Public Government Politician
In 1987, Mr. Kakfwi made
the move to public government, representing the Sahtu
constituency, located in the Great Bear Lake region
of the NWT.
His four terms in Territorial politics, all spent serving
in Cabinet, produced many of the political, economic,
environmental, cultural and geo-political achievements
which made the last quarter century so remarkable for
the NWT and all its residents.
vision was to create a public system of government which
incorporated the best of Aboriginal and public government
institutions and practices.
Over sixteen years in Cabinet,
a record in NWT history, he served as minister of Education,
Housing, Justice, Personnel, Safety and Public Services,
Aboriginal Rights and Constitutional Development, Resources,
Wildlife and Economic Development and as the first Premier
of the new NWT after division and the creation of Nunavut.
Between 1987 and 2003, Mr. Kakfwi was instrumental in:
- Settlement of regional
Aboriginal Land claims involving the Gwich’in,
Sahtu Dene and Métis and the Tlicho.
- Development and implementation
of an NWT Protected Areas Strategy and a Mackenzie
Valley Five Year Action Plan in cooperation with NWT
Aboriginal organizations, the federal government and
Canadian environmental organizations.
- Ensuring that North
America’s first diamond mines, which were located
in the NWT, included northern employment, training
and business benefits and provision of rough diamond
for a local cutting and polishing industry.
- 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; generating electrical power, and
securing one-third equity in a Mackenzie Valley pipeline.
- Changing the map of
Canada forever, through the creation of two new territories
– Nunavut in the East and the NWT in the west
– Inuit leaders recognized his role when Nunavut
was formally established on April 1, 1999.
- Ensuring that a zero
tolerance approach was taken on violence, particularly
as it relates to women, children and elders.
- Establishing the Western
Arctic Leadership Program, which was designed to encourage
young Aboriginal students to prepare for future leadership
- Creation of the NWT
Intergovernmental Forum where federal, Territorial
and Aboriginal governments dealt with economic development,
devolution and revenue sharing issues.
Mr. Kakfwi continues to
be active on a variety of initiatives including assisting
promoting conservation of the NWT environment as an
advisor to WWF – Canada. He is also working with
his home community and other NWT Aboriginal governments
and organizations to ensure benefits and revenues from
construction and operation of a Mackenzie Valley pipeline.
Mr. Kakfwi serves as a member of the Board for Vision