Board member bios
Aboriginal land claim organizations nominate half of the board members, and the federal and territorial governments nominate the other half of the board members. The entire board nominates the Chairperson. As the federal minister responsible for the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development appoints all the members to the Review Board.
JoAnne Deneron, Chairperson
Ms. JoAnne Deneron was appointed as the Chairperson of the Review Board on March 29, 2014.
Originally born in the Yukon, Ms. Deneron is a member of the Tlingit First Nation. She has lived in Fort Liard for the past 40 years and is an entrepreneur operating her family's successful retail outlet and motel. A community-minded leader, she has been a public figure in Fort Liard having been elected by residents to several positions ranging from Band Councilor to Mayor. She has also served the people of the Northwest Territories in a wide range of roles focusing her efforts on improving education, employment, health and social services, transportation, economic development and the environment.
Ms. Deneron continues to live in Fort Liard where she is an avid gardener who also enjoys traditional on the land activities with her five children and six grandchildren.
James Wah-Shee, Board member (Tlicho nominee)
A long-time Northern leader, Mr. James Wah-Shee has been an active participant in the economic and political development of the Northwest Territories for more than forty years.
Kirby Marshall, Board member (GNWT nominee)
Mr. Kirby Marshall was appointed to the Review Board on April 1, 2014.
Mr. Marshall was born in Fort Smith and was raised there as well as Fort Providence. For over 35 years, he has worked in the private sector, mainly transportation and communications. In the last 18 years or so, he has been self-employed operating Information Technology companies with offices in Canada and the United States. He also does business services such as start-ups, capital acquisition, venture capital, business plans and property development. In his businesses, Mr. Marshall deals almost exclusively with First Nations and small businesses. His long-term and extensive relationship with First Nations, industry and the private sector gives him a solid foundation to build upon as a board-member.
Mr. Marshall has a Commerce Degree, Economics major, from the University of British Columbia.
Mr. Marshall is a dedicated volunteer working to better the North and all its peoples. He is the Charter and Past-President of the Rotary Club of Yellowknife True North, currently sitting on its executive as the Foundation Chair. He is also an Officer of the Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem – a hospice and palliative care order dating back to 1098 A.D.
Mr. Marshall and his wife Janet, also a lifelong Northerner, have lived throughout the North (including Nunavut) and now live in Yellowknife.
Yvonne Doolittle, Board member (Sahtu Nominee)
Ms. Yvonne Doolittle was appointed to the Review Board on May 8, 2014.
Ms. Doolittle was born in Inuvik and raised in Norman Wells. She attended Samuel Hearne High School and Arctic College in Inuvik. She believes that knowledge and skill building is a life- long commitment so she is continuously studying and learning from others.
Ms. Doolittle began working building community capacity in the sport and recreation field in the 90's. Her leadership roles have ranged from local education authorities to national boards such as the Aboriginal Sport Circle of Canada. She started working for GNWT Department of Municipal and Community Affairs in 2001 in Inuvik and now leads the North Slave Regional Operations out of Yellowknife/ Behchoko office.
Bertha Norwegian, Board member (Dehcho nominee)
The Review Board would like to welcome its newest appointee, Ms. Bertha Norwegian. Ms. Norwegian is from Fort Simpson. She was appointed to the Review Board on October 28th, 2014. Ms. Norwegian was nominated by the Dehcho First Nation.
Prior to her retirement from the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT), Ms. Norwegian worked as the Special Advisor to the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women for 15 years and, subsequently, in Fort Simpson as the Associate Regional Director for the Dehcho. These positions gave her the opportunity to work with a number of boards and agencies at the territorial and federal levels of government, including: the Status of Women Council of the Northwest Territories, the Native Women's Association of the Northwest Territories, the Native Women's Association of Canada, and Federal-Provincial-Territorial Working Groups.
In her time at the GNWT, Ms. Norwegian worked to establish committees to address issues of national and territorial concern, such as: the plight of Aboriginal women in Canada, homelessness, and family violence. Examples of these committees include: the NWT Family Violence Coalition Committee, the Federal Government Action Plan on Violence Against Women, the Government of Northwest Territories Social Envelope Ministerial Committee, Women in Non-traditional Trades and Occupations, Women's Health and Wellness, Gender Equality, Women's Economic Independence & Security.
Ms. Norwegian has served as a member of the Dehcho Executive Committee and was a Band Councilor of LiiDlii Koe First Nation (Fort Simpson). Consistent participation in these organizations and committees has provided Ms. Norwegian with a unique opportunity to learn different facets of social justice issues and the impact of practices and policies on societies at large.
Joe Handley, Board member (GNWT nominee)
Mr. Joe Handley was appointed to the Review Board on June 2nd, 2016.
Mr. Handley comes to the Board with a wealth of experience from his training and early career in Education, years of leadership in territorial government and public service, and continuing work and advisory roles in the Northwest Territories.
Following his studies in Education, Mr. Handley spent time teaching at universities at home and abroad, including a native education program at the University of Manitoba, training teachers to work in aboriginal and northern communities. Mr. Handley joined the Government of the NWT in 1985 and served as deputy minister in a number of portfolios including education, Renewable Resources, the NWT Housing Corporation, Transportation, and Resources, Wildlife, and Economic Development. In 1999, he was elected to the NWT Legislature and became Minister of Finance. During his time in the legislative assembly he took on roles as Chair of the Financial Management Board, Minister Responsible for the Workers’ Compensation Board, Minister of Transportation, and Minister Responsible for the NWT Power Corporation. In 2003, Mr. Handley was re-elected to the Legislature and served a term as Premier of Northwest Territories. Mr. Handley retired in 2007.
Since retiring, Mr. Handley continues to live and work in the Yellowknife community. He has advised on a number of northern government and business initiatives, including as chair of the panel responsible for the 2012 Economic Opportunities Strategy and consultant for the 2014 Transportation Strategy. Mr. Handley is a current board member of the Det’on Cho Corporation and a dedicated volunteer with the Rotary Club in Yellowknife. Joe lives with his wife Theresa in Yellowknife.