|Chair and Director Fred Carmichael (Inuvik)
Fred Carmichael is a member of the Nihtat Gwich'in Council who serves as the chair of APG. He is also currently President of the Gwich'in Tribal Council. He grew up as a trapper in Aklavik area and has been an aircraft pilot for 47 years. He successfully operated a number of charter airline businesses over the years. By 1981 he had established Western Arctic Air that grew to a fleet of 15 aircraft before being sold in the 1990s. He also founded and operated Western Arctic Nature Tours, a company which is still successfully operating today. He has been a Director of the APG since 2001.
|Director Nellie Cournoyea (Inuvik)
Nellie Cournoyea is an Inuvialuit who serves as the Chair and CEO of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC). Before being elected Chair of the IRC, Nellie Cournoyea was Premier of the Northwest Territories from 1991-1995. She served 17 years as an MLA and held several Cabinet positions prior to being elected as Premier. Her career included work as an announcer and station manager for CBC (Inuvik) and service to the Inuvialuit as a land claims field worker. She was a founding member of the Committee for Original People's Entitlement (COPE) which negotiated the Inuvialuit Land Claim. Currently she is also Chair of the Inuvik Regional Health and Social Services Board. Nellie Cournoyea was the founding chair of APG and served as chair from 2000 to 2002.
John Tutcho was born in the Great Bear Lake area known as Johnny Hoe on April 14, 1947. John was taught the traditional skills of trapping, hunting, fishing and the aboriginal way of life at an early age. John is fluent in English and the Sahtu Dene language of North-Slavey.
Today, John Tutcho resides in the community of Deline with his wife Helena. John is the past president of the Deline Land Corporation and former Vice-Chair of the Sahtu Secretariat. John has also served on the Deline Dene Band Council and the Municipal Council in Deline. John continues to maintain his traditional Dene lifestyle by trapping, fishing and hunting in the Great Bear Lake area. John also works on a seasonal basis in Norman Wells. John Tutcho has been a Director of the APG since 2004.
Charlie Furlong (Aklavik)
Charlie Furlong remembers a time when life around the Delta wasn’t as hectic. Born and raised in Aklavik, Northwest Territories, the 56-year-old Metis smiles when he reflects upon his youth.
“It was a good life back then. Things were simpler. When I grew older and had to work, it was fairly easy to get a job,” recalls the former riverboat deck hand.
“I did a lot of different things back then, from working in the Aklavik Fur Shop to seismic work. I wasn’t afraid to try new things.”
It was this willingness to take on new challenges that eventually led Furlong into politics. From his early forays as a member of the local Metis organization, to being Regional Coordinator for the Metis Nation of the Northwest Territories during the Berger Inquiry, Furlong always found a way to be involved.
“I discovered early on that it’s easy to sit on the sidelines and criticize the decision-makers, but unless you’re involved, you really have no voice.”
His tenure as a Director with the Metis Nation in the 70’s piqued his interest and heightened his awareness of how quickly the North was changing. As he quietly became more involved in Northern politics in the 80’s, he discovered the growing importance of the North on the national front. With southern resource companies pursuing minerals as well as oil and gas in the backyards of his neighbours, Furlong began the long journey of ensuring Northern aboriginal people were treated not only as equals, but also as stakeholders in any development.
While the Dene-Metis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement was being brokered throughout the 80’s, Furlong launched himself into a phase of his political career that saw him co-found the Mackenzie Delta Regional Council (now the Gwich’in Tribal Council) and serve as the first President of the Council. This, in addition to being a Community Negotiator for the Dene-Metis Claim as well as owning and operating a motel.
After the demise of the Comprehensive Land Claim in 1990, Furlong was selected to be part of the team that negotiated the Gwich’in Comprehensive Land Claim. Two years later, Furlong found himself a signatory to the deal. But his political involvement didn’t end with the claim. He was later elected as Mayor of Aklavik and then as Chief of the Aklavik Band.
“It was a very busy time for me,” Furlong muses, adding that in addition to being appointed to the Northwest Territories Development Corporation, he also played an instrumental role in developing a cooperative relationship between government and industry. His activity on the political front grew, whether it was time spent as Interim Vice-President of the Metis Nation, Chairman of the Metis Development Corporation, Vice-President of the NWT Association of Municipalities, or as President of the Northwest Territories Arctic Tourism, Furlong always seemed to have time and energy to devote to ensure people in the North enjoyed a good quality of life.
Since 2000, Charlie Furlong hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. As a senior executive with several resource companies and once more as Chief of the Aklavik Band, he divides his time these days between the things he loves, like hunting and singing country music, and the things that have sustained him throughout his political career, like being involved at a level where one can make a difference in the daily lives of their people. Whether he’s sitting across the table from Territorial lawyers and bureaucrats negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding for the Gwich’in Tribal Council, or discussing Treaty 11 issues with Gwich’in chiefs, Charlie Furlong has always understood one basic tenet to being a leader.
“For me, the people come first. Always have, always will. I don’t think I could have ever done the things I have in my life without always keeping that in mind.”
Duane Smith was elected President of ICC Canada during the ICC AGM, which took place at the same time as the ITK AGM in Tuktoyaktuk in June 2002. As President of ICC Canada, Mr. Smith also becomes Vice-President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.
Mr. Smith has represented the Inuvialuit at all levels for many years on matters of renewable resource use and management. He was named to the Inuvialuit Game Council (IGC) in 1992 until 2003 as a member from Inuvik, his achievements include the official signing of the Inuvialuit - Inupiat International Beluga Management Agreement involving the Inupiaq of Alaska and the Inuvialuit of northwest Canada, and a revised agreement on polar bear management between the same two parties which has now been in place for 12 years,
In addition to being an executive member to the ICC from Canada, Mr. Smith is co-chair of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Arctic Specialist group Sustainable Use Initiative. Duane Smith has been a Director of the APG since 2004.
(Fort Good Hope)
Bio coming soon