News April 29, 2010

Legislative Assembly Welcomes Elder Parliamentarians

(Yellowknife, NT) April 29, 2010 – The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories, the Honourable Paul Delorey, will be hosting the first ever Elders Parliament the week of May 3 – 7, 2010. 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 the past ten years. During Elders Parliament, the participants will have three opportunities to sit in the Chamber. The first opportunity will be on Tuesday, May 4 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 the afternoon of Wednesday, May 5. The Premier of the Northwest Territories, the Honourable Floyd Roland, will address the Elders Parliament participants and will have a round table discussion on a common vision and roadmap for future political development in the NWT. On Thursday, May 6 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 – Mrs. Margaret Field Frame Lake – Mr. George Lessard
Great Slave – Ms. Lena Pedersen Hay River North – Mrs. Dawna O’Brien
Hay River South – Mrs. Alvina Sibbeston Inuvik Boot Lake – Miss Marjorie Elanik
Inuvik Twin Lakes – Mr. Tom Wright Kam Lake – Mrs. Esther Braden
Mackenzie Delta – Mr. John Norbert Monfwi – Mr. Ted Blondin
Nahendeh – Ms. Agnes McPherson Nunakput – Mrs. Georgina Jacobson-Masuzumi
Range Lake – Mr. Blake Lyons Sahtu – Mrs. Cathy Pope
Thebacha – Mr. Michel Labine  Tu Nedhe – Mrs. Therese Villeneuve
Weledeh – Mr. Philip Liske Yellowknife Centre – Mr. Felicito Domingo
Yellowknife South – Ms. Catherine Doctor

Chamber sittings are at the following times: 
• Mock ‘TLC’ - Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 9:00 a.m. 
• Round Table Discussion with Premier Roland – Wednesday, May 5, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. 
• Elders Parliament session – Thursday, May 6, 2010 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 broadcasting network. Media are encouraged to arrange interviews with the participants prior to the sitting day. 

For more information, please contact: 

Danielle O’Neill, 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: danielle_o’