Ɂehdzo Got’ı̨nę Gots’ę́ Nákedı
Sahtú Renewable Resources Board

Betty Harnum


Betty Harnum is well known for her energetic support for Aboriginal cultures and economies through her various roles and projects in government and as a consultant in the NWT. This project will bring her full circle back to resume work that provided her with her introduction to the North in 1975-1976, involving the successful establishment of the now world-famous Fort Liard Craft Shop. Betty has used her extraordinary language and strategic planning abilities over the years to support Aboriginal communities in realizing their visions for maintaining their traditional knowledge and skills. Within six years of arriving in the NWT, Betty had taken on a leadership position as Executive Assistant to the Minister of Aboriginal Rights, Local Government and Constitutional Development. She subsequently served in a number of leadership positions in Aboriginal language programs for the Government of the NWT. She was appointed by the NWT Legislative Assembly as the first NWT Languages Commissioner and served in this position from 1992-1996. By 1999 she was instrumental in establishment and maintenance of the Goyatikǫ language and cultural institute of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation. Following a multitude of major contributions as a consultant, Betty designed and facilitated an innovative terminology workshop on Species At Risk for the SRRB in the spring of 2013. The workshop was a resounding success – in part because Betty had previously worked with a number of the people and was completely comfortable communicating across cultures.

Rauna Kuokkanen

Rauna KuokkanenRauna is a key researcher and workshop facilitator within two research teams that are working in the Sahtú region. Her work with the first team examines gender relations in community and resource governance. It looks at how Indigenous women’s participation within governance and views on how resource development affects gender relations. The second team focuses on local Indigenous youth and how they can be better supported to become community leaders and environmental stewards.What did she find? Strong Indigenous governance and leadership depends on individual and community well‐being. This was a common theme in both projects’ interviews with local community members. Good governance and societal well-being are inseparable, as capacity-building can only start when social issues are being addressed. Local voices in the Sahtú region have highlighted the need for greater support for their women and youth. Violence, especially violence against women, is a reality that takes away individual ability to participate in their community. Addressing violence within communities is key to supporting women’s ability participate in and strengthen local governance. Leadership workshops were held for local youth. They were met with positive responses, and youth talked about the need for follow-up after this type of training. By building up the self-esteem and skills of local youth, communities can ensure the next generation of leaders will be strong and confident. Want to know more about Rauna’s work? Visit resda.ca/gender-relations/ and resda.ca/future-chief/.


Walter Bayha

WalterBayhaMost of Walter Bayha’s early years on Mother Earth were spent out on the land with all of his grandfathers, travelling and learning the Dene traditions of Sahtú (Great Bear Lake) in the Northwest Territories. After thirty-two years in the resource development field with both the Federal and Territorial governments, he switched to working with Aboriginal governance organisations. Walter is currently Manager of Lands and Resources with the Délı̨nę Land Corporation. He is a senior adviser to the Délı̨ne First Nation Chief on caribou issues and language programs. He has served as Implementation Director for the Déline Governance office, Chair of the Sahtú Renewable Resources Board, member of the Sahtu Land and Water Board, and member of the Mackenzie Land and Water Board. Walter has been actively involved in a caribou traditional knowledge study in the Sahtu Region since 2006. He was a founding member of the national Learning Communities Network, oriented to understanding the role of communities in resource management. He is author of “Using Indigenous Stories in Caribou Co-Management” (Rangifer, 2012) and co-author of “’Our Responsibility to Keep the Land Alive’: Voices of Northern Indigenous Researchers” (Pimatisiwin, 2010).