This NWT government building has a name, at last

Last modified: November 8, 2019 at 3:17pm


For years, it has been the “new government building.” On Friday – with the new building not quite as new – the NWT government announced a name change.

The $25-million building at 5015 49 Street, which opened its doors in 2015, houses Department of Infrastructure staff with some health employees on its upper floors.


From now on, it will be known as the Tatsaotı̨̀ne Building, the NWT government announced on Friday.

“The name means ‘copper people’ and is one of the traditional names the Yellowknives Dene use for themselves in the Yellowknife dialect of Chipewyan/Dënesųłiné,” the territorial government said in a news release.

Todd Sasaki, an NWT government spokesperson, said the phonetic pronunciation of Tatsaotı̨̀ne should be: “tah-sah-t’ee-neh.” This being Yellowknife, there is a significant likelihood some people will call it “the old new government building.”

It’s one of three buildings given new names on Friday.

Fort Simpson’s office building at 9902 98 Avenue is now the Chief Baptiste Cazon Building, honouring an Elder who was chief of the Łíídlįį Kûę First Nation from 1955 to 1974.


In Inuvik, the building at 106 Veteran’s Way is now the Kigiaq Centre. “This name, meaning ‘Beaver Centre,’ honours the traditional Inuvialuktun name for the area around Inuvik, Kigiaqvik, or place of beavers,'” the territorial government said.

The name changes follow an invitation earlier this year for members of the public to submit names for all three that related to “the historical, cultural and geographic significance of the Northwest Territories.”

NWT residents submitted 89 suggestions in total for the three buildings, a news release stated. An advisory council reviewed the names and sent recommendations to former premier Bob McLeod, who accepted them in July.

Given the propensity of NWT residents to try to name things “Bob,” the outgoing premier can probably look forward to a building in his honour at some future point.