Northwest Territories general election, 1951

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The Northwest Territories General election of 1951 held on September 17, 1951 was the sixth general election in the Northwest Territories, Canada, and the first since the 1902 election. The election came about after The Northwest Territories Act was amended to permit three elected members from the Mackenzie District to join the five appointed members on the Executive Council of the Northwest Territories. The Council, which had met in Ottawa, Ontario, outside of the Northwest Territories, shortly after the election, the council began to alternate sittings between Ottawa and Northwest Territories communities.


The bill to re initiate territorial elections in the Northwest Territories was introduced in the Canadian House of Commons by Federal Resources Minister Robert Henry Winters.[1]

Aboriginal vote[edit]

The 1951 election was the first in the territory to allow aboriginal peoples to vote and stand for election.[2] However the electoral districts created for the election included only the west portion of the territories thus disenfranchising the prominently aboriginal eastern portion of the territory. When the nominations closed on August 20, 1951 no aboriginals stood for office.

Female suffrage[edit]

Unlike the small elections in the Territories prior to the first general election in 1888, this was considered a general election, since it was based on the dissolution of the previous legislature. It was the smallest general election in Northwest Territories history.

This was the first election in the Northwest Territories in which women had the right to vote. Female suffrage was permitted under the Northwest Territories Elections Ordinance of 1951, this was the last jurisdiction in Canada to grant voting rights to women. The first woman candidate in the territory's history also ran in this election: Vivian Roberts from Aklavik.

The writ for the election was dropped on July 3, 1951 and the nominations closed on August 20, 1951.

Election summary[edit]

Election summary # of candidates Popular vote
# %
Elected candidates 3 1,471 53.39%
Defeated candidates 8 1,233 44.76%
Rejected ballots 51 1.85%
Total 11 2,755 100%

Appointed members[edit]

1st Northwest Territories Legislative Council
Member New/Re-appointed
Louis Audette Re-appointed
William Clements New
Donald McKay ?
Leonard Nicholson New
Frank Cunningham1 Re-appointed


1 Frank Cunningham was also Deputy Commissioner

Elected members[edit]

For complete electoral history, see individual districts

1st Northwest Territories Legislative Council
District Member
Mackenzie South James Brodie
Mackenzie West Frank Carmichael
Mackenzie North Mervyn Arthur Hardie

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "People". Vol 58 No. 140. Winnipeg Free Press. March 12, 1951. p. 2. 
  2. ^ "First Municipal Voted Slated for N.W.T.". Vol 58 No. 237. Winnipeg Free Press. July 3, 1951. p. 4. 

External links[edit]