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16 Tuesday June 9 2015 By MEAGAN WOHLBERG The unsung heroes of public service in the Northwest Territories were honoured last week with awards of excellence from NWT Premier Bob McLeod dedicated to individu- als teams and partnerships showing innova- tion and engagement in their roles. Among the top teams recognized was theNWT Wildland Fire Operations team which spent weeks battling the massive Birch Lake complex along the main transporta- tion artery to the territorys capital dur- ing last years record-breaking fire season. Associate director of forest management Frank Lepine accepted the award along with his fellow managers at the NWT Fire Centre but dedicated the honour to those with boots on the ground. Its not just for the managers its for all of our staff everybody from the fire- fighters to the clerical staff officers etc. Lepine said. Obviously we dont fight fires from an office. Those people on the ground there are the ones who really deserve the recognition. Lepine said last years fire season was physically and mentally challenging for fire crews who despite fatigue man- aged to protect the highway transmis- sion lines nearby communities and other infrastructure. Weve gone through really difcult sea- sons before but last season was particularly difcult because people had to put in mega hours.Oursafetyconcernsweregoingthrough the roof because people were working such Premiers Awards show pride in public service erehtserehtserehtserehtserehts Dn Sin Yati usklke Tin Yati Chipewyan Dictionary CONGRATULATIONS to Brent Kaulback at the South Slave Divisional Board of Education and the Elders and community of Lutsel Ke who worked so diligently on the Lutsel Ke Chipewyan Dictionary for being honoured with the Premiers award. The team who received the Premiers Collaborative Award It was an honour being a part of this excellent project Lutsel Ke Contributors Alfred Catholique August Catholique Bertha Catholique JC Catholique John Catholique Madeline Catholique Albert Boucher Sarah Basil Boucher Joe Desjarlais Vicky Desjarlais Madeline Drybone Mary Rose Enzoe Jim Fatt Mary Fatt Angie Lantz Alfred Lockhart Chief Felix Lockhart Joe Lockhart Celine Marlowe George Marlowe Madeline Marlowe Pierre Marlowe Emily Saunders Raymond Sonfrere 867 872-3000.207 McDougal Road Fort Smith NT cascade graphics long days and the manager Rick Olsen had to really clamp down on people and say Go away take the weekend off and recuperate. It was a real issue last year for us Lepine said. With this re season shaping up to be as intense as the last Lepine said the manage- ment team is working hard to avoid that kind of fatigue and said the recognition by the premier is encouraging. People can take comfort that whenever there is smoke or some wildre going that they see were usually already there we have people on the ground and evaluating the situation so after a lot of years it is good for us to get some recognition but its also what we do for a living Lepine said. Our culture isnt designed around heroism its designed around safety. Along with the re team the GNWTs rat- ication team for the Deline nal self-gov- ernment agreement was given recognition as well as the the Highway 3 Forest Fire Traffic Management team the Wellness Court implementation team and the project development team for the Mackenzie Valley Fibre-Optic Link. The partners working on education re- newal in the NWT received an award for col- laboration as did the Lutsel Ke Chipewyan dictionary project a collaboration between the South Slave Divisional Education Coun- cil SSDEC and the elders and residents of Lutsel Ke. SSDEC assistant superintendent Brent Kaulback said he felt privileged to be part of the project and thankful to the premier for recognizing its signicance. My work with the elders on this project was an incredible experience. They com- mitted fully to the task of documenting and preserving their language and have left be- hind a lasting legacy. The Lutsel Ke diction- ary will last for generations to come Kaul- back said noting the poignant timing of the awards with the closure of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission TRC. The TRC report commented on how mission schools took away the language and culture of indigenous people but also mentioned that schools today can play a big part in restoring that cultural iden- tity he said. This project is one exam- ple how a community and the school can work in partnership to strengthen culture and language. Other award winners included Sarah Cook with the Yellowknife Health and Social Ser- vices Authority for the individual category and Sabrina Broadhead from the department of Health and Social Services for the Dave Ramsden Career Achievement Award. Peter Vician deputy minister for Industry Tour- ism and Investment became the rst recipi- ent of a new award celebrating excellence in public administration. Government Service Ofcers across the NWT were also recognized for their work providing day-to-day services to residents. I invite members to join with me in thanking our public service employees for a job well done McLeod told the leg- islature. Their energy drive and com- mitment to implement and achieve our priorities are evident throughout the en- tire public service and together we have accomplished much. PhotoMeaganWohlberg NORTHERNERS PUBLIC SERVANTS Frank Lepine director of forest management with the GNWT dedicated the Premiers Award to the NWTs re crews.