During his professional career, Stephen Kakfwi has been and continues to be instrumental in advancing the Aboriginal land and self-government rights of the Northwest Territories Dene, Métis and Inuit. He has had a distinguished career in public government promoting Northwest Territory political, constitutional and economic development in the North, within Canada and internationally.
Kakfwi served as the President of the Dene Nation from 1983 to 1987, during which he established the Northwest Territories Dene Cultural Institute as well as Indigenous Survival International. Mr. Kakfwi was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories in 1987 and served as Premier of the Northwest Territories from 2000 through 2003.
Stephen currently focuses on achieving a balanced approach to conservation and resource development in the North, focusing on community development in Aboriginal settlements.He is a senior advisor to the Indigenous Leadership Initiative – a group founded in 2013 that is helping strengthen Indigenous nationhood and the fulfillment of Indigenous cultural responsibilities to the land . And in 2014, he conceived of and founded Canadians for a New Partnership, a group supporting and encouraging relationship building between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, and currently serves as its President and CEO.