Speaker

Ethel Blake

Ethel Blake served as the Chair and Head of Delegation for Gwich’in Council International (GCI) at the Arctic Council, the premier intergovernmental forum dealing with issues of environment and sustainable development in the circumpolar Arctic. She also served as the representative to the Arctic Human Health Expert Committee and as the Chair of the Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat of the Arctic Council, which seeks to coordinate actions across Indigenous nations of the North.

Ethel is Métis from Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories. Growing up, Ethel lived both on the land and in Fort McPherson. On the land, traditional knowledge and practice was passed down from her Jijuu (Grandmother), a well-known traditional medicine woman. These experiences and teachings, have given Ethel a great respect for the land, plants, and animals that sustain Gwich’in/Métis, which she brings to her work, striving to ensure traditional knowledge is incorporated to programs, while learning from scientific research.

Ethel has decades of experience with Indigenous organizations, such as the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation and the Gwich’in Tribal Council. She currently serves as the Manager of Health and Wellness Promotion within the Aboriginal Health and Community Wellness Division (Government of the Northwest Territories), where she promotes healthy lifestyles and community wellness.

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