John McNiven (politician)

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His Worship
John G. McNiven
1st Mayor of Yellowknife
In office
Preceded by office established
Succeeded by Gordon A. Allen

John Graham "Jock" McNiven (April 2, 1900 – September 27, 1969)[1] was a mine engineer, mine operator and politician from the Northwest Territories, Canada.

McNiven was a 1923 graduate of the University of Toronto (M.Sc. in Mining Engineering) and worked for several years in mining camps in Ontario. He first came to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories in 1938 to work as mill superintendent of Negus Mines Ltd. His family joined him by in 1940. Upon the resignation of mine manager Bill Stuart, McNiven was promoted to this position in May 1939 where he remained until the mine closed in 1952. In 1946 he established a chapter of the Grand Lodge of Alberta (Freemason), the first lodge in the Northwest Territories.

McNiven became the first member of the Legislative Assembly of Northwest Territories from the Arctic; in 1947 he was appointed to the council, for Yellowknife. At that time he was the only member living in the territory to serve. He would serve on the council until it was dissolved for the 1951 general election.

In 1953, McNiven became the first mayor of Yellowknife, and served that position until 1954. In 1955, he took the position of mine manager at the Port Radium or Eldorado uranium mine on Great Bear Lake where he guided the mine to a close in September 1960. McNiven retired from Eldorado Nuclear Limited in 1965, and died at his Salt Springs, British Columbia home in September 1969.

A number of local points in Yellowknife are named after him, including Niven Lake, McNiven Beach and Niven Drive. A tug owned by the Northern Transportation Company Limited, based in the town of Hay River, was also named after him - M/V Jock McNiven.


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2006-06-13.  Jock McNiven NWT Historical Timeline - A Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre Online Exhibit[dead link]

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