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Wise Women award winners announced

The Status of Women Council of the NWT recognized a number of NWT Women with its Wise Women awards, which were announced around International Women’s Day.

One woman from each of the territory’s six regions – the Beaufort Delta, Sahtu, Tłı̨chǫ, North Slave, Dehcho, and South Slave – are awarded for their contribution to their communities.

The winner for the North Slave region was Tammy Roberts, who is executive director for both the Foster Family Coalition of the NWT and the SideDoor coalition. Both are organizations that help support at-risk youth in the territory.

Doreen Arrowmaker won the award for the Tłı̨chǫ region. Arrowmaker lives and works in Gamètì, where she is the manager of the Gamètì Housing Authority, which operates the community’s public housing units.

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Jan McNeely won for the South Slave region. McNeely is an educator in Hay River, who works at Diamond Jenness Secondary School as a liaison to its Parent Action Committee. She is actively involved in a number of community events, including the lighting of the Christmas Memory Tree.

Elder Camilla Tutcho won in the Sahtu region. Tutcho, who was born and raised in Délı̨nę, is an Elder in and artisan who does beading work and teaches young girls in the community how to produce their own work.

Lucy Simon won the award for the Dehcho region. Simon is an artists who lives in Jean Marie River, and established Jean Marie Native Arts and runs workshops and classes on sewing. Her art has been displayed at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

Winnie Gruben won in the Beaufort Delta region. Gruben is a frequent volunteer in Tuktoyaktuk, who co-runs the Arctic Tour Company with her husband, and provides tourists a guided history tour of Tuktoyaktuk. Gruben gave a tour to former Gov. Gen. Michäelle Jean when she visited the community in 2018.

Roberts and Arrowmaker received their awards in a small ceremony at the Explorer Hotel in Yellowknife this Saturday. Minister Responsible for Women Caroline Wawzonek spoke at the event.

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Ceremonies will be held in Fort Simpson, Hay River, and Délı̨nę to present the other four awards.

The group joins the other 125 women who have won the Wise Women Award since it was created in 1992.

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