Felix Lockhart has been in leadership roles for most of his life. The first time was when he was honoured by the Elders in his community when they selected him as Councillor in a Non-Indian Act election system. He went on to serve as Chief for the Lutselk’e Dene First Nation for seven intermittent terms, for a total of 17 years. He was also elected to be Grand Chief of the Akaitcho Region between 1997 and 1999. In addition to these leadership roles, Felix Lockhart was the Founding Chair of the Dene Cultural Institute, the Speaker on the South Slave Regional Council, and National Committee Member for the Dene Nation representing the South Slave Region and served on the NWT Alcohol/Drug Management Board. He has worked at the Ekati Diamond mines and was a Traditional Counsellor and Liaison Officer to the inmates at the North Slave Correctional Centre in Yellowknife. He has worked as a sports fishing guide and seasonal caribou range forest fire fighter. Mr. Lockhart is an avid hunter, trapper and fisherman and is a fluent Dënesųłiné speaker. Felix was appointed to the Denendeh Development Corporation and Denendeh Investment Incorporated boards in 2014 while serving as Chief.
David Ramsay has extensive elected public office experience in the Northwest Territories, including prominent cabinet positions in the Legislative Assembly of the NWT. Prior to November 2015, he was Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, and Minister Responsible for the NWT Business Development Corporation. His former roles included Minister of Transportation and Minister Responsible for the Public Utilities Board. David served on the Legislative Assembly Board of Management from 2003-2015, and Vice President of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) from 2011 to 2014, and President between 2014 and 2015.
David is a graduate of the University of New Brunswick where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and History, specializing in Aboriginal Law and Self Government. He holds an Executive Certificate in Energy Planning from the University of Idaho.
As a long-term resident of the Northwest Territories, David has been involved with numerous businesses and was the recipient of the Young Entrepreneur Award from the Business Development Bank of Canada in 1996. He was first elected to public office in 1997 and served five years as a Yellowknife City Councillor, where he chaired the Corporate Services Committee and represented the City on the Diamond Task Force. Mr. Ramsay was elected to the Legislative Assembly in 2003, representing the riding of Kam Lake in Yellowknife.
Mr. Ramsay is President of Ramsay Consulting Services Limited, a Director of Fortune Minerals Limited, CEO of Arctic Mineral Resources, and a director of Northern Gateway Consulting.
Leonard Kenny is the current Community Economic Development Officer for the Deline Got’ine Government in conjunction with the GNWT Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment. His educational background includes post-secondary Management and Community Administration studies. Leonard’s professional career spans several decades and in addition to serving his Community as Chief, he has sat on numerous boards; the Deline Land Corporation, the Deline Financial Corporation, the Sahtu Renewable Resource Board and Sahtu Oil to name a few. Highlights of his professional career include being the political force behind the Deline Got’ine Government’s Self-Governing Agreement, spearheading the Deline Caribou Conservation Plan, and being instrumental in the establishment of the Tsa Tue Biosphere a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the first Indigenous managed biosphere in the world. Mr. Kenny lives in Deline and is married with four children.
John Bekale served as Chief of Gameti in 1980 – 81. In 1984 he was elected as Vice-President of the Dene Nation, and began work with the Dene-Metis Joint Negotiations Secretariat in 1986. In 1990, he worked for the Department of Resources, Economic Development and Wildlife, and joined the negotiations team for the Dogrib Treaty 11 Tribal Council (now known as Tlicho Government) in 1993. Between 1995 and 2014, he served as Senior Aboriginal Advisor for BHP Diamonds. John has served several non-consecutive terms on the DDC Board of Directors since 1984, and the DII Board since 2006 and was reappointed to both in 2015. He was recently elected Chairman of DII.
Greg Nyuli served two terms as Chief of Deh Gah Got’ie Dene Council. He was the regional negotiator for the Dehcho between 1988 and 1990. In 2001 he was named the Oil and Gas Coordinator for the Fort Providence Resource Management Board. In 2002 he became the Economic Development Officer for Pehdzeh Ki First Nation, and was Executive Director of the Deh Gah Got’ie Dene Council between 2003 – 2009. From 2011 – 2013 he was the Executive Director of the Zhahti Koe Friendship Centre and is currently the Executive Assistant to the Dehcho First Nations Grand Chief, a position he has held since January 2014. Mr. Nyuli has been on the DDC Board since 1994 and the DII Board since its inception in 2006.
Calvin Helin is an Aboriginal lawyer from the Tsimshian Nation on BC’s north coast. He is the founding President of the Native Investment and Trade Association, and founding Vice President of the National Aboriginal Business Association. He is the author of Dances with Dependency, The Economic Dependency Trap, The Empowerment Mindset, and Dances with Spirits. He is President and Chairman of Eagle Spirit Energy Holdings Ltd. Calvin Helin lives in Vancouver, BC.
Chief Louie has served as Chief of the Osoyoos Indian Band since 1985. He led the Band through a period of economic development that has resulted in the creation of a multi-faceted corporation that owns eight businesses. One of the Band’s largest projects is an eco-tourism resort, campground, RV park and marina that includes a 120-room full service hotel and gas bar. Chief Louie is popular motivational speaker across Canada.
Dave Tuccaro is a member of the Mikisew Cree Band in Alberta. He heads his own company providing diverse heavy equipment, construction, mining and related services in the Alberta oil sands area and throughout northern Alberta. Dave founded the Northeastern (Alberta) Aboriginal Business Association. He was also a member of the National Task Force on Oil Sands Strategies, the National Aboriginal Financing Task Force and served as Chair of the Aboriginal Business Canada Market Expansion Group. He lives in Fort McMurray, Alberta.
James Firth is a two-term former Chief of the Inuvik Native Band, a two-term Vice-President of the Gwich’in Tribal Council and long-time employee of Northwestel, now retired. He owns his own business, JB Firth Enterprises and is an avid hunter and trapper. Mr. Firth was first elected to the Board of Directors in 1999 and served until 2014, he was reappointed in 2014. He was recently elected by the Board members as Chairman.
Ron Jamieson is member of the Mohawk Nation from the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario. A former Senior Vice President Aboriginal Banking with the Bank of Montreal he also a member of the Conference Board of Canada’s Council on the Corporate Management of Aboriginal Affairs and was a member of the Economic Task Force advising former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Mathew Coon Come. Ron Jamieson lives in Oshweken, Ontario.