Premier R.J. Simpson

Born and raised in Hay River, Premier R.J. Simpson graduate from Diamond Jenness Secondary School. Following graduation, he earned a Bachelor of Arts from MacEwan University and a law degree from the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Law.

His legal education is complemented by his involvement as the Aboriginal Law Students’ Association President and his volunteer work with the Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre and the Canada-Ghana Education Project. His professional journey includes roles in the public and private sectors.

Premier Simpson's political career began with his election to the 18th Legislative Assembly in 2015, representing Hay River North. During his first term as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) he held key positions such as Deputy Speaker, Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee on Government Operations, Chair of the Special Committee on Transition Matters, and membership in several other committees.

In 2019, he was acclaimed for a second term as the MLA for Hay River North and was chosen by his colleagues in the Assembly to serve on Cabinet. During the 19th Legislative Assembly, Premier Simpson served as the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment, the Minister of Justice and the Government House Leader.

During this, his third term as an MLA, Premier Simpson was selected by his colleagues to serve as Premier. His vision for the Northwest Territories is ambitious and inclusive, focusing on thriving ecosystems, cultures, languages, economies, and self-governments. He emphasizes the importance of cooperative governance and the potential strength of the region's diversity. His approach includes continuing the work of the NWT Council of Leaders, advancing land claim and self-government negotiations, and addressing immediate challenges like housing, healthcare, and economic development.

Simpson's leadership style is collaborative, recognizing the need for collective effort in realizing the territory's potential. He advocates for a focused and efficient government, prioritizing the needs of the people and communities of the Northwest Territories. Premier Simpson's roots in Hay River, his experiences across various sectors, and his family's history in the North provide a strong foundation for his understanding of the territory's needs.

Last modified: 
December 20, 2023