Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad  Print this page

New head of women's group

Jessica Gray
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Nov 17/06) - Passion is the most important part of working towards goals for the newest staff member of the NWT Native Women's Association.

"When you have passion...the rest will come," said Denyse Nadon-Holder, who took over as executive director for the organization at the end of September.

NNSL Photo/graphic

Denyse Nadon-Holder is the new executive director for the NWT Native Women's Association. - Jessica Gray/NNSL photo

Nadon-Holder came to Yellowknife in July of this year, following her husband who got a job working for the government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT).

An educator, Nadon-Holder said she jumped at the chance to work with women and children at the Native Women's Association.

Her role models include members of her family, especially her grandmothers.

"Both grandmothers are very strong women," said Nadon-Holder.

She grew up in northeastern Ontario and is part of the Wahgoshig First Nation.

She received her bachelor of education from Brock University, specializing in Aboriginal adult learners.

Nadon-Holder said she came to Yellowknife to seek "adventure" and a "journey", but found her calling giving back to the community.

"From my culture...women are the caregivers of life. It's their responsibility to take care of family," she said.

The NWT Native Women's Association is part of 13 other organizations under the umbrella of the Native Women's Association of Canada.

There are about 13,000 aboriginal women in the NWT, all of whom can access training programs or education offered by the association, which was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1978.

The Native Women's Association has a training centre in Yellowknife and runs the Aboriginal Human Resources Development Program with funding from the Native Women's Association of Canada.

Most of the association's other funding comes from the territorial government.

Nadon-Holder's goal is to raise the association's profile through awareness across the territories.

There are 10 staff members who work for the association.

The board of director's includes president Terry Villeneuve; vice-president Karen Mitchell and secretary and treasurer Kathy Paul-Drover.

Four elders and three youth representatives round out the board.