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Commissioner comes to town

Dez Loreen
Northern News Services

Inuvik (Nov 17/06) - Tony Whitford, commissioner of the NWT, dropped into both schools to meet students, answer questions, and share his love of reading and storytelling, last week.

Whitford was in town to present an award to Debbie MacDonald for her work as a nurse. He also presented government workers with long-time service awards.

On Wednesday and Thursday he visited the schools, talking to different classes.

"Whenever I come to a community for an event, I like to see more of the town and meet people," said Whitford.

While the older students had question and answer sessions with the commissioner, the younger ones were treated to a story.

Whitford shared a story about a shape-shifting man with Miss Ross' Grade 4 French immersion class.

"The story is nice, it taught the students respect for the animals and themselves," said Whitford.

The importance of literacy - being able to communicate with and understand others through writing and other media - is a message Whitford wants to promote.

"I'm big into literacy," he said.

"People need to know how important it is to be literate."

Whitford said he spoke to the older students about being responsible. He also fielded questions about his job.

"The older ones want to know about what the commissioner does," said Whitford.

Before he returned to his duties in Yellowknife, Whitford also presented awards to the local army cadet troop.