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About Kakfwi & Associates
A Strong voice in Aboriginal Issues

I always believed that Aboriginal people in the north might be able to reverse the experience in the provinces. Even though we experienced some setbacks historically, we have been able to build strong foundations for the future. I think this time we will do it “right” in the north.

For the last three decades Stephen Kakfwi, former Northwest Territories (NWT) Premier and Dene Nation President, has been outspoken in his beliefs on the importance of the NWT

Aboriginal participation in the northern political and economic mainstream, balancing northern resource development with stewardship of the land, and protecting and preserving NWT Aboriginal languages, culture and traditions.

During this period of time, Canada’s north and all its residents, especially Aboriginal people, have undergone a remarkable political, environmental, economic, cultural and geo-political transformation. Stephen Kakfwi has been at the forefront of all these developments. Northern and Aboriginal leaders were also recognized as legitimate participants in forums dealing with national constitutional and Aboriginal rights issues.

Today, the NWT stands poised to become the first “have territory” in Canadian history. Aboriginal institutions established under land rights and self government agreements manage and govern Aboriginal interests. Aboriginal people are represented in the highest levels of federal, territorial and municipal governments. Aboriginal business interests own hydro projects, airlines, pipelines, service and retail businesses. These are concrete examples of winning conditions which allow NWT Aboriginal people to “do it right” in the north.

Throughout his extensive career, Kakfwi played a strong pivotal role in:

  • The settlement of regional Aboriginal land claims involving the Gwich’in, Sahtu Dene and Métis, the Tlicho and Inuit;
  • Promoting Aboriginal peoples as key players in the NWT economy through owning and operating marine and air transportation companies, providing services to the mining and oil and gas industries;
  • Changing the map of Canada forever, through the creation of two new territories – Nunavut and NWT – Inuit leaders recognized his role when Nunavut was formally established on April 1, 1999;
  • Established the Western Arctic Leadership Program, which was designed to encourage young Aboriginal students to prepare for future leadership roles;
  • Creation of the NWT Intergovernmental Forum where federal, territorial and Aboriginal governments dealt with economic development, devolution and revenue sharing issues;
  • Leading the NWT delegation in the Charlottetown round of national constitutional reform negotiations.

Stephen Kakfwi is also embarking on a new career, speaking to government, industry, academia and non government organizations on his personal and professional experiences to further his work towardsimproving the lives of Aboriginal peoples and all Canadians .

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Copyright @2010 Stephen Kakfwi
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