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2021 NWTRPA Elder Award Winner: Pat Martel

For over 20 years the NWTRPA Awards Program has been celebrating and recognizing recreation professionals and volunteers in northern communities for their efforts and achievements in promoting recreation and active living for all northerners.

The NWTRPA Elder Award recognizes an Elder that is sharing their knowledge in a good way with community members and supporting others to be healthy. In this way, the nominee contributes to and is engaged in community life. The Elder has positive relationships with all generations, themselves, each other, and the land. Pat is the 2021 winner of the Elder Award for being a leader in his community, engaging all generations in traditional lifestyles, living a healthy and holistic lifestyle on the land.


Pat Martel is currently a councillor for Kátł’odeeche First Nation and has been a role model for his community for many years. He is recognized for his leadership and passing down his knowledge in culture, language, and on-the-land activities. He attends and helps with youth culture camps, community hunting with adults, and is on the elder committee.

Pat lives a healthy lifestyle by practicing cultural spirituality, takes traditional medicines, and is self-sufficient by hunting and trapping for food. He has demonstrated mindfulness and perseverance during hardships in his life. He is always willing to take community members out on the land, offering workshops and programming.

He is a knowledge keeper for his community by sharing stories of how he was raised and taught off the land. He is active in demonstrating and teaching others how to properly do a ceremony traditionally and says prayers in his language. Pat continues to be active and engaged in community life, on the land living, and passing down his knowledge to others.

“He should be recognized for his leadership in our community, in ways of teaching cultural on the land knowledge. It is very important for our future generations to keep our traditional culture and language alive,” wrote Shania Pierre in her nomination form for Pat Martel to win the Elder Award.

On December 9th, Shania organized a celebration dinner for Pat with the Kátł’odeeche First Nation’s office staff.

“We had dinner at the band office with staff and family. The dinner started off with Pat talking about how he didn't know anyone was watching nor recognizing him for what he does for the community in ways of sharing his traditional knowledge, participating in our on the land programs and his storytelling of growing up in Kat'lodeeche. As we ate in the boardroom, there was a slideshow of pictures used for his nomination and he told us about those trips with his humorous moments. It was a very nice gathering where everyone enjoyed themselves and congratulated him."

Congratulations, Pat!

To learn more about the history of the NWTRPA Awards program and previous award winners, click here.

If you have any questions about the awards or nominating an individual, organization, or community, contact us at


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