News March 12, 2009

Appointment of New Languages Commissioner

(YELLOWKNIFE) March 12, 2009 – The Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories today appointed Ms. Sarah Jerome of Fort McPherson as the new Languages Commissioner of the Northwest Territories. Her appointment will take effect on Monday, May 11, 2009. 

“I am pleased to welcome Ms. Jerome to this very important and vital role. Ms. Jerome is of Gwich’in ancestry and she brings much knowledge and experience to this position and I look forward to working with her in the future,” said Mr. Delorey. “I would also like to extend my gratitude and thanks to Ms. Shannon Gullberg for all of the excellent work that she has done during her tenure as the Languages Commissioner,” added Mr. Delorey. 

The Languages Commissioner is a position appointed by the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories upon the recommendation of the Legislative Assembly and the appointment is for a term of four years. The Languages Commissioner’s office is currently located in Yellowknife but will be moving to Inuvik on the effective date of Ms. Jerome’s appointment. 

The Languages Commissioner is appointed pursuant to the Official Languages Act of the Northwest Territories. It is the duty of the Languages Commissioner to take all actions and measures within the authority of the Official Languages Act with a view to ensuring recognition of the rights, statutes and privileges of each of the Official Languages and to comply with the spirit of the Official Languages Act in the administration of the affairs of government institutions. 

A copy of Ms. Jerome’s biography is attached. 

For more information, contact: 

Paul Delorey, Speaker 
Legislative Assembly of the NWT 
P: 867-669-2234 
F: 867-873-0273 

Tim Mercer, Clerk 
Legislative Assembly of the NWT 
P: 867-669-2299 
F: 867-920-4735

Sarah Jerome, Languages Commissioner 
P: 1-800-661-0889 
F: 867-873-0357

Sarah Jerome (Tetlichi) 

Sarah Jerome (Tetlichi) is a Gwich’in beneficiary currently living in Fort McPherson. Ms. Jerome was born and raised on the land, by her parents and grandparents, at Road River in the Yukon Territory. She attended residential school in both Aklavik and Inuvik and graduated from Sir Alexander Mackenzie High School in Inuvik in 1968. In 1969, Ms. Jerome graduated from Aurora College in Inuvik from the Teacher Education program, from there she went on to receive her Bachelor of Education from the University of Saskatchewan in 1991. 

Ms. Jerome has held various important educational positions in the Beaufort Delta, ranging from teaching to being the Assistant Superintendant of the Beaufort Delta Education Council. Ms. Jerome is fluent in both Gwich’in and English, with Gwich’in being her first language. She is a strong advocate for the Official Languages of the Northwest Territories and has, in the past, taught the Gwich’in language to individuals eager to learn. 

Ms. Jerome is the first Official Languages Commissioner of Gwich’in ancestry.