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW) held their 13th annual conference in Yellowknife. This was their first northern conference, and the theme of the conference was "Making Connections." Speakers from across Canada participated in the conference, however many of the speakers and participants were from the Northwest Territories and the Yukon. Many of the sessions focused on northern issues including daycare in the north, traditional healing methods, Inuit midwifery and educational opportunities in the north.

Corporate body

In 1861, Bishop Grandin selected a site for an Oblate mission which he called Notre Dame de la Providence. Six years later, four Grey Nuns (Sister Adeline Lapointe, Sister Michel des Saints, Sister Amant, and Sister Elizabeth Ward) and two lay missionaries (Domitelle Letendre and Domitelles Lortie) arrived in Fort Providence to establish a boarding school and hospital. In 1927, a new residential school was built to accommodate students from as far off as Fort Smith and Aklavik. This institution was closed in 1958 and replaced with a new day school named after Sister Elizabeth Ward.

Corporate body

In 1947, a group of business owners joined and formed an association that was incorporated with the territorial government as the Yellowknife Board of Trade. The main purpose of the Board of Trade was to lobby various levels of government to ensure that laws governing businesses locally, regionally, territorially and nationally were fair and equitable. Throughout the years, the association grew to become more involved with the community in general. An excerpt from its original constitution states that the Board was organized "for the purpose of advancing the commercial, mining, industrial and civic interests of the town of Yellowknife and vicinity. This Board of Trade in its activities shall be non-partisan, non-sectional and non-sectarian and shall take no part or lend its influence to the election of any candidate for federal, provincial, county or municipal office. The membership of the Board of Trade shall be composed of men of good standing interested in commercial, mining, industrial and civic progress of the community served by this organization."

In an effort to embrace all sectors of business, the Board of Trade became the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce in 1973. The Chamber is a non-profit, voluntary organization made up of businesses, organizations and individuals who are dedicated to the prosperity of Yellowknife. The Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce counts among its members many businesses in Yellowknife, ranging from home offices and independent professionals to Yellowknife's largest corporations, including mines and major transportation companies. The mission of the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce is to provide leadership to the business community and to promote growth and diversification of trade and commerce. This in turn will support the economic, civic and social welfare of Yellowknife. The Chamber endeavors to improve economic development through the provision of services and support to members. It is the goal of the Chamber to promote beneficial commerce within Yellowknife and between businesses in Yellowknife and other parts of the Northwest Territories and Canada. The Chamber offers training and seminars for entrepreneurs and staff, in all areas of quality service and business management. The Chamber operates on a yearly budget of approximately $275,000 dollars per year. Sources of funding include membership fees, private sector donations, service fees, retail revenues and training contacts. This organization receives no core funding or government grants.

Union of Northern Workers
Corporate body

With the adoption of Yellowknife as the capital for the Northwest Territories in 1967, a Territorial Civil Service was established. Commissioner Stuart Hodgson and Assistant Commissioner John Parker were responsible for settling labour disputes and addressing employee concerns. Due to their frequent trips to Ottawa, disputes were not settled in a timely manner. Consequently, a number of territorial civil servants decided to organize a union. Keith McGinnis and Harold Franklin, both of whom worked for Corrections, launched a campaign to have a northern union created. Between 1968 and 1969, they began the distribution of union cards to civil servants throughout the Northwest Territories. In 1969, the head of the Public Service Alliance of Canada met with Commissioner Stuart Hodgson to discuss the formation of a northern union. With the consent of Commissioner Hodgson, a founding convention was held in Yellowknife in 1970. At that time, an executive was appointed: Keith McGinnis became the first president, Harold Franklin the first Vice-President and Marge Porter was elected as the first Secretary-Treasurer. After the convention, amendments were made to the Public Service Ordinance. The ordinance empowered the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories to establish and regulate a bargaining association for territorial civil servants, to establish the Northwest Territories Public Service Association (NWTPSA) and to recognize the association as the only bargaining agent for territorial employees. In 1988, the name of the union was officially changed to the Union of Northern Workers.

Corporate body

In 1976, the Commissioner approved the formation of the Status of Women Committee. In 1978, this committee was asked by the Commissioner to develop a territorial plan of action. This was in response to similar activities occurring at both the national and provincial levels in Canada. The aim of the plan of action was to promote equality between the sexes. The Status of Women Committee formed an ad hoc committee with representatives from each department to develop the territorial plan of action. The ad hoc committee examined numerous issues including: employment opportunities; education and training; family responsibilities; health and nutrition; political participation; communications and culture. A conference entitled "Breaking New Ground" was organized for May 2, 1979 in order for the ad hoc committee to gather the opinions of all interested Government of the Northwest Territories female employees. On May 23, 1979, because of the discussions of the ad hoc committee, departmental submissions and the recommendations of the "Breaking New Ground" Conference, a Territorial Plan of Actions was submitted to the Executive.