International Chair Bill Erasmus
Bill Erasmus was born in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada in 1954. He has spent much of his career in his homeland of Denendeh. He is a Dene citizen of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation and a direct descendant of Treaty #8 of 1899.
He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of Alberta in Edmonton. His knowledge and strong leadership skills have brought significant changes and advancements to all the peoples.
In 1987, he was elected Dene National Chief, a position he still holds today. He has also been a member of the Assembly of First Nations Executive Committee since 1992 and currently is the International Chair for the Arctic Athabaskan Council (AAC) which is a member of the Arctic Council.
In 1993, he received a Governor General commemorative medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada, in recognition of his significant contribution to compatriots, communities and to Canada. In 2005, Bill was also the recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Commemorative Medal on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the accession of HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN to the throne.
He has contributed to his people throughout his professional life as a fieldworker, reporter, photographer, researcher and negotiator.
Bill is a visionary leader and incorporates his philosophy of connection to the land, community and nation to resolve conflict and to be an instrument of change. His deep respect for elders, indigenous knowledge guides him to a better future for all.
Bill strongly believes in family and is a dedicated husband and father to his wife Reanna, son Lonny and daughter Sarah.
International Vice-Chair (Vacant)
Cindy Dickson is of Gwitchin and Tlingit descent and is a member of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation. She was raised by her grandfather and grew up in Old Crow, Yukon, Canada. Cindy has worked for the Council of Yukon First Nations for the past twelve years and is the director of Circumpolar Relations and the founding director of the Arctic Athabaskan Council (AAC). The Council of Yukon First Nations is the central political organization for First Nation peoples of the Yukon. It has been in existence since 1973 and continues to serve the needs of First Nations within the Yukon and most recently the Mackenzie delta.