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Here’s everyone recognized at 2023’s Premier’s Awards

Mahalia Yakeleya Newmark at the 2023 Premier's Awards. Photo: GNWT
Mahalia Yakeleya Newmark at the 2023 Premier's Awards. Photo: GNWT

The team behind trapper training workshops at the North Slave Correctional Complex is among the winners of 2023’s Premier’s Awards.

Trapper training, begun in 2022 and designed to spark reconnection with culture through the sharing of trapping skills, grew as a program this year and is now being offered at the Yellowknife Women’s Centre and Spruce Bough housing facility.

Employees at Yellowknife’s jail and the Department of Environment and Climate Change received the Premier’s Award for Collaboration Excellence for their work on the program.

Recipients include Vincent Casey, Scott McQueen, Donavan Boucher, Carl Williams, Everett McQueen, Clayton Bell, Daniel Beaulieu, Scott Mills, Jayson Quesada, Zoe Share and the late Adrian Lizotte.

The Premier’s Award for Team Excellence went to the Aurora Research Institute’s Stem outreach team, which the territory said had “made significant strides in promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in the community, inspiring young minds to explore these critical fields.”



That team includes Annika Trimble, Hilary Turko, Chris Black and Kelly Kamo-McHugh.

Winners appear at the Premier’s Awards in Yellowknife. Photo: GNWT
Premier Caroline Cochrane speaking at the Premier’s Awards. Photo: GNWT

A group that visited NWT communities to gather feedback on the territorial government’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls draft action plan received the award for Indigenous Partnership Excellence.

Recipients include Elizabeth (Sabet) Biscaye, Brenda Norris, Tina Wrigley, Louisa Alunik, Johnny Ongahak, Jill Pegg, Tanya Ashley, Teresa Hayward, Yolande Chapman and Marie Speakman.

Barb Lennie – who has been Inuvik public health’s nurse in charge since 1979, adding up to 43 years of service – received the Dave Ramsden Career Excellence Award, given to people who have offered outstanding contributions to the GNWT for 20 years or more.



The Kristine McLeod Emerging Indigenous Leader Award was presented to Mahalia Yakeleya Newmark, the first Indigenous legislative assembly advisor in the Northwest Territories, who has been recognized multiple times for her work empowering Indigenous people, and especially Indigenous women.

“Each award recipient represents the very best of what the Northwest Territories has to offer,” said Premier Caroline Cochrane in a press release.

“They’ve made meaningful, lasting impacts in their respective fields and have worked tirelessly to make NWT communities better places to live.”