Order of the N.W.T. welcomes 4 new members
Jan Stirling, Anthony Whitford, Marie Wilson, Nellie Cournoyea receive territory's highest honour
The Order of the Northwest Territories welcomed its four newest members Wednesday in Yellowknife, as Nellie Cournoyea, Jan Stirling, Anthony Whitford and Marie Wilson received the territory's highest honour.
The honorees are the second group to be inducted into the order, which was established in 2013. A group of six received the honour last year, which was modelled after the Order of Canada and "recognizes individuals who have served with the greatest distinction and excelled in any field of endeavour benefiting the people of the Northwest Territories or elsewhere."
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Cournoyea, a former N.W.T. premier and long-time chair of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, says that her induction is "a reflection of a lot of the work that has been done, not only by myself but by a lot of people.
"I think about the Tuk/Inuvik Highway. The whole issue was on the table for 25 years. But the time was right, and the support was right, and we got it.
"I really feel like all Northwest Territories residents should have the thought process that nothing is impossible."
Wilson, a former CBC broadcaster, was recognized for her work in media and as a commissioner for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She said that both achievements were extremely important to her — and also connected.
"And the Truth and Reconciliation Commission... that allowed us to know ourselves as Northerners well."
Stirling, a long-time nurse in Yellowknife, was also well-known for her work with immigrants new to Canada and the Northwest Territories, welcoming newcomers into her home. A public health building in Yellowknife was named after her in the late 1990s.
with files from Randy Henderson