This is page numbers 1341 - 1373 of the Hansard for the 12th Assembly, 7th 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

Appreciation To Her Worship Lorraine Doctor And Airline Companies
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1343

Stephen Kakfwi Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yesterday, I made some comments about the events that led to the evacuation of the people of Fort Norman and then Norman Wells. I wanted to add to that statement today by also making mention of the mayor of Fort Norman, Lorraine Doctor. Some of you may have seen her on CBC National News last weekend. She has been working throughout the crisis in Fort Norman.

I want to mention how proud, not only myself, but many people from Fort Norman are of the way she carried out her work. It was stressful and she had very little sleep, but she carried out her work, in a very well-thought-out and determined manner. Throughout the whole process, she has kept her own counsel and has done an excellent job in showing how much she cares for her people and her community. I wanted to add that to the comments I made about the contributions that Chief Jonas Neyelle made to the whole operation, in spite of his health problems.

There should also be mention of the excellent job that the owners of North-Wright Air, Caroline and Warren Wright, performed. They contributed to the evacuation last Thursday of the people of Fort Norman from Norman Wells to Deline. I would also like to mention the owners of Ursus Aviation, Blair Jensen and Bea Jensen. Both airlines, along with Williams Arrow of Norman Wells put all their planes to work: Twin Otters, Islanders, Navahos, down to two-seaters, flying people as quickly as they could and as safely as they could over a six-hour operation.

Appreciation To Her Worship Lorraine Doctor And Airline Companies
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1343

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Kakfwi, your time is up.

Appreciation To Her Worship Lorraine Doctor And Airline Companies
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1343

Stephen Kakfwi Sahtu

Mr. Speaker, I seek consent to conclude.

Appreciation To Her Worship Lorraine Doctor And Airline Companies
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1343

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

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

Appreciation To Her Worship Lorraine Doctor And Airline Companies
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1343

Stephen Kakfwi Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I mention that because throughout my stay in Norman Wells from Thursday to Saturday, I must say that the most stressful time for me was during the period between 9:00 pm and 3:00 am when all of these little planes were shuttling the people of Fort Norman from Norman Wells to Deline. I found that the most stressful part of the operation because there were so many planes flying in and out, it was late and people were tired. I was very relieved when, at 3:00 am, the last plane load left and the planes stopped flying.

So, I wanted to thank again, the owners of the airlines, the pilots and the mechanics who made it all possible. Thank you.

---Applause

Appreciation To Her Worship Lorraine Doctor And Airline Companies
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1343

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Item 3, Members' statements. Mrs. Thompson.

Disturbing Winnipeg Free Press Article Re Inuit Art
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1343

Manitok Thompson Aivilik

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. On Tuesday, June 13th, an article appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press on the perceived decline of Inuit art in the north. The individual responsible for these comments is Mr. George Swinton, a Winnipeg artist and a semi-retired professor. He argues that the pace of change over the past 50 years has been so swift that Inuit carving has suffered, as a result. Mr. Swinton also argues that the introduction of workshops and power tools has lead to the creation of nouveau Inuit art which is more detailed and naturalistic compared to the old, almost prehistoric look of the original art.

Mr. Speaker, I find this article disturbing for several reasons. First, the Inuit culture will continue to evolve over time. This is a natural process that cannot be halted. Inuit cannot close themselves off from the rest of the world and live isolated in the past. I am very confident that our language and our culture is still strong and will continue to survive even in the rapidly-changing world in which we live.

Disturbing Winnipeg Free Press Article Re Inuit Art
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1343

An Hon. Member

Hear! Hear!

Disturbing Winnipeg Free Press Article Re Inuit Art
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1343

Manitok Thompson Aivilik

Secondly, Inuit should be able to take advantage of better and new technology to improve their craft. We have proven that we are very capable and adaptable people. Inuit have combined the traditional ways of the past with the modern techniques of today to provide the world with some of the most outstanding art available. His reference to Inuit art being "sleeker" is an insult to my people.

Mr. Speaker, the article states that Mr. Swinton travelled to Arviat in May, "in an effort to help repair the declining quality of Inuit carving in the region." This type of paternalistic attitude towards Inuit is not welcome. Inuit do not need people from the south telling them how to carve and what to carve. I find the comments made in this article to be inappropriate and an unwarranted attack on my people and their way of life. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Disturbing Winnipeg Free Press Article Re Inuit Art
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1343

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Item 3, Members' statements. Mr. Dent.

NWT Tourism Industry And Outfitters
Item 3: Members' Statements

June 15th, 1995

Page 1344

Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to talk about one of the best renewable resources we have in the Northwest Territories, that being tourism. Mr. Speaker, according to Economic Development and Tourism figures, between May and September last summer, 48,000 tourists spent over $51 million in the Northwest Territories; and that doesn't include the cost of them coming here, that's

actually money that was spent while they were here in the north.

Further, Mr. Speaker, it's estimated that at least $10 million from tourists was left in the territories over the past winter, including the trips to see the northern lights taken by 1,100 people from Japan.

Mr. Speaker, there are approximately 230 NWT businesses which cater to visitors: hotels; beds and breakfasts; fishing lodges; and, one I would specifically like to talk about in more detail today, outfitters. Outfitters are significant contributors to the NWT economy. Most northerners are touched to some degree by the effects of outfitting businesses, because for every dollar of income paid directly to owners and employees of an outfitting business, another 20 cents is generated in the supplier and consumer industries.

In terms of employment, for every person week of direct employment in the caribou outfitting industry, for example, another three work days are generated in supplier and consumer industries.

Mr. Speaker, a lot of people don't know exactly what an outfitter is. An outfitter provides the complete hunting experience, supplying necessary equipment and employing licensed guides to accompany the hunter. Mr. Speaker, like most small businesses in the NWT, these are usually family operations that develop, market and deliver their NWT adventure products to hundreds of visitors each year. An outfitter must be a jack of all trades because they have to be a mechanic, a plumber, a carpenter, an electrician, a problem solver and sometimes a counsellor, just to name a few.

With the new gun control act, they may also have to employ psychiatrists to make sure that people who borrow the firearms from the company are of sound mind.

---Applause

Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

NWT Tourism Industry And Outfitters
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1344

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

The Member for Yellowknife Frame Lake is seeking unanimous consent to conclude his statement. Are there any nays? There are no nays. Conclude your statement, Mr. Dent.

NWT Tourism Industry And Outfitters
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1344

Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and honourable Members. Mr. Speaker, an extensive financial investment and time commitment is required to run an outfitting business. An average day is generally about 16 hours long, and a seven-day week is needed for the duration of a camp which includes setting up and tearing down. Of course, the guides are the hardest workers of all in an outfitting business. All of them, Mr. Speaker, have a significant capital investment in the north, with the average being over $300,000 in their business.

So, Mr. Speaker, there is an awful lot of employment and spin-off employment provided through this business, and all of the revenue is export or new revenue. It's new money into the NWT, not merely recirculated government money, it is new money coming in from outside.

Mr. Speaker, it's important to remember that tourism serves as a bridge between the Northwest Territories and the rest of the world, because it helps promote us as a world-class destination. We cannot afford to lose economic benefits that the tourism industry brings to us, and we must remember than an investment in tourism is an investment in our future.

NWT Tourism Industry And Outfitters
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1344

An Hon. Member

Hear! Hear!

---Applause

NWT Tourism Industry And Outfitters
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1344

Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

It's an industry that must be recognized, nurtured and promoted.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to see a close working relationship between the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, the new Western Arctic Regional Tourism Authority and all tourism operators to promote and enhance tourism in our region. We need to have a long-term, comprehensive tourism marketing strategy and program for the western Arctic. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause