Mayor’s Address: Canada Day 2023

Good afternoon. On behalf of my colleagues on Norman Wells Town Council, I am proud to be addressing you all on the Traditional Lands of the Dene and Metis Peoples of the Sahtu Region of the NWT, and I Welcome you all to our Canada Day Celebration.

Canada Day is a time for celebration. Each one of us comes with our own stories, own backgrounds, lived experiences, and we are all here to celebrate together the country that we love and share. Norman Wells is a very diverse community; home to many different nationalities including African, Filipino, Scottish, Ukrainian, American, Chinese, New Zealand “Kiwi”, South African, Australian, German, Zimbabwean and Newfie just to name a few joining the rich Indigenous Culture of the region! It is through diversity that there is an understanding that everyone is unique, and that each of our individual differences share a purpose in society. I challenge you to learn something new from our knowledge holders. It is a precious gift to be taught something by someone who already has that knowledge, experience and wisdom and the ability to pass it on. 

Canada Day is also a time to reflect on our history; acknowledge it and own it. A time to reflect on our nation’s history and consider what we can do to enact positive change. As a municipality, we are committed to working on issues of equity, diversity and inclusiveness. We’re also working to understand and build stronger relationships with Indigenous communities and their residents.

Please enjoy the day and celebrate all there is to be proud of in Canada! 

Thank you’s:

I’d like to thank the following people and businesses for their contributions to today’s event. Without your help, an event like this would not be possible:

Northwright Airways

Heritage Hotel

Yamouri Inn


Canadian Heritage

Micheal Mcload for joining us

Fort Good Hope K’asho got’ine

Jeff Edison

Playin Late

Kacee Hunter

Canadian North

Ttegohti Youth Handgames Association

Parade Judges 


Recreation Department

Public Works


I’d like to take the opportunity to note that Council is so proud of the work that has been done over the last few years on the Landfill. The continued work on the landfill will ensure that residents are provided with clean drinking water for many years to come!

I would also like to note that the work completed last summer on the South Subdivision drainage system was a success! We are looking forward to the completion of the chipseal project which will be taking place this summer. 

We are immensely delighted with the continued work of the Free Pantry and the many meals it has provided to families in our community. To date, no taxpayer dollars have been used to purchase food thanks to the many donations received from residents and local businesses. I’d also like to personally thank Jaime Kearsey who has poured many volunteer hours into the pantry and food delivery. She continually ensures the shelves are stocked and that families are provided with the very best. Thank you, Jaime!

Citizen of the year:

As is council tradition, yearly, we recognize an outstanding individual for their volunteer contributions to the community. This year’s nominees are: 

Tim Melnyk

Shannon Audet

Melanie Harding

Bobby Lennie. 

Thank you all for being active volunteers and participants within the community. Volunteers are the driving force behind communities such as ours, and an impact has been felt by each of you.

This year council would like to recognize a resident who has quietly and humbly made a great impact on the community of Norman Wells. This individual sits on many boards and committees and she is also chair of the Legohlini early learning society. She has successfully secured over a million dollars worth of funds which will be used to set up a daycare facility in town. She has effectively “jumped through many hoops” and red tape that comes with the construction of a childcare facility. She has maintained a positive outlook throughout the entire process as she has faced many challenges. She has done this all on top of sitting on the Town Planning and Land Use committee as well as the Advancement of Equity and Inclusion Committee. Her input and knowledge to these committees has been invaluable. This person is a loving parent and partner, and she cares deeply not only for the community of Norman Wells but for the Sahtu Region. I would also like to say that this person received 3 nominations for this award so without further a do: 

Citizen of the year for 2022- MELANIE HARDING!