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NWT Literacy Council's executive director honoured with Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal

The Executive Director of the NWT Literacy Council received a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal during Canada Day celebrations in Yellowknife.

Helen Balanoff was recognized for her numerous contributions to the quality of early childhood education, health education and literacy in the North and Canada.

“As a board we feel so lucky to have Helen lead the Literacy Council. We are delighted to know her leadership is respected and recognized by others in this public way,” says NWT Literacy Council president Suzanne Robinson.

Helen came to the Northwest Territories as an educator in the early 1970s and lived in Cambridge Bay before moving to Yellowknife. She eventually held a senior position in the Education Department of the Government of the Northwest Territories before teaching for six years in China during the 1990s. Helen began working with the NWT Literacy Council in 2001.

The official citation recognizing Helen says “Her considerable achievements have been characterized by respect for traditional knowledge and local autonomy as well as the ability to recommend measures which are culturally appropriate and workable within the skills and aspirations of residents.”

Helen is also noted for her contributions to the national recognition of the NWT Literacy Council as a centre of excellence and expertise.

More Diamond Jubilee Medals will be presented later this year. The public can nominate people for medals until September 15, 2012. Visit for information and nomination forms.

Source: Literacy Matters, August 2012

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