This is page numbers 243 - 273 of the Hansard for the 12th Assembly, 5th Session. The original version can be accessed on the Legislative Assembly's website or by contacting the Legislative Assembly Library. The word of the day was chairman.

Topics

Members Present

Mr. Allooloo, Mr. Antoine, Hon. Silas Arngna'naaq, Mr. Ballantyne, Hon. Nellie Cournoyea, Mr. Dent, Hon. Stephen Kakfwi, Mr. Koe, Mr. Lewis, Hon. Jeannie Marie-Jewell, Hon. Rebecca Mike, Hon. Don Morin, Hon. Richard Nerysoo, Mr. Ng, Mr. Ningark, Hon. John Pollard, Mr. Pudlat, Mr. Pudluk, Mr. Whitford, Mr. Zoe

---Prayer

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

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Madam Speaker

Thank you. Good afternoon. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Minister of Social Services and Personnel, Ms. Mike.

Minister's Statement 22-12(5): Youth Initiatives Display
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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Rebecca Mike Baffin Central

Madam Speaker, the purpose of the youth initiative program is to strengthen the capacity of youth to lead and find solutions to problems and issues affecting youth. The program provides contribution and grant funding to allow youth the opportunity to plan, implement and participate in programs and services to youth.

The goal of the program is to provide the youth of NWT with the tools and resources necessary to develop their leadership potential, enhance their cultural and traditional awareness, instill self-esteem and confidence and learn the value of working together. The Department of Social Services is pleased to present a display of the youth initiative program in the lobby of the Legislative Assembly. The Government of the Northwest Territories recognizes that we must enhance the role of youth in the NWT by encouraging their active participation in projects, initiatives and special events that will assist in developing their personal potential and developing leadership and advocacy skills.

Madam Speaker, a total of 39 projects received funding this fiscal year. They include cultural camps, youth drop-in centres, outdoor leadership training programs, youth gospel conferences and attendance at school alcohol and drug conferences. The display shows communities that received funding for the 1993-94 fiscal year. I urge you to take a few moments to visit the display.

Also, Madam Speaker, a group of young people representing Generation 2000, a national group, and Youth On The Move, an NWT group established to promote healthy lifestyles and well-being for youth in the north, are present today at the display to promote their mandate. They are also holding presentations in local schools in Yellowknife throughout this week. Thank you.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 22-12(5): Youth Initiatives Display
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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Madam Speaker

Thank you. Item 2, Ministers' statements. The speaker would like to recognize in the gallery the youth who are in charge of the display, Youth 2000. Welcome to our Assembly.

---Applause

Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for Natilikmiot, Mr. Ningark.

Absence Of Mr. James Arvaluk
Item 3: Members' Statements

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John Ningark Natilikmiot

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I would like to inform Members of this House that the honourable Member for Aivilik, Mr. James Arvaluk, will not be in the House today as he is attending a meeting of the Keewatin Marine Resupply Steering Committee in Rankin Inlet. Mr. Arvaluk will be back in the House tomorrow. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Absence Of Mr. James Arvaluk
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Madam Speaker

Thank you. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for Yellowknife South, Mr. Whitford.

Absence Of Mr. James Arvaluk
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Tony Whitford Yellowknife South

(Translation) Thank you, Madam Speaker. For the first time today I will speak to you in my mother tongue. Last Sunday I was at a conference in Yellowknife with the Metis Association, the heritage conference. The conference was to examine the Metis language. We were told it was called Michif...

Absence Of Mr. James Arvaluk
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Madam Speaker

I apologize, Mr. Whitford. I believe Mr. Pudlat does not have translation. Mr. Whitford, proceed.

Michif Conference
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Tony Whitford Yellowknife South

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I said for the first time in this Assembly that I would speak a little bit of my mother tongue. The language is called Michif. This Sunday, I attended a conference put on by the Metis Heritage Association on the language Michif, the language of the Metis people. It was attended by Metis elders from Fort Smith, Hay River, Fort Resolution, Fort Simpson, Fort Norman and Yellowknife, as well as facilitators from the province of Manitoba and from North Dakota in the United States.

This weekend I learned that a language of the Metis people evolved, flourished and still exists in small pockets across the west and here in the NWT, particularly along the Slave/Mackenzie river systems and where there was influence of French-speaking nuns, priests and traders. Michif was the working language of the Metis people and the voyageurs, and appears to be a combination of French-Cree, French-Chip, French-Ojibway and other languages with a french base. I seek unanimous consent to continue, Madam Speaker.

Michif Conference
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Madam Speaker

The honourable Member is seeking unanimous consent. Are there any nays? There are no nays. Please proceed, Mr. Whitford.

Michif Conference
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Tony Whitford Yellowknife South

Thank you, colleagues, and Madam Speaker. The language is a combination of french and native languages with its own particular form and structure, eventually becoming a language of its own, usually passed along from father to son, mother to daughter and spoken mainly in the home. It was often mistakenly referred to as broken French or broken English and often made fun of.

Madam Speaker, this weekend's conference was the second one of its kind in three years and the first one in the NWT, as I understand it. It brought together elders who still remember speaking the dialect in their families, and many still do. Among the many items discussed was the origin, the evolution and the decline in use as well as the efforts by some Metis to preserve and perhaps revive this language, much like the Acadians on the east coast and the Cajuns in Louisiana in the United States.

Madam Speaker, to conclude, I enjoyed the conference and look forward to the next one. I felt comfortable talking my own version of French in company who understood. We had some fun, like Metis people usually do when we get together. I'm not sure whether Michif will ever become an official language in this Assembly but in the rich cultural background of Metis people of the west, it was and may still be an important part of our heritage. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

---Applause

Michif Conference
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Madam Speaker

Thank you. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for the High Arctic, Mr. Pudluk.

Pauktuutit Inuit Women's Association Agm
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Ludy Pudluk High Arctic

(Translation) Thank you, Madam Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge an important gathering that is taking place at this time in Iqaluit. The Pauktuutit Inuit Women's Association is holding its annual general assembly starting today, February 21, and ending on February 25. Inuit women from all over Canada will meet to discuss important issues and projects affecting Inuit women and children today. Projects on justice, health and housing, to name only a few, will be reviewed. They will also discuss a code of conduct and economic development.

Madam Speaker, this year's assembly promises to be an exciting one as Pauktuutit also has a fashion show planned for February 24 that will showcase Inuit traditional clothing. Inuit traditional fashion from every region in Canada will be represented, and producers from Alaska, Greenland and Russia are also invited to participate. I would like to express my support to Pauktuutit in their endeavours. I am sure that their assembly will be productive as well as memorable. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

---Applause

Pauktuutit Inuit Women's Association Agm
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Madam Speaker

Thank you. Members' statements. The honourable Member for Yellowknife Centre, Mr. Lewis.