Here are the champions of N.W.T. Minister's Culture and Heritage Circle Award

·2 min read
Myrna Pokiak, who is an Inuvialuk from Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories, was asked to design a celebratory coin marking 150 years since the N.W.T. joined Canada. (Submitted - image credit)
Myrna Pokiak, who is an Inuvialuk from Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories, was asked to design a celebratory coin marking 150 years since the N.W.T. joined Canada. (Submitted - image credit)

The Northwest Territories government has announced the recipients of the 2020 Minister's Culture and Heritage Circle for their contributions to culture, language, arts and storytelling.

"The individuals we celebrate today have demonstrated tremendous leadership and efforts," said Minister of Education, Culture and Employment, R.J. Simpson in a news release Thursday.

"I would like to thank all of this year's inductees for their valued contributions."

The CBC's own, Trail's End Host Lawrence Nayally, who hails from Wrigley, N.W.T., is recognized for his "love of language, culture, identity and storytelling through volunteer and advocacy work as well as his career in radio broadcasting."

In his time at the broadcaster, Nayally has welcomed listeners with his insights into Dene life, heritage and language.

"He regularly offers pronunciation guides, including definitions of Dene Zhatie words that encourage the revitalization of language," the release states.

Trail's End host Lawrence Nayally is among those inducted into the 2020 Culture and Heritage Circle Award.
Trail's End host Lawrence Nayally is among those inducted into the 2020 Culture and Heritage Circle Award. ()

From Fort Resolution, N.W.T., Kaysea Fountain is recognized as a cultural role model for her peers and a "true champion of her ancestral language" — Dëne Sųłıné Yatıé (Chipewyan).

Myrna Pokiak of Yellowknife, who develops cultural awareness programs, is recognized for her formal and land-based education in her community.

Elder Rosalind Mercredi has been a "catalyst" for art in her community, and through the 2020 Iceolation Art Shows, she helped people enjoy the arts even in a pandemic.

The group recipient is Collège Nordique Francophone, for "outstanding leadership in the North to build awareness among northerners about the importance of protecting, preserving and celebrating the North's unique cultures and ways of life," the news release states.

For her contributions to her ancestral language, Angelina Fabien of Fort Resolution, N.W.T., is recognized for her "considerable" efforts to revive the Dëne Sųłıné Yatıé (Chipewyan) language.

All recipients of this year's Culture and Heritage Circle Award will be honoured virtually, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This award was created in 2011, and has been given to northerners who promote, protect, preserve and celebrate the N.W.T.'s unique heritage, culture and way of life.

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