YELLOWKNIFE (December 5, 2014) – More than 100 delegates from across the Northwest Territories came together in Yellowknife over the past two days to hammer out an action plan to combat poverty in the NWT.
Participants in the Second Annual Northwest Territories Anti-Poverty Roundtable included representatives from community organizations, Aboriginal and community governments, non-government organizations and the private sector, representing every region of the NWT. The event was hosted by the Department of Health and Social Services.
Minister of Health and Social Services Glen Abernethy, who also chairs the Social Envelope Committee of Cabinet, said that the purpose of the roundtable was to develop a territorial, multi-stakeholder action plan to combat poverty. “Government is part of the solution but government can’t be the entire solution – we can beat poverty by creating partnerships, creating relationships and working together.” Discussions at the session built on work initiated at a roundtable held in November 2013, following the publication of Building on the Strengths of Northerners: A Strategic Framework toward the Elimination of Poverty in the NWT.
MLA Alfred Moses, Chair of the Legislative Assembly’s Standing Committee on Social Programs, congratulated the gathering for a productive two days. “With the passion and energy in the room, the expertise of people who have done great things in their communities and the attention of the leadership who are listening, we can make great progress.”
Meeting Co-Chair Jim Antoine noted that an important theme was the sense of partnership, collaboration and cooperation. Common themes that emerged from the discussion focused on homelessness, food security, the need for on-the-land programs, early childhood and wellness. The commitments to action from the group will be incorporated into a draft territorial action plan document early in 2015.
The meeting began with a tribute to Chief Minnie Letcher of the Liidlii Kue First Nation in Fort Simpson, who served as co-chair of the Minister’s Anti-Poverty Advisory Committee until her unexpected death last month.
Government of the Northwest Territories