Governor General of Canada

Governor General of Canada

January 30, 2008 10:55 ET

Governor General Announces the Awarding of the Northern Medal to Ms Nellie J. Cournoyea

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 30, 2008) - Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada, announced today that the recipient of the Governor General's Northern Medal is Nellie J. Cournoyea. Ms. Cournoyea will receive the award at a ceremony in Inuvik, Northwest Territories, at a later date.

Created in 2005, the Governor General's Northern Medal is awarded to a citizen whose actions and achievements have contributed to the evolution and constant reaffirmation of the Canadian North as part of our national identity. The following text is the official citation for Ms. Nellie J. Cournoyea:

Nellie J. Cournoyea, LL.D.

Aklavik, Northwest Territories

Governor General's Northern Medal

For over 30 years, Nellie Cournoyea has encouraged and stimulated the economic and social evolution of the Northwest Territories. A former CBC announcer and station manager, she worked as a land claims field worker for the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami of Canada. She was a founding member and land rights worker for the Committee for Original Peoples' Entitlement. Ms. Cournoyea also served as a member of the legislative assembly for the Northwest Territories and subsequently became premier of the Northwest Territories in 1991. Retired from office in 1996, she was elected chair and CEO of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, with the mandate of managing the lands and financial compensation resulting from the 1984 Inuvialuit Final Agreement, which she helped to negotiate. Her political achievements have been matched by her considerable volunteer work and her support of traditional artists as a director of the Ingamo Hall Friendship Centre and as a founding member of the Northern Games Association. Her contribution, dedication and vision have truly made a difference for Northern Aboriginal people and their communities.

Additional information on the Northern Medal:

Contact Information

  • Rideau Hall Press Office
    Marie-Paule Thorn