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2017 marks an important milestone in the history of the Northwest Territories: fifty years since the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) from Ottawa (Ontario) to Yellowknife (NWT). This not only brought the government 3,086 kilometers closer to the people it was meant to serve, it also changed the way the people of the NWT interacted with their government. It allowed them to participate in their government and shape it to their needs and realities… a process that continues to this day.

The GNWT is marking this anniversary year with a series of projects, including a Facebook page where current and former residents can share memories and stories, and a digital commemorative project. To learn more about all the activities planned to mark this anniversary, click here.

This is also a milestone year for the City of Yellowknife. On May 1, 1967, the city was named the capital of the territory. The first sitting of the NWT Council (which would later become the Legislative Assembly) was held in Yellowknife as the seat of government on November 13 of the same year. To learn more about how the City of Yellowknife is celebrating this anniversary, click here.


Whalebone Sculpture, Unknown artist, c. 1971

Nunavut artifacts moving to Winnipeg

YELLOWKNIFE (February 17, 2016) – For the last month, the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG), in partnership with the Government of Nunavut and assisted by the GNWT, has been carefully packing nearly 8,000 Nunavut artifacts at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre (PWNHC).

The artifacts will travel to the Winnipeg Art Gallery under a loan agreement with the Government of Nunavut. These art pieces are the first significant group of Nunavut objects to be removed from the PWNHC to be transferred to the Government of Nunavut’s care.

The Winnipeg Art Gallery has the largest public collection of Inuit art in the world, and with the addition of the Nunavut artifacts is planning a new Inuit Art Centre at the Gallery. In 2015, following an agreement with the Governments of Nunavut and Manitoba, the PWNHC began to prepare for the transfer of the collection.

“We are very excited about the agreement between Nunavut and Manitoba,” said Minister Alfred Moses, Education, Culture and Employment. “We have held this priceless collection in trust for the Government of Nunavut for many years, which reflects the rich cultural history of the Inuit people. I am pleased that these artifacts will be on display for the benefit of education and awareness, and provide cultural understanding of the historic value of this collection.”

When Nunavut was created in 1999, the collections of archives, museum objects, and archaeology were assessed by representatives from the GNWT and GN and the ownership over the material from the Eastern Arctic was transferred to the new territory. Since then, the PWNHC has continued to provide professional, high-quality care for these collections.

Caring for museum objects and archival records means ensuring the physical and chemical integrity of the pieces through conservation and preservation treatments. Over the years, the PWNHC has re-housed and treated many of the Nunavut items, along with its own collection of NWT objects. With permission from the Government of Nunavut, the PWNHC also facilitates visits from university students and professors, community members, artists and others who come to access the Nunavut objects.

View the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s current Inuit art holdings at,exhibition/183/the-inuit-art-centre-project.

Media Inquiries:
Jacqueline McKinnon
Manager | Communications & Public Affairs
Education, Culture and Employment
Phone: (867) 920-6222

Narrative Threads • Fils des histoires

Narrative Threads • Fils des histoires

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new Virtual Museum of Canada project that we are a part of – Narrative Threads: Crafting the Canadian Quilt! Produced by the Textile Museum of Canada in conjunction with partners nationally including the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, this exhibit showcases a rich array of historical objects, material culture and handicrafts, highlighting the role they have played in shaping the country and its vibrant cultural landscapes. Explore a wealth of story-rich artifacts and contribute your own special belongings to one of the most dynamic and distinctive Canadian cultural archives. The Virtual Museum of Canada is the largest digital source of stories and experiences shared by Canada’s museums and heritage organizations.

Nous sommes heureux d’annoncer le lancement de l’exposition virtuelle Fils des histoires : Création d’une courtepointe canadienne. Prenez part à la grande tradition de la courtepointe canadienne! Produite par le Textile Museum of Canada en collaboration avec des musées locaux à travers le pays, y compris Centre du patrimoine septentrional Prince-de-Galles, l’exposition souligne toute la richesse et la diversité de l’artisanat et de l’art populaire, illustrant aussi comment ils ont façonné le pays. Découvrez un ensemble d’objets riches en histoire et participez à la création d’archives culturelles parmi les plus vivantes et distinctement canadiennes à jamais avoir été créées.

GNWT-wide Culture and Heritage Strategic Framework Released

GNWT-wide Culture and Heritage Strategic Framework Released

YELLOWKNIFE (October 6, 2015) – Minister of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) Jackson Lafferty released Strong Cultures, Strong Territory: The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) Culture and Heritage Strategic Framework. The Framework will align the existing culture and heritage activities of all GNWT departments around shared goals and priorities. It will also serve as a cultural lens for future GNWT initiatives until 2025.

“Culture and heritage are powerful,” said Minister Lafferty. “They play a significant role in personal well-being, community resiliency, language, identity, a diverse economy and a sustainable environment. The GNWT Culture and Heritage Strategic Framework highlights the important connection between culture and heritage and all that the GNWT does.”

The Framework is the first of its kind in the NWT – a mechanism to coordinate the culture and heritage work of all GNWT departments. The Framework was created after months of research and engagement with Aboriginal governments, culture and heritage stakeholders and NWT residents in 28 communities using an online survey, community meetings, workshops and home visits.

The GNWT Culture and Heritage Strategic Framework is built on respect for the tremendous cultural diversity across the Northwest Territories. It is based on the premise that understanding our past, in the context of today’s culture, helps us make wise decisions for the future”, said Minister Lafferty.

Visit the ECE website to download a copy of the Framework

Media inquiries:

Tami Johnson
ECE Communications
Government of the Northwest Territories
Tel: 867-920-6147