Legislative Assembly photo



Crucial Fact

Last in the Legislative Assembly September 2019, as MLA for Nunakput

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 19% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Tribute To Nellie Cournoyea February 18th, 2016

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I welcome colleagues to the start of the Second Session.

Today I would like to commend Nellie Cournoyea on her long political career as a leader of the Inuvialuit. Nellie is recently retired, back in Inuvik. I just want to note a few accomplishments of Nellie's during her career. I am going to note a few. Otherwise, we would be here all night. Nellie was elected into the Legislative Assembly representing Nunakput in 1979 and appointed to Cabinet in 1993. She also held office of Premier from 1991 to 1995. Nellie was a first female premier of a Canadian territory, and the second in Canadian history. Nellie also held the chair and was CEO of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation since 1996. Nellie co-founded the Committee of Original People's Entitlement, a group in pursuit of a comprehensive land claim settlement between the federal government and that Inuvialuit officially reached in 1984. She was also the implementation coordinator for the Inuvialuit Final Agreement. Nellie was also a member of the board of directors of the Inuvialuit Petroleum Corporation. Nellie is the founding chair of the Aboriginal Pipeline Group, an organization that successfully negotiated meaningful, equitable, Aboriginal participation in the proposed Mackenzie Valley Pipeline.

She has received honourary degrees from the universities of Lakehead, Carleton, Toronto, Lethbridge, and Alberta. In 2008, she was named to the Order of Canada for her active involvement in promoting social and economic development for Aboriginal people in her long political career. Nellie is a remarkable woman who has shaped the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and the Northwest Territories for the lasting good of Canadian people. Today, I am grateful and privileged to have served on the Board of ICC Canada with Nellie as she paved the way for women in the workforce and political arenas. Her dedication to Canada and attitude of "be a good person, but don't waste time proving it" is what I remember Nellie by.

I wish Nellie a restful retirement, and I also want to congratulate Mr. Dwayne Smith as the new chair and CEO of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation. I look forward to working and building a lasting, successful relationship. Also, Nellie being retired, she may be watching. I have a question: Nellie, if you are not too busy, maybe you can come to Yellowknife and be my CA?


That concludes my statement. Mahsi.

Appreciation To Family, Friends And Constituents December 17th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Once again, congratulations on your appointment as Speaker of the House, also to Premier Bob McLeod and all the Cabinet Ministers who made amazing speeches yesterday. It was pretty inspiring, so I want to carry on moving forward.

Thank you to my family for putting up with me. Also, the other campaigners who were running for the election, I had a lot of airport dates with them. It was a good start to working and conditioning ourselves for what we’re going to go through in the next four years. I’d like to thank former Speaker, Mr. Jackie Jacobson, Ethel-Jean Gruben, John Stuart Jr. and Robert Kuptana, who ran good campaigns.

Also, moving forward, I just want to thank my fellow Members here and my children at home. I don’t think they’re watching. They’re in school.

As well, a campaign like this was really tough and it showed that people from small communities can make a difference when you put your work together, and I hope moving forward that that’s a message. As Mr. Beaulieu had mentioned, the smaller communities need a voice, and I look forward to serving as your MLA for the next four years. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.