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The 2nd Council of the Northwest Territories lasted from 1905 to 1951. In 1905 when Albertamarker and Saskatchewanmarker were carved out the Northwest Territories, the remaining population was too small to legally hold elections. The Northwest Territories reverted back to 1870 constitutional status. Political parties and the position of Lieutenant Governor was abolished. The government came under the direct control of Ottawamarker.

Time line of the council

In 1905 Frederick D. White was appointed the first commissioner of the Northwest Territories by Sir Wilfrid Laurier to oversee a four-man appointed council. No council was appointed until 1921. The Northwest Territories was instead run by the Department of Mines and Resources Canada. No legislation was passed in this period.

In 1921 a deputy commissioner position was created, and the council was increased to six men. The deputy commissioner position and a seat on the council was automatically given to the Director of Mines and Resources. All legislation during this council was created with the advice and guidance of the director. In essence the director was a de facto government leader, and held more power then the commissioner.

In 1939 a special administration district was created. This district was a hybrid between an electoral district and a Senate division. It was not until 1947 when John G. McNiven would be appointed to represent the district. McNiven would also be the first person living in the Northwest Territories since 1905 and the first person from the Arctic to sit on the council.

All other members of the council were from outside of the territories, and usually civil servants residing in Ottawamarker. This period of Northwest Territories history is generally regarded by the people of the Northwest Territories as a time of great neglect. The council during this period never had any sessions in the Territories, but members did travel occasionally to consult with municipal governments.

Commissioners during the 2nd Council

Member Year Appointed Year Served
Frederick D. White 1905 1919
William Wallace Cory 1919 1931
Hugh H. Rowatt 1931 1934
Charles Camsell 1936 1946
Hugh Keenleyside 1947 1950
Hugh Andrew Young1 1950 1951
Note:1Hugh Young continued to serve as commissioner after the sixth general election

Deputy commissioners during the 2nd Council

Member Year Appointed Year Served
Roy Gibson 1921 1950
Frank Cunningham1 1951 1951
Note:1Frank Cunningham continued to serve as deputy commissioner after the sixth general election.

Members of the 2nd Council

Member Appointed Left Office District
Austin Cumming 1940? 1947 At large
Kenneth Daly 1940? 1947 At large
Harold McGill 1940 1947 At large
Stuart Wood 1940? 1951 At large
Oscar D. Skelton 1940? 1941 At large
Hugh Keenleyside 1941 1947 At large
Robert Hoey 1946 1947 At Large
John G. McNiven 1947 1951 Yellowknife
Harold Godwin 1947 1951 At Large
Louis Audette 1947 1951 At Large

  • Members during this period were appointed until the dissolution of the council in 1951, and vacancy only occurred on resignation or death.


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