Retired Hay River teacher honoured

Bruce Green recognized for career in teaching as well as contributions to science and sports and recreation

John McFadden | HAY RIVER
November 30, 2015
NWT Commissioner George Tuccaro, back left, joins Lucy Jackson of Fort Good Hope, Hay River's Bruce Green, Yellowknifers Gino Pin and Ruth Spence, front right and Sonny MacDonald of Fort Smith as they became the first recipients of the Order of the NWT at a ceremony on Oct. 7. John B. Zoe of Behchoko was also honoured with the order but is not pictured. - photo courtesy of Wendy Morgan

NWT Commissioner George Tuccaro, back left, joins Lucy Jackson of Fort Good Hope, Hay River’s Bruce Green, Yellowknifers Gino Pin and Ruth Spence, front right and Sonny MacDonald of Fort Smith as they became the first recipients of the Order of the NWT at a ceremony on Oct. 7. John B. Zoe of Behchoko was also honoured with the order but is not pictured. – photo courtesy of Wendy Morgan

Retired Hay River teacher Bruce Green says he was pleasantly surprised to be named one of the first recipients of the Order of the NWT.

He was honoured along with the rest of the inductees at a ceremony at the legislative assembly on Oct. 7. He went on vacation almost immediately after and had not been available for an interview until Nov 16.

Green is perhaps best known as a teacher at Hay River’s Diamond Jenness Secondary School for close to a quarter century. He retired in 2002 and then spent several years teaching at the Chief Sunrise Adult Learning Centre on the K’atlodeechee First Nation Reserve just outside of Hay River.

“I was pretty surprised at getting selected. It was beyond my wildest dreams to be honoured in that way. I’m proud to be a Northerner and very proud to receive that kind of recognition,” Green said.

“I got a call from the officer at the legislature a few days before the award was presented.”

Green believes he was recognized for his entire body of work not just as a teacher.

“The years that I put in as a teacher were a major significance. I’ve always viewed education and the job of teaching as a really important job. So in a way it’s recognition of the importance of teaching in the North. I was happy to see the teaching profession recognized,” Green said. “I spend quite a number of years coaching at an elite level with the NWT Wrestling Association. I coached over 20 years and we had teams and individuals do extremely well at the Arctic Winter Games and at the national level.”

Green said his background in science outside of the school probably also played a role in him receiving the honour.

“I’ve done some work with the museum here. We’ve got some of the oldest tracks on the planet. I’ve been working on that and the fossil deposits in our area. The tracks are from a giant fish. At that time creatures were just starting to develop limbs and climb out of the water. We think these tracks are from a monstrous fish. They were the top predator of the time and they hunted in the shallow waters that existed in our area at the time,” Green said.

He added that winning the order was a humbling experience.

“I feel pretty lucky to win this award. I’d like to think I deserve it. It’s not something I ever anticipated. I was never something I was seeking. It’s always nice to get a pat on the back.”

One of Green’s sons – Brendan Green – is best known as an Olympic biathlete.