The main responsibility of the Newfoundland and Labrador Geographical Names Board (NLGNB) is to administer the Geographical Names Board Act. This involves the collection and recording of information on the names of places and geographical features; consultation with the public, government departments and agencies on the selection of place names; the renaming of place names and features; and recommending to the Minister for approval the names of places and geographical features. The board is the final authority on the spelling and pronunciation of the names of places and geographical features in the province.
The NLGNB consists of the provincial secretary, a permanent staff member with the title Administrative Officer I assigned by the Department, and five (5) other members appointed by the Minister, which include the chairperson, vice-chairperson and three (3) members. Members are appointed for a term of three (3) years.
When recommending members, consideration is given to the individual’s background and knowledge of geographical names across the province. Some potential members may have an area of interest (e.g. Aboriginal names or coastal features) and the department recommends members who have a varied network of contacts to aid in geographical names research.
There are no specific qualifications/requirements stipulated in the enabling legislation for the NLGNB members. However, the following personal attributes would be beneficial for any board member to possess:
Members of the NLGNB should be available to attend two day meetings held twice per year. Board members may also be expected to spend additional time to review materials in preparation for the board meetings. Occasionally, members may also be contacted by phone to discuss board issues.
The members of the board shall hold office during pleasure for a term of 3 years from January 1 following their appointment and may be reappointed.