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About Kakfwi & Associates
A Strong Voice in Politics
"For decades, the Dene stood by while industry and government prospered from the resource wealth of the NWT, without much return. That is beginning to change throughout the NWT. We are now involved in deciding when and how minerals, oil and gas are developed. We are now beginning to share in the wealth and benefits from resource development."

Over a quarter century ago, governments and industry started moving into the Canadian north in search of resources. Hydro in northern Quebec and Labrador. Mines in northern Ontario and Manitoba. Uranium in northern Saskatchewan. Oil and gas in northern Alberta and British Columbia. Gold and base metals in the NWT, Nunavut and Yukon. Historically, little attention was paid to the northern environment, or to the long term impact on northern communities and the Aboriginal people who were living in the midst of these developments.

In the early 1970s, Stephen Kakfwi was among a small group of young Aboriginal leaders who challenged the authority of the federal government and industry to develop oil and gas in the Northwest Territories. Each of these issues needed to be addressed before responsible, sustainable development could proceed.

Outstanding Aboriginal land rights had not been settled. Environmental impacts had not been determined. Municipal infrastructure was not in place to handle the influx of activity. People and businesses were not prepared to take advantage of employment, training and business opportunities.

Over the course of his career working for the community of Fort Good Hope and the Sahtu region, serving as the president of the Dene Nation and later as a Territorial Minister and Premier, Stephen Kakfwi has played a critical role in the development of the North’s non-renewable resource strategy.

Over the last two decades, Stephen’s goal has been to apply sound land use planning processes and decisions in advance of resource development. Mining and oil and gas interests must now demonstrate that there will be significant employment, training and business benefits for Aboriginal and northern residents resulting from their mines or pipelines. The diamond industry is the most recent example of how significant benefits from resource development are extending to the people of the North.

Stephen Kakfwi brings a wealth of experience in dealing with the industry. He understands the importance of a stable and predictable investment climate. He understands that development must respect short and long term Aboriginal and northern interests. He understands that there may be times when the resources can stay in the ground until conditions are right for their development.

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Copyright @ 2010 Stephen Kakfwi
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