GNWT launches a dynamic, digital celebration of 50 years of government in the NWT

December 18, 2017
News Releases

YELLOWKNIFE (December 18, 2017) – Today, Premier Bob McLeod announced the release of a special digital multimedia project commissioned to commemorate 50 years of government in the Northwest Territories.

As the year comes to a close, the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is proudly reflecting on what has been accomplished over the last 50 years – particularly the contributions made by the dedicated public servants.

The project – which can be viewed from the GNWT’s main website – is a self-directed journey through the history of the GNWT. Brought together by the signature style of NWT artist Alison McCreesh, this scrapbook-like collection presents a collage of facts, personal stories, photos and video that will both inform and entertain.

Organized by theme, the project has 14 “chapters” covering a wide variety of subjects, including the move from Ottawa; geographical, technological and jurisdictional changes; territorial symbols; regional infrastructure and operations; language and culture; and political development. Along the way, the viewer will also learn about some of the people who have shaped the government and delivered the services residents have come to depend on.


“Over the past 50 years, the ideas and values of our own people have increasingly guided how policies, programs and services are designed and implemented. We have much to be proud of, and I invite all residents to take this opportunity to learn more about the story of our government and to share their own memories of the people and events that have made it what it is today.”
- Premier Bob McLeod

Quick facts:

  • Before 1967, some administration for the territory was carried out in the NWT, but most decisions were made in Ottawa.
  • Giving the territory more autonomy and establishing a capital in the North were key recommendations of the Carrothers Commission, setup by the federal government to study the future of NWT governance.
  • In January 1967, Yellowknife was declared the new capital.
  • In the fall of 1967, the seat of the territorial government was officially moved – which was a big step towards making the government more responsive to the needs of northerners.  

Relevant links:

GNWT 50 commemorative project
GNWT 50 website
GNWT 50 Facebook page

Media Contact:

Charlotte Digness
Media and Communications Coordinator
Cabinet Communications and Protocol
Government of the Northwest Territories
Phone: 867-767-9140  Ext. 11092