GNWT and NWT Seniors’ Society partner to improve seniors’ programs and services

YELLOWKNIFE (November 29, 2017) – Minister Responsible for Seniors Glen Abernethy and NWT Seniors’ Society Past President Leon Peterson announced a new partnership today to develop a report card on Government of the Territories (GNWT) programs and services for seniors. The report card will be an opportunity to inventory and assess the effectiveness of GNWT programs and services either designed for or accessed by seniors, determine how well they are meeting seniors’ needs  and identify areas for potential improvement or better coordination.

An important goal of this collaboration will be to address seniors’ perceptions of fragmentation that arise in their dealings with the GNWT when they are viewed primarily as clients of particular programs or departments. This work will be based upon the recognition that NWT seniors interact with the GNWT across the full range of programs and services. The goal of promoting successful aging will involve ensuring physical, social, mental, emotional and spiritual activities are valued and integrated into the daily lives of all NWT residents.

Officials from the GNWT and the NWT Seniors’ Society will meet early in 2018 to begin discussions on preparing the report card, including identifying programs and services for review, assessment criteria and a work plan to complete the proposed report card within the term of the 18th Legislative Assembly. The report card will be available towards the end of this Assembly for consideration as part of its priority-setting and planning activities for the next Assembly.

The partnership was confirmed in a meeting between the Minister and NWT Seniors’ Society Executive Director Barb Hood and follows on presentations from the Society to the Social Envelope Committee of Cabinet and the Legislative Assembly Standing Committee on Social Development.


Our programs and services can’t just be based on what the government thinks. We need to be engaged with our clients and stakeholders to find out what works for them and what doesn’t. I’m excited by this partnership and look forward to working closely with the NWT Seniors’ Society to identify and assess how well the GNWT is doing in serving the needs of our elders holistically.
-Glen Abernethy, Minister Responsible for Seniors

On behalf of the NWT Seniors’ Society, I thank Minister Abernethy for responding to our concerns.  We continue to have a positive relationship and appreciate GNWT response to our concerns.  We look forward to making significant advancements with the collaboration in the new work that will happen over the next two years.
-Leon Peterson, Past President NWT Seniors’ Society

Quick Facts:

  • Older adults aged 50 or over make up 26 percent of the NWT population and are the fastest growing demographic in the territory.
  • The GNWT is committed to ensuring that all NWT seniors have the support and programs they need to age successfully and continue as full members in their community and the territory by working in partnership with seniors and their representatives.
  • The NWT Seniors’ Society strategic plan 2017-2020 includes four priorities to guide its work: safety and security; income security; housing; and interagency/teamwork.
  • The NWT Seniors’ Society is the only territorial organization working exclusively on behalf of older adults aged 50 or over.

Relevant Links:

Media Contacts:

Charlotte Digness
Media and Communications Coordinator
Executive and Indigenous Affairs
Government of the NWT
Tel: 867-767-9140 ext. 11092
Email: [email protected]

Leon Peterson
Past President
NWT Seniors’ Society
Tel: 867-872-2136
Email: [email protected]


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