Dene Nahjo wishes to congratulate Elder Paul Andrew on the prestigious honour of being selected as recipient of the Order of the Northwest Territories.
As a network of emerging leaders, Dene Nahjo relies on the guidance of Elders to assist in our work of creating long-term, positive change in the North through the celebration of land, language, culture and Indigenous leadership. Paul has been an Elder Advisor with Dene Nahjo for a number of years, sharing important teachings with the group that ensure the solutions put forward today are rooted in the teachings of our ancestors.
Paul is passionate about Dene, and in particular Shuhtoatine or Mountain Dene, culture. His favourite sayings are “We come from great people” and “I was one of the lucky ones who had the opportunity to witness the Dene at their best.” He believes the future of the Dene is in the past.
“Dene must once again be proud of who they are and where they come from,” he says. “The greatest strength of the Dene is faith in the Creator, Dene Spirituality and Dene Language.”
After many years in residential school, Paul is a student of Dene history, including but not limited to connection to the environment, Dene understandings of cosmology, pharmacology, ecology and Indigenous spirituality.
Paul was born along the Twitya River in the Mackenzie Mountains across from Tulita. He is happily retired in Yellowknife and sits on a number of boards and committees.
The Order of the Northwest Territories, established in 2013 by the Territorial Emblems and Honours Act, recognizes individuals who have served with the greatest distinction and excelled in any field of endeavour benefiting the people of the NWT or elsewhere. It is the highest honour awarded to NWT residents. A member of the Order can wear the insignia of the Order as a decoration and use the initials “O.N.W.T.” after his or her name.
The 2017 recipients of the Order of the NWT include:
– Mr. Paul Andrew of Yellowknife
– Mr. Fred Carmichael of Inuvik
– Mr. Russell King of Hay River
– Ms. Lynda Koe of Yellowknife
– Mr. Jeff Phillip of Yellowknife
– Mr. Tom Zubko of Inuvik
The induction ceremony is being held on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at 11:30 am in the Chamber of the Legislative Assembly. The Deputy Commissioner of the Northwest Territories, the Honourable Gerald W. Kisoun, will lead the ceremony in his role as Chancellor of the Order. The ceremony is open to the public.
Photo by Amos Scott