This is page numbers 1 - 28 of the Hansard for the 19th Assembly, 2nd 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 --.

Topics

Northwest Territories Art Sector
Members' Statements

Page 5

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Mr. Speaker, our ability to foster art preservation, creation, celebration, and sales is key to our territory's success. Art is far more an a thing of beauty. It connects people to themselves, one another, and tradition. Art is vital to our well-being and our shared and individual histories.

According to the NWT art's website, there are 912 registered artists across the territory. The pre-COVID estimated economic value of NWT arts is a mere $7.2 million. Comparably, the Yukon arts generated $12.9 million and, inspirationally, BC generated $2.6 billion.

In the last year, social media has become a primary marketplace for independent artists promoting and selling arts, and we saw the work of many global artists go the 'good kind of viral'. But we have not capitalized on the potential of art in the Northwest Territories. Not for locals, tourists, or the masses looking to purchase online. Our need for arts infrastructure in the NWT is huge. Artists need physical and virtual spaces for creative development, collaboration, celebration, and sales, and I am concerned the GNWT is not taking this repetitive call to action from the arts community seriously as there is still no plan to develop and fund these spaces. In other jurisdictions, the agency that promotes the arts operates independently from the government. Independent art councils are provided core government funding and then held accountable to secure added funds from federal and private sources to grow the arts community. In other jurisdictions, these independent arts councils partner with Indigenous stakeholders, implement youth programs, school programs, artist residencies, and mentorship opportunities, manage art collections, conduct art research - the list is exponential and so is the opportunity, Mr. Speaker.

The GNWT currently spends $2.8 million on various investments to the arts community through marketing, film, and entrepreneur funding through ITI and grants for performers, arts organizations, and the NWT Arts Council through ECE. And just like you can't put Baby in a corner, Mr. Speaker, you can't put the arts in a bureaucratic box. The arts need the creative space to grow, evolve and empower. It needs fluidity and autonomy from the government.

Mr. Speaker, the NWT is not meeting its full potential to grow the arts, and art isn't just about sales. Art promotes intellectual, emotional and spiritual enrichment. It is a healer, a mental health tool, a historian, a dreamer, and a place -- sorry, and placing value in art is reconciliation in action, Mr. Speaker. If the government really wants the NWT arts sector to soar, it needs to be prepared to let it fly. Thank you.

---Applause

Northwest Territories Art Sector
Members' Statements

Page 5

Speaker

Thank you, Member for Kam Lake. Members' statements. Member for Nahendeh.

Eulogy for Stephen Squirrel
Members' Statements

June 4th, 2021

Page 5

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, before I do the eulogy for Steven Squirrel, I'd just like to thank -- congratulate the grads from Echo Dené and Fort Simpson and I will hopefully be able to go in there and join their celebration next week. So I look forward to that with Echo Dené and Fort Simpson as well.

Mr. Speaker, Steven Squirrel was born in Fort Simpson on Tuesday, June 1st, 1954. He was the only child to his parents of the late Victor Squirrel and the late Corrine Grossetete. Unfortunately, his father Victor passed away when he was a young boy. A few years later, his mother -- his mother met Franklin Grossetete and they had additional six kids - Gerald, Michael, Robert, Allan, Darlene and Ronald. Corrine and Franklin raised Steven and his six siblings in Fort Simpson.

When Steve was a young man, he met his wife, Loretta Ann, in Wrigley and Fort Simpson. After a few years, they were married on September 7th, 1979. Together, they had -- raised five children - Brett, Jacinda, Jonathan, Courtney, and Stephanie.

Steve was the best husband and father to his family and for -- his wife and children could ever ask for. They had the privilege growing up watching their father work hard each day, not only for his family but the community he loved and cherished.

Steve was always known as a generally friendly person who stopped -- dropped what he was doing to help any way he could. He worked for many years with the Village of Fort Simpson as the water treatment plant operator. Very dedicated, 47 plus years to the Village of Fort Simpson, ensuring that they all had clean drinking water and the community's pipes -- waterlines were taken care of.

When he first looked at retirement, he was excited to do other things. However, about a week later, I saw him at the bank with his work clothes on. I asked him what special project was he working on. With a little smile, he said the water plant. I asked what he meant. And he said he is back at work for the community. This was Steve - always caring about the people.

The family want to thank the following: The Fort Simpson Health Centre, YK Stanton staff, LKFN, and many many community and family members that have been there for them during this difficult time. He will be sadly missed by all. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Eulogy for Stephen Squirrel
Members' Statements

Page 6

Speaker

Thank you, Member for Nahendeh. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and community at this time. Members' statements. Returns to oral questions. Recognition of visitors in the galley. Acknowledgements. Oral questions. Member for Great Slave.

Oral Question 767-19(2): Intimate Partner Violence
Oral Questions

Page 6

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my questions today are for the Minister responsible for the Status of Women.

Mr. Speaker, in my statement, I was talking about a law that's been enacted in other parts of our country, and I'm curious to know, does the Minister know if there are any such laws or regulations around -- sorry, that are in place in the NWT, and if so, could she elaborate on what they are? Thank you.

Oral Question 767-19(2): Intimate Partner Violence
Oral Questions

Page 6

Speaker

Thank you, Member for Great Slave. Minister responsible for the Status of Women.

Oral Question 767-19(2): Intimate Partner Violence
Oral Questions

Page 6

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, at this time, to my knowledge, there is no equivalent legislation in the Northwest Territories akin to the Clare's Law system. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 767-19(2): Intimate Partner Violence
Oral Questions

Page 6

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I'm curious to know what the Minister's take is on a law such as Clare's Law. I know that the Minister in her prior life was a criminal defence lawyer so I know she has a lot of experience in this area, as well has done a lot in her volunteering time with women's groups. So I'm curious to know what her thoughts are on a law like Clare's Law and would it work for us here in the Northwest Territories? Thank you.

Oral Question 767-19(2): Intimate Partner Violence
Oral Questions

Page 6

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, of course we sort of shed our past lives a little bit as Ministers. So, you know -- but I can speak to the issue from the perspective as a Minister responsible for the Status of Women. And certainly I know the Member appreciates, this is an area that it involves obviously the Minister of Justice. It would involve potentially Health and Social Services as they do work with women's shelters as well as other ministries across the government.

The challenge with a proposal such as a Clare's Law, which certainly could well fall within my responsibility to promote, is to strike the balance between empowering women by giving them the information -- women or others, to empower them with information about an abuser or a potential abuser or potential situation, while at the same time not putting the onus on a victim of violence or their family to be the ones that have to go and seek out the information and to not then allow others to say, well, if you had the information, you ought to have acted differently. So there's a lot of policy issues at play. But at the same time, the fact of having the question of what we can do to fundamentally empower women in those situations is really the discussion to be had. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 767-19(2): Intimate Partner Violence
Oral Questions

Page 6

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the Minister's response. It's so easy to get caught up sort of in a black and white idea of things and then every time I have a great idea and I go talk to someone, I realize the multitude of reasons why it potentially isn't going to work. And so we always have to find that middle path so I do appreciate that.

I know, again, that this is probably likely in other departments as well but I'd like for the Minister to maybe speak a little bit around family shelters or intimate-partner shelters. It's my understanding we only have those in Yellowknife. And perhaps maybe the Minister could speak to how she is working with the Status and others to establish safe places for families and women and children in communities. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 767-19(2): Intimate Partner Violence
Oral Questions

Page 6

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate having a sense of where some questions go because it gives a chance for those of us working multi-departmentally to have some conversations and thanks to the folks at Health and Social Services, I can note there are in fact five territorial family violence shelters across different regions of the Northwest Territories. And I'm also pleased to note that given that these are territorial resources, that travel can be provided for women and children who live in communities outside of one with a shelter and no one should ever think that not having a shelter in their community would take away the opportunity to travel. It certainly makes it harder, Mr. Speaker, but I want to encourage that there are resources to support people who need to use those resources.

On a similar note, Mr. Speaker, we have recently filled the position of a family violence coordinator which will help support further development and coordination in this area. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 767-19(2): Intimate Partner Violence
Oral Questions

Page 6

Speaker

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary. Member for Great Slave.

Oral Question 767-19(2): Intimate Partner Violence
Oral Questions

Page 6

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I was going to leave my last question to sort of mull over what the Minister had responded and then ask her something based on that. So instead I'm just going to get in some favour with my colleague here from Thebacha and ask her, is that position a position in Yellowknife, or is it one that's been located outside of the capital? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 767-19(2): Intimate Partner Violence
Oral Questions

Page 6

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I don't have that as a confirmed. I expect it is likely a Yellowknife position, Mr. Speaker, although, again, I'm not entirely certain. It is joining in the sense of being a coordinator position and one that certainly will have to work interdepartmentally with a lot of departments and will certainly be expected to be coordinating work across the regions. Again, I'll have to confirm but that's the expectation I have. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 767-19(2): Intimate Partner Violence
Oral Questions

Page 6

Speaker

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Frame Lake.