The Legislative Assembly of The Northwest Territories on Frame Lake in Yellowknife at golden hour. Jaahnlieb/Dreamstime
After a two-year absence, the Order of the Northwest Territories is returning. Three recipients will be honoured at a March ceremony.
The order was established in 2013 but wasn’t awarded in 2020 or 2021 because of “Covid-19 and related scheduling difficulties,” a legislature spokesperson said on Thursday.
And next month’s investiture ceremony will still be playing catch-up, honouring recipients for 2022 rather than 2023.
The order recognizes NWT residents who excel in a certain field. It’s the highest honour the territory can offer the people who live here.
Recipients of the 2022 Order of the NWT include Fort Liard’s JoAnne Deneron for community leadership, Fort Smith’s Paul Kaeser for his contribution to business, and Fort McPherson’s Mary Effie Snowshoe for her work to further arts and culture.
Deneron has served and led many NWT and Canadian boards, the legislature said in a biography, and has demonstrated commitment to the NWT, Nunavut and her family. She is serving her third term as chair of the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board.
Kaeser is well-known in Fort Smith for the family general store, Kaeser’s, which he ran between 1980 and 2007. After inheriting the store in 1980, he supported town residents through donations and employment, the legislature stated, providing credit to those in need.
Snowshoe has been a language and culture teacher for most of her life, including 23 years as a Gwich’in teacher. She has helped to establish on-the-land programs and was recognized in 2008 and 2019 by the Status of Women Council and Indspire respectively.
Canadian citizens who are current or former residents of the NWT are eligible to receive the order. Nominations come from individuals or organizations. A maximum of three people can receive the order each year.
Nominations are reviewed by the NWT Honours Advisory Council, a three-person committee appointed by the legislature.