Daniel L. Norris

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Daniel L. Norris
Commissioner of the Northwest Territories
In office
October 2, 1989 – September 30, 1994
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Brian Mulroney
Kim Campbell
Jean Chrétien
Premier Dennis Patterson
Nellie Cournoyea
Preceded by John Havelock Parker
Succeeded by Helen Maksagak
Personal details
Born (1935-08-30)August 30, 1935
East Channel, near Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada
Died August 5, 2008(2008-08-05) (aged 72)
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Spouse(s) Margaret
Occupation pilot, radio operator

Daniel L. Norris (August 30, 1935 – August 5, 2008) was Commissioner of the Northwest Territories from October 2, 1989 until September 30, 1994. Norris was born in 1935[1] near Inuvik and was raised in Aklavik.[2] Norris died on August 5, 2008 from heart failure, a complication of his long-time struggle with diabetes.[3]


Norris was born on August 30, 1935[4] near Inuvik in the Mackenzie Delta. Raised in Aklavik, Norris reportedly aspired to become a trapper like his father.[5] Norris served for 27 years in the Northwest Territories government's public service, including four years spent as a regional administrator in the Beaufort Delta. He began in the public sector in what was then the Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources, and rose within that Department to become its Regional Superintendent of Personnel.[6]

On October 2, 1989, Norris was appointed as the territory's 11th Commissioner, making him the first Aboriginal born in the north of Canada to be appointed to that role.[3] Between his appointment in 1989 and his leaving his role on September 30, 1994, Norris was forced to set out new protocols for the role of the Commissioner, as the position had some legislative function up until three years prior to Norris taking up the job.[3]


On August 5, 2008, Daniel Norris died in an Edmonton, Alberta hospital of heart failure, following a protracted struggle with diabetes. On August 7, Northwest Territories government buildings with flagpoles flew their flags at half-mast in memory of Norris, and on August 11, the day of his funeral, the same protocol was adopted.[3][7]

Preceded by
John Havelock Parker
Commissioner of the Northwest Territories
Succeeded by
Helen Maksagak


  1. ^ Canadian Provinces A-N, Rulers.org
  2. ^ New Commissioner of the North West Territories
  3. ^ a b c d Former N.W.T. commissioner Norris dies, CBC News 6 August 2008
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ The Commissioner from the delta - AMICUS: Canadian National Catalogue. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
  6. ^ Premier Floyd K. Roland offers his Condolences on the Death of Daniel L. Norris - Government of the Northwest Territories. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
  7. ^ Flag half-masting - Government of the Northwest Territories. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
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