Bobby Porritt

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Bobby Porritt was a businessman, who lived almost his entire life in the Northwest Territories, who spent several terms as a member of the Northwest Territories legislature.[1]

Bobby Porritt
Porritt in 1931
Died1984 (aged 78–79)
Nationality Canada
Other namesRobert Porritt
Known formember of the Northwest Territories legislature

In February, 1940, Porritt's Fort Resolution Lumber Company received a contract to build a school in Yellowknife. The budget to construct the two-room schoolhouse was $4,500 CAD, and it was opened in November, 1940.[2]

In February 1962 the Edmonton Journal quoted Porritt on the imminent completion of a railway line to Hay River, NWT.[3] The projected completion of the route in 1964 would make Hay River the northernmost terminii of the North American railgrid. He predicted the new terminii would trigger a trebling of his city's population. The Edmonton Journal noted Porritt had represented the Mackenzie District in the legislature.

In the 1993 profile of the Dene people, Drum Songs, author Kerry Abel quoted Porritt as an example of a white legislator who called the Dene people "wards of the Canadian government", who hadn't learned to speak for themselves.[4]


  1. ^ "Bobby Porritt fonds". Northwest Territories Archives. Retrieved December 26, 2020.
  2. ^ Ryan Silke. "A History of Public Schooling" (PDF). Yellowknife Education District No. 1. p. 7. Retrieved September 28, 2023.
  3. ^ "Says Hay River's population will treble in two years". Edmonton Journal. February 21, 1962. Retrieved December 26, 2020.
  4. ^ Kerry Abel (1993). "Drum Songs: Glimpses of Dene History". McGill-Queen's Press. p. 245. ISBN 9780773563896. Retrieved December 26, 2020. Robert Porritt, a representative on the NWT council from Hay River, expressed some concern on the topic in October, 1965. He referred to the Dene as 'wards' of the Canadian government. 'On an any wide sweeping decisions affecting the north,' he stated, 'we are speaking for people in many cases who have not spoken for themselves.'