Beaufort Delta Region
To say that Jenny loves children would be an understatment. A wonderful mother of 6 and fostering up to 5 children she doesn’t stop there as she is also a special needs teacher. She is always working to better the lives of the young ones around her. She fundraises and works for the church each year so that children can go to bible camp. Her cooking skills are without measure as she bakes for fundraisers and with love she creates specialty cakes such as bible cakes for those that have lost a loved one. Jenny is a role model and leads a healthy life both drug and alcohol free. She loves berry picking, teaching kids to sing in the choir and being on the land. Her true calling is always with children and supporting her community with kindness.
Deh Cho Region
Jane has done a lot to improve the lives of women and the younger generations in Fort Simpson and the whole Deh Cho region. She keeps her culture alive by teaching the Dene Zhati Slavey language and demonstrating traditional sewing. She aided in the cultural school events which are now called cultural camp. She has patience with new learners and teaches young ladies to carry on in making traditional items such as mukluks and mitts. Jane is a positive role model and a well respected elder being described as a true dene lady. She is a story teller and shares her experience being brought up in the traditional ways. Jane is always willing to share, teach and keep the traditional knowledge alive in any way she can.
North Slave Region
Everything Lyda has done in her professional and volunteer life has benefited the community. She has had many roles in Yellowknife from working at CNIB, the Council for Persons with Disabilities and what she is most known for the John Howard Society. She has been an active member on the homelessness coalition and the coalition against family violence. She started a yoga and meditation program in the correctional facility that is still going today. Lydia’s philosophy has always been the people come first. She believes you need to meet the people where they are and work with them in mutual respect. She knows every homeless person in Yellowknife and their story. She started the original Day Shelter and continues to offer support in whatever way she can. Walking down the street with her is humbling as she is constantly stopped by those in need or distress and she has seemingly endless patience and support for them. She is a previous Queen’s Jubilee recipient and served two terms on City Council. She continues to volunteer for many organizations including the Rotary Club and northern arts and cultural centre. Lydia is a powerful voice and role model for all women in the NWT.
Ernestine is a well respected elder that made Tulita her home. She always has something encouraging to say and a smile on her face. The people of Tulita see her as a strong traditional woman who speaks her language, practiced her culture and used traditional medicine. She is always willing to share her knowledge with humor, a warm heart and an openness that makes everyone feel safe. When she was able she opened her home to people in need. In her day she would visit the elders and help them with wood, ice and kindness. She is a great story teller and keeps the oral traditions alive. She would give every last bit of herself to help others. Ernestine promoted native values and culture through her crafts and belonged to the Fort Norman’s Native Society. She believes in the power of education and sees a strong future for the people of Tulita.
Linda Ann Mabbitt
South Slave Region
Linda is the driving force for so many activities, services and supports in Fort Smith. She has volunteered most notably for the Fort Smith Disability Society and the NWT Disabilities Council. She is a founding member of the food bank and truly the example of seeing a need in the community and filling it. Born and raised in Fort Smith, Linda dedicated her work and now her retirement to building strong foundations and advocating for those that are in need. One of her nominators even attributed Linda to saving her life through her persistent support advocating through the medical system. Linda’s historical knowledge regarding the old hospital, the church and the families of the community has given her the understanding to recognize families’ needs and connect them with the right supports to improve the community as a whole. She is a true blessing to many and makes Fort Smith a better place for all.
Lucy believes in women leaders and encourages women to take risks, further their education and embrace their culture and language. She leads by example and has enriched her background by studying and researching everything about her people. She has lived in Behchoko her whole life with the exception of leaving for her studies. Being a respected elder that lives a healthy life, Lucy always makes to most out of her opportunities to speak to the public and educate people on her culture. She accepts any challenge in her way and gives others the confidence to be “strong like two people” in the words of Elizabeth Mackenzie. Lucy teaches her language, spreads traditional knowledge and teaches traditional crafts. Through her untiring efforts and contributions she has been the school principal, teacher and volunteers on the parish church council. She has many publications with the Tlicho Community Board and strives to encourage the development of strong future leaders.