NWT Premier to attend the Commemorative Service for the passing of Nelson Mandela

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YELLOWKNIFE (December 8, 2013) - Premier Bob McLeod will travel to South Africa this week to pay his final respects to His Excellency Nelson Mandela, former President of the Republic of South Africa, as part of the Canadian delegation being led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The Premier will represent the Northwest Territories at the commemorative service being held in Johannesburg on December 10 and Mr. Mandela's lying in State in Pretoria on December 11.

"Much will be said about the character, influence and strength of Nelson Mandela in the coming days," said Premier McLeod. "This is an opportunity to reflect on our own experience and those around us who have carried great personal burdens. Our experiences in the North, particularly those related to residential schools, require strength and a true spirit of reconciliation for all northerners.  I will be taking this week to reflect on how we can continue to work together to reconcile our past and our differences as we move forward."

Northerners share His Excellency's passion for a united, prosperous society where all are respected and free and share the benefits and responsibilities of democracy. Nelson Mandela was the first foreign leader to be appointed an honorary member of the Order of Canada, and received honorary Canadian citizenship in 2001.

The flag of the Northwest Territories on all Government of the Northwest Territories buildings will be flown at half-mast from sunrise to sunset on the day of the funeral.

For more information, please contact:

Brenda Norris
Media Liaison
Office of the Premier and Executive Council
Government of the Northwest Territories
Tel: (867) 669-2302
Fax: (867) 873-0111