News April 12, 2012

Legislative Assembly Welcomes Elder Parliamentarians

(Yellowknife, NT)  April 12, 2012 – The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories, the Honourable Jackie Jacobson, will be hosting the second biennial Elders Parliament the week of May 6 – 11, 2012.  Through an application process, nineteen individuals over the age of 50 from across the North have been selected to take part in this exciting program.  The participants will attend meetings and briefings during this week-long event in preparation for Elders Parliament session, in which they assume the role of a Member of the Legislative Assembly.

Elders Parliament follows on the heels of a very successful educational outreach program, Youth Parliament, which the Legislative Assembly has hosted for 12 years.  During Elders Parliament, the participants will have two opportunities to sit in the Chamber.  The first opportunity will be on Tuesday, May 8 when the participants take part in a mock ‘Territorial Leadership Committee’ (TLC).  Each participant who wishes to be part of the Executive Council will have the opportunity to make a short speech about what they would do if they were a Minister in the NWT.  Once all participants have had the opportunity to speak, seven names will be picked by random draw and of those names chosen, six will become Ministers on the Elders Parliament Executive Council and one will become the Premier of Elders Parliament.  The second opportunity to sit in the Chamber will be on Thursday, May 10.  The participants will sit in the Chamber for the Elders Parliament ‘Session’ where they will read their statements and debate issues of their choice.

The participants, by constituency, are:

Deh Cho – Georgina Fabian              Frame Lake – Yvonne Quick
Great Slave – Cornelius Van Dyke    Hay River North – Delores Downey
Hay River South – Audrey Berens     Inuvik Boot Lake – Lillian Elias
Inuvik Twin Lakes – Shirley Kisoun   Kam Lake – Robert O’Rourke
Mackenzie Delta – Ruth Stewart        Monfwi – Mary Koyina-Richardson
Nahendeh – Dolphus Codille             Nunakput – Edward Ruben 
Range Lake – Anna Clark                 Sahtu – Margaret McDonald   
Thebacha – Don Sutherland              Tu Nedhe – Adeline Jonasson  
Weledeh – Wayne Balanoff               Yellowknife Centre – Kathryn Youngblut 
Yellowknife South – Paul Gard

Chamber sittings are at the following times:
• Mock ‘TLC’ - Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 9:00 a.m.
• Elders Parliament Session – Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 1:30 p.m.

The public is invited to come watch the Session from the Public Gallery and can also view proceedings on the Legislative Assembly’s television broadcasting network.  Media are encouraged to arrange interviews with the participants prior to the sitting day. 

For more information, please contact:

Jessica Fournier, Acting Public Affairs and Communications Advisor
Legislative Assembly of the NWT
P: 867-669-2230 or toll-free 1-800-661-0784  
F: 867-873-0222
E: jessica_fournier@gov.nt.ca