Ledge Talks: The Knowledge Series

Ledge Talks is a forum for a variety of speakers to present current ideas, science, traditional knowledge, and issues relevant to the NWT and beyond.

All Ledge Talks are now available on the Legislative Assembly of the NWT's YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/LegAssemblyNWT

Our most recent Ledge Talk occurred on Jan 17 2018. You can view 'Many Ways to Lose a Billion Dollars' on our Youtube Channel.




Ledge Talks: The Knowledge Series #1

Steve Kokelj is the Legislative Assembly Library’s first-round draft choice for The Knowledge Series. He has documented significant changes in Arctic ecosystems due to its rapidly warming climate, focusing on the consequences of thawing permafrost – and what this unprecedented change means to all of us.


Ledge Talks: The Knowledge Series #2

A leader in the field of neuroscience, Dr. Selleck discusses the current understanding of the genetics of autism, the possibility that environmental and genetic factors contribute to susceptibility, and the feasibility of pharmaceutical treatment for a set of diseases that are affected by hundreds to thousands of different genes.


Ledge Talks: The Knowledge Series #3

Mr. Jagelewski leads the outcome of finance practice at the MaRS Discovery District. As an Associate Directory for the Centre for Impact Investing, his team is exploring new funding models for governments and nonprofit organizations, particularly Social Impact Bonds. Ms. Doyle leads policy initiatives at the Centre for Impact Investing. She is responsible for working with community, government, and private sector stakeholders to develop and advance policy that supports the build-out of a Canadian impact investing marketplace.


Ledge Talks: The Knowledge Series #4

The focus of the talk will be Calm, Alert and Learning: a Practical Guide to Self-Regulation in Homes and Classrooms by Ms. Christine Robinson. Ms. Robinson has been working as an occupational therapist for over twenty years, specializing primarily in the areas of early intervention and school-based practice. She joined the MEHRIT Centre in 2007 working alongside Dr. Stuart Shanker.

Ledge Talks: The Knowledge Series #5

Dennis will speak on “The Art of Storytelling,” an art he wields with full use of all the tools, from thoughtful sensitivity to deadly sarcasm. Not surprisingly then, Allen describes himself as a pool shark, cat skinner, muskrat trapper, roughneck, grave digger and bluesman. He may even be all of those things; we know from his Take Two newspaper column that he and “Chubby,” his partner in many adventures, always tell the truth as they see it. However, he may be guilty of overlooking pertinent facts on occasion. Thus, we must add writer, director, and humorist to his list of trades.


Ledge Talks: The Knowledge Series #6
Dr. Quinton and Dr. Marsh are experts in the field of hydrology with, between them, six decades of experience working in the North. Their research is part of the GNWT-Wilfrid Laurier University Partnership on water and cold-region research. Dr. Quinton will focus on his research in the southern NWT and Dr. Marsh will discuss his work in the northern NWT.  


Ledge Talks: The Knowledge Series #7
Dr. Michael English, spoke on “Assessing the potential impact of the annual snowpack on the Bathurst caribou herd”.  

Dr. Michael English is the Co-Director of Laurier's Cold Regions Research Centre and Chair, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. He has conducted his research in the Arctic and Subarctic since 1977.  Geographically, his research focused on the environment and ecology of the Slave River Delta, watershed hydrology and chemistry in Labrador, Axel Heiberg Island, and the upper Coppermine River basin at Daring Lake, and recently in the Taiga Shield near Yellowknife.


 Ledge Talks: The Knowledge Series #8 - Consensus Government in Transition: The Next 100 Days

 Tim Mercer and David Brock will share their inside experience of the evolution of consensus government, describing how power changes hands when the NWT government changes, how priorities are set, how leaders are chosen, and how the consensus system evolves to meet new times and demands.

Mr. Mercer has been Clerk of the Legislative Assembly since 2003. As the senior official in the legislative branch, he advises and supports the Speaker and all Members of the Legislative Assembly on matters of parliamentary procedure, governance and transition. Having coordinated three transitions between Assemblies, with a fourth in progress, Mr. Mercer has worked with Members on the cutting edge of changes to strengthen the consensus system of government.

Mr. Brock was recently appointed as Deputy Secretary to Cabinet, Priorities and Planning. Immediately prior, he served as secretary to the 17th Assembly’s Special Committee on Transition Matters, and secretary to the Deputy Ministers’ Transition Committee. Mr. Brock has worked as a civil servant in Yellowknife, Iqaluit, and Ottawa on public policy, intergovernmental relations, and election administration.


 Ledge Talks: The Knowledge Series #9 -  NWT Community Response to Intimate Partner Violence

Women who are victims of intimate partner violence in the Northwest Territories experience unique needs and gaps in services related to where they live and the vulnerabilities they experience because of their circumstance.  A five-year study funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Canadian University Research Alliance seeks to answer three research questions:

1)  What are the needs of women who experience intimate partner violence?

2)  What are the gaps in the services to meet these needs?

3)  How do we create and sustain non-violent communities?

This presentation by Dr. Pertice Moffitt and Heather Fikowski will discuss a theory on the binding intersections that occur to create a community response of “our hands are tied” and will outline an action plan developed to assist us on our journey to non-violent communities.



 Ledge Talks: The Knowledge Series #10 - Political Acuity and Public Sector Leadership

 You have heard that someone has amazing political acuity and wonder …what does this really mean?  Do I have it?  How do I get it?  Dr. Peter Constantinou, one of Canada’s leading practitioner-academics, presents “Political Acuity and Public Sector Leadership” for  Ledge Talks: The Knowledge Series


 Ledge Talks: The Knowledge Series #11 - Food Systems Innovation in the NWT and Beyond

Demand for local food is growing, and along with it, consumer interest. Learn about the challenges of food sustainability in a rapidly growing world. Dr. Alison Blay-Palmer, Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, will speak on “Food Systems Innovation in the NWT and Beyond”.  As the founding Director of the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at Wilfrid Laurier University, Dr. Blay-Palmer’s research and teaching combine her passions for community viability, green economic development, food systems and citizen engagement both in Canada and in the international community.


 Ledge Talks: The Knowledge Series #12 - Tsá Túé: a UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve

The Tsá Túé International Biosphere Reserve, an ecologically important area encompassing 93,313 square kilometres in central NWT including Great Bear Lake and a portion of its watershed, was added to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Network of Biosphere Reserves on March 19, 2016. The UNESCO designation is a first for the NWT, the first in Canada north of 60, and the first led entirely by Indigenous communities. David Livingstone has worked in the North for nearly forty years dealing with environmental and resource development issues. Amongst his many projects, he pushed for international recognition for the residents of Délı̨nę and their vision of environmental stewardship, which promotes sustainable development in their region.


Ledge Talks: The Knowledge Series #13 - Permafrost Thaw and Fire History - Implications of Boreal Tree Cover Changes on Regional Climates in the Taiga Plains, Northwest Territories

Oliver Sonnentag presents his research on “Permafrost Thaw and Fire History: Implications of Boreal Tree Cover Changes on Regional Climates in the Taiga Plains, Northwest Territories”. Oliver Sonnentag is an Assistant Professor in the Département de géographie at the Université de Montréal.  Using satellite remote sensing in combination with micrometeorological measures, he will discuss how rapidly changing permafrost conditions and fire history affect boreal forest cover, and how changes in boreal forest cover may affect regional climates across the Taiga Plains.


Ledge Talks: The Knowledge Series #14 - The Lost World of "The Boy in the Moon"

“All cultures see the same sky, but not in the same way,” says Dr. Wayne Horowitz.  The Gwich'in narrative of "The Boy in the Moon" has been documented in the Gwich'in communities now in the Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Alaska, almost from the time of “contact” in the mid-19th century.

Dr. Horowitz presents updated research into the cultural context of the narrative, using evidence from early visitors to the North, anthropologists, and elders from the contemporary Gwich'in communities. What emerges is a new view of “The Boy in the Moon” and his place in traditional Gwich'in lore.

Ledge Talks: The Knowledge Series #15 - Rapid Warming of the World's Lakes