100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day and the Wise Women Awards 2011

Ministers' Statements and Speeches

March 8, 2011 - The Minister Responsible for Women announced the recipients of the annual Wise Women Awards on International Women's Day.


Mr. Speaker, one hundred years ago, women were chattels with no privileges or rights as those enjoyed by men: yet women felt the full brunt of the punishment of law. One hundred years ago, women did not have the right to vote, as women were not considered responsible enough to have a say in how Canada was governed. One hundred years ago, women were not considered persons under the law.

Today marks the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day. March 8th is a global day of celebrations connecting all women around the world to honour women's advancement, while reminding all of the continued vigilance and action required to ensure that women's equality is maintained in every aspect of society. We have come far, Mr. Speaker, but we still have work to do.

Since 1992, the Status of Women Council has sponsored the annual Wise Women Awards in acknowledgement that individual greatness is not found only in high profile achievements, but is also found in the leadership, wisdom and service that individuals selflessly provide others throughout their lives.

This prestigious award honours women who have shaped the hearts, minds and futures of others and serve as role models in their communities. It recognizes the advocacy work, support and education to improve the status of women in the Northwest Territories, and to encourage women to continue their great works. It reminds us that communities are not simply about the abundance of physical infrastructure, but also the social support networks we form, and how we are connected to each other.

It is my great pleasure to recognize in this House the recipients of the Wise Women Awards for 2011. They are:

Ann Kasook for the Beaufort Delta – nominated for her work with the Inuvik Transition House Society and her dedication to women and children who have experienced family violence and to families who require counselling services.

Allison Dejong for the Sahtu – A teacher from Tulita, Allison was nominated in recognition for the care she provides to the sick and the fundraising efforts she undertook for a Ladies Team to travel from Tulita to Yellowknife for a tournament.

Sylvia Nedli for the Dehcho – nominated for her creative ability to make beautiful things from simple beginnings and her willingness to teach others traditional skills such as moose hide tanning.

Alizette Lockhart for the South Slave – nominated for her work as a community health representative in pre and post natal care and her work with new mothers and fathers, Alizette’s traditional skills are strong. She is a very good listener and is considered a major stabilizing force in Lutselk’e.

Lena Pederson for the North Slave/Tlicho – nominated for her years of work with helping people, Lena worked hard to establish the medical boarding facility – so hard, in fact, the facility is named after her. Lena is also the first woman ever elected to the Legislative Assembly of the NWT – called the Territorial Council at the time. She remains very active with the Centre for Northern Families and the Yellowknife Seniors Society.

These outstanding women were celebrated at the Bread and Roses Luncheon earlier today during the Status of Women conference - Celebrating Northern Women – 100 Years of Achievement – marking the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day, with roses and an “Originals by T-Bo” designed pendant.

Mr. Speaker, these women prove the truth contained in the title of our strategic plan, Northerners Working Together, that we are at our best and our most successful when we work together in the interests of the whole Northwest Territories.

I invite the Assembly to join me in congratulating these recipients and extending our appreciation for their lifetime’s work on behalf of Northern families and Northern communities.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.





For more information, contact:

Press Secretary
Office of the Premier/Cabinet
Government of the Northwest Territories
Phone: (867) 669-2302