George Braden was the first NWT government leader to be called “premier” in the NWT. I got to know George when I was completing my project on territorial devolution in the Canadian north. At time, he was working for another former territorial Premier, Dennis Patterson, who is the Senator for Nunavut. I had interviewed George in Ottawa, I think, several years ago and was amazed at the vast amount of knowledge he had and how generous he was in sharing it.
Several years later, when the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations invited me to contribute a chapter to its 2011 State of the Federation book, I readily agreed but only if George would co-author and happily, he agreed. And boy was a glad, because his knowledge of territorial intergovernmental relations was vast and unparalleled. Check out our chapter here (ungated) and you can find the entire book here.
George was a real joy to work with, whether as a co-author or simply as someone I could bounce my crazy ideas off of about the north. We had, at one point, talked about doing a conference and book on the north, with Kirk Cameron. The goal was to gather all of the territorial “founders” together to talk about “the once and future” political and constitutional development of Canada’s territories but much to my regret, we never put aside time to do it.
Here’s the story about George’s passing.