LGANT, formerly known as the Association of Municipal Administrators of the Northwest Territories (AMANWT), was established in 1981. At that time, the organization was run by Senior Administrative Officers who volunteered their time and service. Some administrative support was provided by the NWT Association of Municipalities (NWTAM) through a contractual arrangement.
Following the "division" of the NWT and Nunavut, the name of the organization was changed to better reflect community government structures in the NWT. As well, the term “municipal” was no longer deemed an inclusive term as it excluded First Nation Bands who deliver municipal services.
LGANT and its predecessor, AMANWT, have been very much involved in the development of training initiatives reflecting the unique needs of local government administrators in the NWT. The AMANWT started delivery of the Senior Administrative Officer Certification Program in 1995/96 that later became one of the core training programs for community government staff offered by the School of Community Government at the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA).
LGANT aspired to help with any aspect in managing the community, was concerned with development of the administration of community governments and was in no way a conduit for political aspirations (the NWTAM, now NWTAC, is the organization that attends to this aspect of community governance). LGANT maintained a relationship with MACA's School of Community Government, particularly for the development and delivery of community government and staff training.
LGANT's Board of Directors and members also have been instrumental to the evolution of governing legislation and current funding structures for community governments in the NWT, as well as the development of LGANT itself.
Until 2009, LGANT operated with a part-time Executive Director mainly supporting the Board of Directors and promoting the society. In 2009, the GNWT introduced the Public Sector Capacity Initiative for Community Governments (PSCICG). This initiative implemented a series of programs and services to address challenges in the area of recruitment and retention of key administrative staff, and capacity needs in local government administration. LGANT was seen as a key partner of this initiative. The new programming allowed LGANT to grow and take on new responsibilities and services. It also tested LGANT's capacity for delivering those services while maintaining its commitment to a member focused service approach.
Through the delivery of the PSCICG, its organizational growth, and programs and services, LGANT is increasingly recognized for its leadership role in local government capacity building and for supporting its membership with professional member services and development opportunities.
Since 2011, LGANT has successfully secured the membership of all 33 community government administrators. In 2013, LGANT achieved a record membership that included all 33 local government administrators as well as 18 Associate Members. LGANT also has three lifetime members.
LGANT is recognized as a professional partner organization by the Government of the Northwest Territories, in particular teh Department of Municipal and Community Affairs. The organization is frequently asked to participate as a stakeholder in initiatives that introduce or review legislation, policies or programming.
LGANT is also recognized as a professional partner by peer associations across Canada and has successfully fostered working relationships with these peer associations, particularly with the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA), the Local Government Administration Association of Alberta (LGAA), the Local Government Management Association of BC (LGMA), CivicInfoBC and a profession-specific interprovincial/territorial working group.