About GNWT 50

2017 marks an important milestone in the history of the Northwest Territories: fifty years since the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) from Ottawa (Ontario) to Yellowknife (NWT). This not only brought the government 3,086 kilometers closer to the people it was meant to serve, it also changed the way the people of the NWT interacted with their government. It allowed them to participate in their government and shape it to their needs and realities… a process that continues to this day.

GNWT 50 is a time to celebrate this ongoing evolution and reflect on what has been accomplished in a relatively short period of time.

Over the last fifty years, the GNWT has taken its place nationally and internationally and demonstrated its ability to adapt, innovate, and implement solutions by Northerners, for Northerners. During this time, the government has taken on numerous new jurisdictions and authorities, expanded into all regions of the territory, assumed responsibility for delivering a wide range of public programs and services, modernized service delivery, created northern institutions, and achieved many political and public service “firsts”.

This has all been accomplished in the context of a unique form of consensus-style government that relies on collaboration among elected representatives, rather than party politics to set the government’s priorities.

And, while the NWT has a long and rich history, this anniversary reminds us that the GNWT is a young government. Here are some resources to learn more about the history of the GNWT.

GNWT 50 also provides an opportunity to recognize the many people who have dedicated themselves to shaping the government and serving the residents of the NWT.

The GNWT is marking this anniversary year with a series of projects, including a Facebook page where current and former residents can share memories and stories, and a digital commemorative project. To learn more about all the activities planned to mark this anniversary, click here.

This is also a milestone year for the City of Yellowknife. On May 1, 1967, the city was named the capital of the territory. The first sitting of the NWT Council (which would later become the Legislative Assembly) was held in Yellowknife as the seat of government on November 13 of the same year. To learn more about how the City of Yellowknife is celebrating this anniversary, click here.