Stephen Kakfwi is a former Premier of the Northwest Territories (NWT) and former President of the Dene Nation. Originally from Fort Good Hope, NWT, he represented the Sahtu riding in the NWT Legislative Assembly from 1987 until his retirement in 2003, serving the entire time as an elected member of the NWT Executive Council. He is the longest-serving Cabinet Minister in the territory’s history.
Mr. Kakfwi is a popular public speaker known for his personal and moving insights on the residential school experience, and the importance of meaningful reconciliation. He founded Canadians for a New Partnership in 2014, a coalition of distinguished Canadians committed to strengthening the country through the creation of a new partnership between First Peoples and others in Canada. Mr. Kakfwi maintains a successful independent consulting practice advising on conservation, indigenous affairs, and resource and governance negotiations. Originally trained as a teacher, he currently serves as a mentor and advisor to the organization Dene Nahjo, and as a board member for Pearson College.
Mr. Kakfwi is a recipient of the Governor General’s Northern Medal, and the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for public service. He is a celebrated singer-songwriter, and has been nominated for National Aboriginal Music Awards. Mr. Kakfwi lives in Yellowknife, NWT, with his wife. They have three children and four grandchildren.