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.
Mary Craig Murphy was born in [Dawson City] Yukon, in 1909/1910. She was a graduate of Toronto General Hospital School of Nursing, and in the early part of her career worked at Fort William and northern Ontario mining communities. She served as a volunteer in the Red Cross Corps in Scotland during WWII. Mary Murphy arrived in Yellowknife on November 29, 1947 to assume the position of matron nurse at the new Yellowknife Red Cross Hospital. Her duties included hospital administration as well as nursing supervision. Within the community, Mary was active in the Daughters of the Midnight Sun and the Trinity Anglican Church. She resigned from her position at the hospital in spring of 1959 and left Yellowknife on July 23, 1959. She nursed in Burlington, Ontario in the 1960s and moved to New Westminster BC to be close to her siblings in the late 1960s. Mary died in New Westminster, BC on December 20, 1969. As a memorial to her legacy in Yellowknife, the seniors care home that opened in Yellowknife in early 1970 was named the Mary Murphy Seniors Home.
Initially, William Hoare left Ottawa for Herschel Island to act for the Anglican Church as a missionary. He returned after five years and married Catherine Cowan, who had been training to be a nurse in Ottawa. In 1920 they traveled to Aklavik, where they were to establish an Anglican mission. The couple remained in the north until 1931, with William Hoare eventually working for the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (R.C.M.P.) until 1931, when they returned to Ottawa.
Yellowknife Health and Social Services Authority (YHSSA) was created in 1997, partially from the disbandment of the Mackenzie Regional Health Services. The scope of the authority has expanded since its creation and includes responsibility for the delivery of services to Dettah, Fort Resolution, Lutsel K'e, Ndilo and Yellowknife. YHSSA is responsible for the deilvery of a full range of health and social services programs. It works cooperatively with the other regional health authorities across the Northwest Territories. It maintains a close working relationship with Stanton Territorial Health Authority and the Dept. of Health and Social Services.
The operations of the YHSSA are overseen by a Board of Directors. Members of the Board are appointed by the Minister of Health and Social Services. The day-to-day operations are managed by a Chief Executive Officer.
In August 2016 health and social services authorities across the territory were unified under the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority (NTHSS), and the YHSSA was renamed the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority, Yellowknife Region (NTHSSA-YK).
The Dehcho Health and Social Services Board (DHSSB) was incorporated in May 1997 as part of the Government of the Northwest Territories' (GNWT) initiative to transfer responsibility for the administation of services to the communities. Prior to 1997, the administation of health and social service programs to communities in the Dehcho was managed by Mackenzie Regional Health and Social Services. Through a Memorandum of Agreement, the GNWT delegated responsibility for the administration of health and social services to the DHSSB. The new Board became accountable for setting the direction for health and social services to nine communities in the Dehcho region: Fort Liard, Fort Providence, Fort Simpson, Hay River Reserve, Jean Marie River, Kakisa, Nahanni Butte, Trout Lake, and Wrigley. The Authority administers all public health, home care and general physician services throughout the region, as well as all regional health and social services program delivery to approximately 3,300 residents.
In June 2002, The Board officially changed its name to the Dehcho Health and Social Services Authority (DHSSA). The regional office of the DHSSA is located in Fort Simpson and is governed by a Board of Management comprised of nine Trustees representing the nine Dehcho communities under its jurisdication. The formal mandate of the DHSSA is to "plan, manage, and deliver a full spectrum of community and facility-based services for health care and social services." The regional office is responsible for the overall administration and management of health and social services program delivery. Delivery of health and social services programs in the communities are most commonly delivered at community health centres or other health-related facility.
In August 2016 health and social services were unified under the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority (NTHSS), and the DHSSA was renamed the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority, Dehcho Region.
The Department of Social Development was created in 1967 when the Government of the Northwest Territories was centralized in Yellowknife. The mandate of the Department was to provide social and health care services to Territorial residents. Originally, the Department had three divisions: Alcohol Education Program, Corrections Service and Probation Service. In 1969 the Probation Service was included in the scope of Corrections Services Division. Child Welfare, Medical Social Services and Rehabilitation, Social Assistance and Categorical Allowances were also added to the Department. Medical Social Services and Rehabilitation focused on the problems associated with illness and hospitalization as well as the special needs of aged, disabled and infirm. Correctional Services oversaw probation services, correctional institutions such as the Yellowknife Correctional Institution and the Baffin Correctional Centre in Frobisher Bay, the Correctional Camp until its closure in 1973, and the Juvenile Training Centre in Forth Smith. The Alcohol Education Program focused on individual counseling, referral and education, as well as broad-base community work on finding long-range answers to drug abuse problems. In 1970, Categorical Allowances was renamed Blindness and Disability Allowances. Child Welfare was created in 1970 due to the Jubinville Committee’s major recommendations; one of which was to integrate juvenile delinquency services with child welfare. In 1971, Health Insurance Services was transferred from the Territorial Secretary. HIS was responsible for carrying out the requirements of the Territorial Hospital Insurance Ordinance and the Medical Care Ordinance, both implemented in 1971. This enabled budgetary and funding changes for Territorial hospitals. Additionally, the Health Care Plan was created to provide health services for all Territorial residents. In 1972 Medical Social Services became Medical Social Services and Special Care. In 1973 the Department created the Community Social Services division. In 1974 the Alcohol and Drug Program was responsible for the Alcohol and Drug Co-ordinating Council, but did not list it as a responsibility past that year. In 1975 the blanket Special Services Division was created to manage the development, maintenance and coordination of community based social services in its divisions of Child Welfare, Juvenile Probation, Day Care, Homemaker Services, and Aged and Handicapped Services. By 1976 it only listed its divisions as being Child Welfare and Aged and Handicapped Services. In September 1977 the Department was renamed Health and Social Services.
Marion MacPhee was born in South Uist, Scotland in 1922. She transferred from Goldfields, Saskatchewan to Yellowknife in July 1941. She was employed by Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company of Canada Limited, and worked in the company hospital. Marion left Yellowknife in October 1942, but returned in July 1946 to work in the Lakeview Café, run by Lil Bretzlaff. In April 1947 Marion married Edward Limoges in a service performed by Father Gathy. They left Yellowknife in August 1947.
During World War II, Dr. Norris Hunt flew Spitfires but was shot down and captured and was a prisoner of war for three years.
He had a private practice in Oakville, Ontario before moving to the Northwest Territories in 1968. Dr. Hunt, his wife and three teenage children moved to Inuvik after reading an advertisement in the C.M.A. Journal for physicians needed in the Arctic and was hired by the Department of Health for a one year term. His wife was a physiotherapist and she became the first part-time physiotherapist in the Inuvik Hospital, also helping to run the local Girl Guides troop. The family carried on with their interest in cross country skiing. While in Inuvik he had the opportunity to fly a Cessna 150 from time to time. When visiting nursing stations in the area there was often room for another passenger in the airplanes, so his family members took turns accompanying him. Dr. Hunt always had an interest in photography and acquired a Pentax Spotmatic camera for his journey to the North.
Merle Shaw was born in Calgary, Alberta on June 19th, 1921. After graduating from Western Canada High School, she began training as a nurse at Calgary General Hospitcal from [approx.] 1940-1943. Following graduation, she obtained a job at the Toronto General Hospital, where she worked until 1946. In 1947 she moved up to Yellowknife where she obtained a job as a nurse at the Red Cross Hospital (now Stanton Hospital). Throughout her time in Yellowknife, Merle established relationships with other nurses and families in Yellowknife as well as the surrounding mining communities. She returned to Calgary in 1949, where she married Ed Featherstone. She died on December 6th, 2001.
The Department of the Territorial Secretary was created in 1967. It was responsible for general administrative services in the newly established Government of the Northwest Territories. It was also responsible for the administration of variety of ordinances and the Territorial Public Library Services. The department was divided into five divisions: Administrative Services Division; Labour Division; Public Library Services; Administration of Ordinances Division; and Health Services Division.
Among the duties handled by the Administrative Services Division were: the administration of the Central Registry Filing system, mail room services, stenographic services, allocation of office space; provision of equipment and furnishings communication services including telephone and telex; and printing services. The Department of the Territorial Secretary published the Territorial Gazette and all manuals related to all departments of the government.
The Labour Division administered various ordinances relevant to employee-employer relationships. Its responsibilities included maintaining liaisons with employers, employee groups and individual employees in the administration of Labour Standards and Workers Compensation. Other aspects of labour relations and safe working conditions included: Boilers and Pressure Vessels, Employment Agencies, Fair Employment Practices, Fair Wages and Conditions of Employment, Wage Recovery and Elevator and Fixed Conveyances. Because of some of these ordinances, the division worked with the federal government on mine safety, arranged contract inspectors for boilers, pressure vessels, elevators and fixed conveyances and compiled statistics for the federal government.
Territorial Public Library Services were headquartered in Hay River in the Centennial Memorial Library. Library Services supported the efforts of member libraries located in many communities including Cambridge Bay, Fort Smith, Yellowknife, Fort Simpson, Iqaluit (Frobisher Bay), Holman Island, Rankin Inlet, Inuvik, Pine Point, Fort McPherson, Tuktoyaktuk Coral Harbour and Deline (Fort Franklin). Services were also provided directly to those residents whose communities did not yet have libraries. A children's library program was promoted by community libraries and headquarters.
The Administration of Ordinances Division was responsible for administering various major and minor ordinances. The major ordinances consisted of: Motor Vehicles; Public Service Vehicles; Companies; Societies; Co-operative Associations; Vital Statistics; and Change of Names. Other ordinances administered by the division included: Billiard Rooms and Bowling Alleys, Business License; Consumer Protection; Coroners; Credit Union; Dental Profession, Dog; Evidence; Herd and Fencing; Hotel Keepers; Insane Persons; Insurance; Justice of the Peace; Legal Profession; Marriage; Medical Profession; Motion Picture; NWT Public Service Association; Optometry; Pesticides; Petroleum Products; Pharmacy; Presumption of Death; Scientists and Explorers; Veterinary Profession; Cornea Transplant; Curfew; Fur Export; Game; Human Tissue; Jury; Lord's Day; Public Health; Teacher's Association. In conjunction with the Vital Statistics Ordinance, certain functions relating to maintenance of Indian Band records, preparation for treaty payments and liaison with the federal Department of Indian Affairs were required. Project Surname, a project directly connected to Vital Statistics work, sought to have all Inuit register surnames. The eventual aim was to eliminate the use of the Eskimo Disc number system.
The Health Services Division was formed after the federal government transferred the administration of the Territorial Health Insurance Ordinance to the Government of the Northwest Territories. The division maintained a close liaison with hospitals in the Northwest Territories and throughout Canada. Included among this division's responsibilities were: payment of accounts, review of budgets, determination of eligibility, and the accumulation of necessary statistics.
The Department of the Territorial Secretary was headed up by H.E. Cross, the Territorial Secretary, until 1971 when it was disbanded and its responsibilities were distributed to other departments, including the Department of Administration and the Department of Public Services.