A Government of the Northwest Territories Ford F-150 truck. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio
Meetings about Indigenous recruitment and the Official Languages Act will be held in three NWT communities in August.
The meetings, chaired by a committee of MLAs, will examine Indigenous recruitment and retention within the NWT government and how to promote, honour and protect the territory’s official languages.
Hay River will host a meeting on Monday, August 15 at 7pm at the Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre. The Kátł’odeeche First Nation will hold a meeting on Tuesday, August 16 at 11:30am at the Chief Lamalice Complex with a meal provided, and Délı̨nę will host a meeting on Wednesday, August 24 at 6pm at the community’s cultural centre, again with a meal provided.
The meetings are being called by the Standing Committee on Government Operations, a committee of regular MLAs chaired by Yellowknife North MLA Rylund Johnson that examines the workings of the territorial government.
Frieda Martselos, Caitlin Cleveland, Lesa Semmler and Richard Edjericon are the other MLAs on the committee.
“Indigenous representation in the public service is being reviewed because the committee selected that issue as its priority for the remainder of the assembly,” a notice issued by the NWT’s legislature stated.
“The Official Languages Act is being reviewed because it is within the act’s legislation that it must be reviewed by the Legislative Assembly every five years.”
In a related development, the NWT government on Tuesday released a report detailing feedback it had received about proposed changes to the Official Languages Act.
The GNWT says the proposals are based on 20 years of recommendations from members of the public and other groups, and are designed to strengthen the Office of the Languages Commissioner and better protect official language rights in communities, among other amendments.
The territory said the updates were not a “comprehensive or transformative review” of the act, as too little time existed before the 2023 election to develop such legislation, but were “intended to improve its functioning.”