A Brief History of the Association

On April 1, 1999, the Northwest Territories separated into the two territories of Nunavut (East) and the Northwest Territories (West). In anticipation of this Historic decision a special ballot was held in March of 1997 by the membership of the Northwest Territories Teachers’ Association to decide on the future of the Association. In April 1997, the vote was complete and the decision was made to divide the Association into two organizations – Northwest Territories Teachers Association (West) and the Federation of Nunavut Teachers (East).

A resolution was passed that the Central Executive for the Federation of Nunavut Teachers would consist of a President, a Vice President and a Secretary/Treasurer that would be elected for a two-year term in a Territorial wide vote of all members. Completing the make-up of Central Executive would be the four regional presidents elected annually in regional elections.

The Federation of Nunavut Teachers was officially formed on April 1st, 1999. The first Interim Executive of the Federation of Nunavut Teachers, Donna Stephania, Geraldine Balzer, Cassie Hallett, Lena Metuq and Brian Yamamura, took office in order to ensure the groundwork was completed and preparation was made for the founding meeting.

The founding meeting of the FNT took place on May 15th and 16th, 1999 at the library in Inuksuk High School, Iqaluit, Nunavut.

Central Council in attendance were Donna Stephania, Geraldine Balzer, Cassie Hallett, Anita Murphy, Dianne McDonald, Brian Yamamura, Robin Langill, David Ford, Andrew MacLellan, Jimmy Jacquard, Juan Gill, Michele Buchan, Charlotte Borg and Rodney Corkum. Observers were Dominique Wielgosch and Gayle Reddick.

The first elected Central Executive, consisting of President – Donna Stephania, Vice-President – Geraldine Balzer, Secretary-Treasurer – Rodney Corkum and Regional Presidents Cassie Hallett – Kivalliq, Dianne McDonald – South Baffin, Brian Yamamura – Kitikmeot, Jimmy Jacquard – North Baffin, took office on May 17th, 1999.

Blake Lyons became the first Executive Director of the FNT on July 1st, 1999 with Linda Golding as the first Administrative Assistant. Both Mr. Lyons and Ms. Golding were hired on a part-time basis as support staff for the president.

Colleen Eckert became the first Professional Development Co-ordinator on July 1st,2000. The FNT contracted out Shirley Bibby, NWTTA PI Coordinator, to be the NPIC Fund Manager.

Lewis Budgell was elected as President and became the second President of the FNT on July 1st, 2001, and was re-elected for a second term that began July 1st, 2003.

On July 1st, 2002, Carolyn Taverner became the full time Executive Assistant and P.I. Fund Manager. She submitted her resignation in 2003, and Debbie Robinson- Duffy was hired as the FNT Executive Assiant and P.I. Fund Manager.

On February 2nd, 2004, Dominique Wielgosch was hired on a term contract to be the Nunavut Teachers Conference 2005 Coordinator.

On March 30th, 2005, Jimmy Jacquard was elected as President of the FNT and became the third President of the Federation on July 1st 2005.

On July 1st, 2005, David Lloyd became the second Professional Improvement Coordinator.

On July 1st, 2005, Blake Lyons was contracted to be the Executive Director for the Kivalliq and the Kitikmeot regions. Lou Budgell was contracted to be the Executive Director of the Qikiqtani regions.

Central Executive met in Cambridge Bay in January 2006 and conducted a conference call with the members of Central Council. Central Council voted to change By Law 4; Central Council and By-Law 13; Regional Boundaries. By- Law (4)(1)(b) was changed to give regional representation at AMCC one councilor per 40 active members and By-Law 13(1)(a) was changed to increase the number of regions from four to five and a new region to be known as Central Qikiqtani consisting of Iqaluit and Apex was formed.

In June of 2006, the name of the Federation of Nunavut Teachers (FNT) was changed to the Nunavut Teachers’ Association (NTA).

On January 2nd, 2007, Emile Hatch was hired as the full time NTA Executive Director.

Jimmy Jacquard was re-elected, in March 2007, to the position of NTA President for 2007-2009.

On August 27th, 2007, Patrick McDermott was hired as the Professional Development Officer.

At the 2008 AMCC, Central Council voted to incorporate a new position into Central Executive. The position of Inuit Member at Large was created, and a territory wide election was held for this position in the fall of 2008.

On August 28th, 2008, Shannon Hessian was hired as the Professional Improvement Coordinator.

Robin Langill was elected, in March 2009, to the position of NTA President for 2009 – 2011, and was acclaimed for a second term of office from 2011 – 2013.

In 2010, Helen Hoang was hired as the Coordinator of Teacher Mentorship and Induction. In 2011, Heather Campbell was hired as Interim PI Coordinator, and Coordinator for the 2012 Nunavut Wide Teachers’ Conference. Brian Barry replaced Debbie Robinson Duffy as the NTA Executive Assistant/ NPIC Fund Administrator.

In 2013, Terry Young was elected as NTA President for 2013 – 2015. Terry was acclaimed for a second term to 2017.

Also in 2013, the positions of NTA Member Services Administrator and a second Professional Improvement Coordinator were created. Heather Campbell was hired as the NTA Member Services Administrator, and Jeffrey Avery was hired as a Professional Development Coordinator.

In 2014, Cody Prusky was hired as a Conference Coordinator for a term contract from 2014 – 2017, and Craig MacGregor served as Professional Improvement Coordinator while Shannon Hessian was on leave.

During the 2014 – 15 School Year, NTA published a new Strategic Plan, and approved a new Mission Statement. The NTA website was also re launched, along with a new email system. NTA developed and implemented the NTA Teaching Excellence Award, and the first recipient was Becky Tootoo of Baker Lake.

In 2016, Craig MacGregor was hired as Conference Coordinator. Brian Barry became the NTA Financial Controller, and Heather Campbell became the NTA Assistant Executive Director. The 2016 NTA Teaching Excellence Award was presented to Rebecca Hainnu of Clyde River and Mary Piercey of Iqaluit.

In 2017, John Fanjoy was elected as NTA President for the 2017 – 2019 term. Also in 2017, Amy Hodgers was hired as the NTA Member Services Administrator. Pascale Baillargeon of Iqaluit was the 2017 recipient of the NTA Teaching Excellence Award.

The 2018 NTA Teaching Excellence Award was presented to Trudi Bruce of Rankin Inlet.

During the 2018 – 2019 school year; John Fanjoy, Joey Rhodes, Scott MacDonald, and Becky Tootoo were all reelected as territorial representatives for the 2019 – 2021 term of office. One PD Coordinator position, and the NTA PD Conference Coordinator position were discontinued. Julia MacPherson of Naujaat was the 2019 recipient of the NTA Teaching Excellence Award.

The 2020 NTA Teaching Excellence Award was presented to Marsha Rhodes of Iqaluit.

In September 2020, Patricia MacNeil began as the Assistant Executive Director and Sonja Lonsdale began as Director, Member Services. John Fanjoy began as Executive Director in July 2021.

The 2021 NTA Teaching Excellence Award was presented to Bonita Tucker of Iqaluit.

Justin Matchett was elected as NTA President. Jennie Dawson was elected as Vice-President; Becky Tootoo was reelected as Inuit Member-at-Large, and Craig MacGregor was elected Secretary-Treasurer.

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