Premier Bob McLeod

Robert R. McLeod

On September 18, 1967, a plane landed in Yellowknife carrying 74 civil servants whose jobs had moved from Ottawa to Yellowknife. The Commissioner of the NWT Stuart Hodgson’s was among them and his first words upon landing were: “At last we are home!”

A few words to say so much.

That plane both symbolically and literally brought the GNWT government home to the people it was meant to serve. On that day, the long process of adapting the territorial government to the needs of and realities of its people began in earnest. Over the years, the GNWT has continued to grow, change and adapt. The ideas and values of our own people have increasingly guided how policies, programs and services were designed and implemented. This was in no small part due to the fact that people from across the territory were directly involved in making and implementing government decisions.

In 1975, only eight years after the GNWT moved to Yellowknife, the first fully elected NWT Council was also the first legislated body in Canada history to consist of a majority of Indigenous people. This has been the case for every Legislative Assembly since.

Over 50 short years, we have made the government our own. In doing so, we have also influenced the evolution of our country and taken our place on the world stage.

A government is not only shaped by its politicians and leaders. Public servants at every level, from administrative professionals, to front-line staff, to senior managers, are an integral part of our history. Our progress would not be possible without their commitment and dedication.

I am honoured to have been able to play a part in the story of our government, first as a public servant, and now as your Premier. I invite all residents to take this opportunity to learn more about the story of our government and to share their own memories of the people and events that have made it what it is today.

Premier Bob McLeod